As a white parent committed to resisting racism, what do I want for my kids? I want my kids to know how to be the only white person in the room. I want them to know how to do this gracefully and without calling undue attention to themselves. I want them to know how to … Continue reading


Dear Parents and Non-Parents Who Also Happen to be White, I need to clarify something in regard to my last letter (“Dear Parents with White Children”). Do Latino/a people sometimes dislike white people because they’re white? Do people of African descent sometimes perpetuate negative stereotypes about people of European descent? In an argument, might an … Continue reading

FOR WHITES (LIKE ME): white paradox

One of the most brilliant poems ever: For the White Person Who Wants to Know How to be My Friend The first thing you do is to forget that I’m Black. Second, you must never forget that I’m Black. You should be able to dig Aretha, but don’t play her every time I come over. … Continue reading

FOR WHITES (LIKE ME): on white kids

Dear parents of white children, I vote that we strike the following from our parental lexicon: “Everybody is equal.” “We’re all the same underneath our skin.” I realize this is counterintuitive. But I’m completely serious. These statements are so abstract they’re mostly meaningless when handed to a seven (or even seventeen) year-old. That’s at best. … Continue reading


Last year at the university where I teach, a group of African American students were walking past a dorm at night when someone in an upper-story window threw an object at them and yelled, “we don’t want your kind here!” In the days that followed, the Coalition of Black Students (CBS), in alliance with other … Continue reading

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