Summary

White Men Challenging Racism is a collection of first-person narratives chronicling the compelling experiences of thirty-five white men whose efforts to combat racism and fight for social justice are central to their lives. Based on interviews conducted by Cooper Thompson, Emmett Schaefer, and Harry Brod, these engaging oral histories tell the stories of the men’s antiracist work. While these men discuss their accomplishments with pride, they also talk about their mistakes and regrets, their shortcomings and strategic blunders. A foreword by James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, provides historical context, describing antiracist efforts undertaken by whites in America during past centuries.

Ranging in age from twenty-six to eighty-six, the men whose stories are presented here include some of the elder statesmen of antiracism work as well as members of the newest generation of activists. They come from across the United States—from Denver, Nashville, and San Jose; rural North Carolina, Detroit, and Seattle. Some are straight; some are gay. A few—such as historian Herbert Aptheker, singer/songwriter Si Kahn, Stetson Kennedy (a Klan infiltrator in the 1940s), and Richard Lapchick (active in organizing the sports community against apartheid)—are relatively well-known; most are not. Among them are historians, ministers, police officers, firefighters, teachers, journalists, union leaders, and full-time community organizers. They work with Latinos and African-, Asian-, and Native-Americans. Many ground their work in spiritual commitments. Their inspiring personal narratives—whether about researching right-wing groups, organizing Central American immigrants, or serving as pastor of an interracial congregation—connect these men with one another and with their allies in the fight against racism in the United States.

 
  "It is inspiring to read about white men who are working on the complex task of eliminating racism. In these times of backlash against civil rights gains of the past, we need more fighters like these. Yesterday's movement was truly interrracial and today's must be as well."
  --Julian Bond, Chair, NAACP and Professor of History, University of Virginia and American University
  "With range, depth, and integrity, the narratives in this collection flesh out both the 'promise and the way of life' of white people who have taken on racism as central to their life work. White Men Challenging Racism is a valuable contradiction to the construct of 'angry white men' that has fueled racial backlash over the past twenty years."
  --Mab Segrest, author of Memoirs of a Race Traitor
   

Buy the book at Duke University Press, your local bookstore, or favorite online retailor.

 

All authors' royalties go directly to fund antiracist work.
"We decided to focus this project on ordinary white men doing what we believe are extraordinary things."re

 

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