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When White is Black (Book Review)

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  • AP Gifts
    When White is Black ... [When White Is Black]
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3 12:35 PM

      When White is Black 

      --- written by John A. Martin Jr

      When White Is Black

      Book Description 

      This memoir describes the social aspects of a young boy 
      and his family growing up in an America where the shade 
      of your skin can determine your fate and where the 
      racist One-Drop Rule  has far-reaching ramifications.

      John Martin's interest in American race relations is 
      so deeply embedded in his family heritage, that he 
      finds it impossible to identify its beginnings. 

      He believes that race as a social construct became 
      an unavoidable fact of life at the point of conception 
      for most 
      African-Americans of his generation. 

      [H]e considers himself fortunate to be a small part of 
      the continuing movement ... which transcends race. 

      John Martin fervently hopes that 
      When White is Black,  
      his first published book, will offer some help in our 
      ongoing quest to understand and move beyond the 
      many onerous repercussions of race in  America .


      "An early morning phone call announcing his mother's accidental 
      death and the coroner's inquiry regarding her race set Martin 
      pondering the complicated Mixed-Race heritage of his family
      His mother, who appeared White, 
      was Mixed
      WhiteBlack, and Seminole Indian blood. 
      Martin explores the tortured complexities of how the 
      Mixture of White and Black was historically recorded and 
      determined and eventually evolved into the 
      One-Drop Rule
      He recalls a great-grandfather so fair he lived
       as a White man ... 
      Martin's mother was light enough to "pass" for White; 
      instead, she navigated a balance between demanding 
      respect and accepting any advantages that came 
      with fair skin but also eventually became an alcoholic. 
      Martin's recollection of his family history is a poignant example 
      of the complexity and effect of racial designations in  America ." 
      Vanessa Bush © American Library Association. 

      "An extraordinary story -- a richly textured genealogy 
      that is also a vehicle 
      for searing social commentary 
      about two centuries of race in  America .  

      John Martin displays an uncanny ability to 
      combine passion and restraint -- and he provides 
      us with 
      unusual insight into the lived experience of 
      navigating along the nation's most volatile faultline." 
      --- Troy Duster, Author of 'Whitewashing 
      Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society'

      "Looking back on his family's history, John Martin visits a 
      fascinating cast of characters, 
      some of whom he knew and 
      loved, some of whom he heard about and admired, 
      of whom, whatever their lineage or skin tone, 
      fought to 
      survive in a nation 
      where the One-drop Rule of racism 
      African-Americans to 
      what U.S. Supreme 
      Court Chief Justice Taney described in 
      as a "subordinate and inferior class of beings."
      Fully aware that echoes of Taney's 
      pronouncement still reverberate 
      in the 
      twenty-first century, Martin expressively argues 
      that with 
      the demise of the One-drop Rule, his 
      variously hued children and grandchildren
      have a chance to live ... in an America that 
      may some day achieve the full meaning of its 
      designation as "The World's First Multicultural Society. 
      Martin has written a memoir that matters." 
      --- Mason Drukman, Ph.D and author 
      of 'Community and Purpose in America
      and Wayne Morse – A Political Biography'.

      "A deeply moving story of a Mixed-Race family's struggle 

      for survival and Identity through several generations. 
      They and the underlying theme of racism make this 
      family story a compelling and truly American tale." 

      --- Michael O'Neill, Professor of Nonprofit 
      Management and Founder of 
      the Institute 
      for Nonprofit Organization Management
      at the  University  of  San Francisco.

      "Very moving because of its painful honesty. 
      He records the corrosive effects of racism and 
      discrimination on realpeople in American society. 
      He is courageous in revealing his own 
      emotional responses to that racism and to the 
      disruptions in his own life that it has caused. 
      'When White is Black' represents the culmination of a long 
      and important career during which (Martin) shaped the 
      program of Stiles Hall at the University of California 
      at Berkeley to educate generations of young men 
      and women to be leaders in the fight against racism. 
      His life is a true model of activism and this book 
      should be an inspiration to young leaders 
      as they pursue their goals of a just society." 
      --- Clara Sue Kidwell, Professor and Director 
      of the Native American Studies 
      at the University of Oklahoma. 


      About the Author 

      John Martin Jr., was raised in  Berkeley ,  California , 
      where he later spent the bulk of his professional 
      career, as the general director of a social service agency. 
      His life journey has included four 
      years of service in the U.S. Air Force, 
      B.A. and M.A. degrees from  San Francisco   State  
      University  and the  University  of  Omaha  respectively, 
      post Master's degree study at  Tufts   University  and 
      the  University  of  California  at  Berkeley , and a 
      wonderfully satisfying professional life working 
      in anti-poverty programs, social service, 
      education, and Civil Rights organizations.

      SOURCE: http://www.riversbendpress.com 

      RELATED LINK: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/3331 
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