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 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, all of whom, whatever their lineage or skin tone, fought to survive in a nation where the One-drop Rule of racism relegated African-Americans to what U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney described in 1857 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 Program 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.