Acknowledgments ix Preface to the Twentieth Anniversary Edition xiii Prologue xxvii 1. The Richmond Museum of the Confederacy 1 2. Color Blind: The Whiteness of Whiteness 21 3. Passing Over 53 4. Reunions, Retellings, Refrains 99 5. A Color with No Precise Name 125 Notes 137
Jane Lazarre is the author of many books, including the memoirs Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery and The Mother Knot, both also published by Duke University Press, and the novels Inheritance and Some Place Quite Unknown. She founded and directed the undergraduate writing program at Eugene Lang College at the New School for ten years and taught creative writing and literature there for twenty years. She has also taught at the City College of New York and Yale University.
"This is a passionate, provocative, and moving narrative that should be on every American's reading list. Jane Lazarre writes from an angle of vision that seems completely missing from the fractured and deeply troubled discourse about race in America. Her honesty and courage in telling this story is as instructive as it is praiseworthy, compelling us to think and feel differently." -- Sekou Sundiata author of * The Circle is Unbroken Is a Hard Bop * "[An] illuminating book . . . Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness offer[s] invaluable insights not just for those working to raise children in biracial families, but for all who would like to understand the notion of whiteness in order to see beyond it and reach for fairness." -- Boyd Zenner * Women's Review of Books * "This insightful Jewish mother opens our eyes to the pervasiveness of racism in our culture-a reality that Jews and other whites can easily ignore." -- Rabbi Rachel Cowan author of * Mixed Blessings: Marriage between Christians and Jews * "Powerful, moving, and beautifully written. . ." -- Richard L. Zweigenhaft * Greensboro News & Record * "The inimitable eloquence of Lazarre's Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness defies facile summation." -- Kwame Okoampahoofe Jr. * New York Amsterdam News * "A beautifully written, deeply thoughtful journey into the worlds of self and other." * Kirkus Reviews * "[Lazarre] . . . moves the reader. . . . When she writes, 'I wish I could become Black for my sons,' she delves straight into the heart of her dilemma." -- Helen Schulman * Elle * "A compassionate, compelling outpouring of anecdotal family stories and confessionals . . . that fine-tune the reader's awareness to racism in everyday life. Lazarre's voice is artful and measured, like a friend's, and her prose is thick with images . . . Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness provides substantial food for thought for both white and black perspectives on the murky issue of race in America." * Publishers Weekly * "A novelist, essayist, and teacher, Lazarre presents her troubling but clear-eyed vision of her life and times with incisiveness and grace." -- John Gregory Brown * Chicago Tribune * "[A] compelling story of one mother's honest efforts to reach across the chasm between black and white America to comfort and guide her sons as they navigate their way to adulthood and self-sufficiency." -- Gregory Howard Williams * Los Angeles Times Book Review * "Lazarre cuts close to the bone in this penetrating 'story of the education of an American woman.'" -- Mary Carroll * Booklist * "A terrifically courageous piece of work. I cannot think of another text written by a white woman that is like it, and I cannot imagine one that would address these complex issues with greater lucidity, grace, intelligence, and love." -- Claire Bond Potter, The New School