“Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief about Racism,” edited by Ann Todd Jealous and Caroline Haskell, was published about 18 months ago, but continues to draw attention for its important message.
The book is an anthology of highly personal stories written by 53 people – all white. It helps the reader to understand racism, not as individual acts against another person, but as a “self-perpetuating system of advantage based on race . . . power plus prejudice.” It examines how white Americans have been hurt by the very ideology that their ancestors created.
It was published in February 2013 by Potomac Books, an imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, and will be released in paperback and as an e-book in September.
Haskell, director of Health and Wellness Services at CSU Monterey Bay, was invited to give a presentation about it at last week’s National Association of Social Workers conference in Washington, D.C. The conference theme was Social Work: Courage, Hope and Leadership.
And the book was reviewed in the May edition of the journal Equity and Excellence in Education. The reviewer, CSUMB founding faculty member Christine Sleeter, noted that most readers will find stories they identify with, as well as echoes of their own fears, discomforts, losses and silences.
Haskell is a licensed clinical social worker and a board certified diplomate in clinical social work. She joined CSUMB as founding director of the Personal Growth and Counseling Center in the university's early years.
A groundbreaking collection . . . Everyone in society is hurt by racism, not just those who are its targets. What better way to teach this profound truth than to allow white people to share their epiphanies?
– Henry Louis Gates, professor, Harvard University
TO LEARN MORE:
• Haskell and Jealous will read selections at a book-signing Oct. 5 at Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore in Berkeley. More information
• They will lead a four-session class through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4 and 18 at CSUMB. More information