TWO SOCIAL JUSTICE TITLES
In the past few month I feel lucky to have recorded several non-fiction titles that have given me new insights into today’s troubled times.
Two of these books, The Middle of Nowhere by Mary Pipher and Witnessing Whiteness by Shelly Tochluk, were actually published years ago but have received increased interest due to what’s happening in our country right now and are thus getting published in audiobook form for the first time (both from Tantor Audio).
Both are usefully, but somewhat sadly, even more relevant now than when they were first written. If you, like me, want to have a deeper understanding of the cultural currents in our society, I highly recommend them both.
Over the past decade, Mary Pipher has been a great source of wisdom, helping us to better understand our family members. Now she connects us with the newest members of the American family—refugees.
In cities all over the country, refugees arrive daily. Lost Boys from Sudan, survivors from Kosovo, families fleeing Afghanistan and Vietnam: they come with nothing but the desire to experience the American dream. Their endurance in the face of tragedy and their ability to hold on to the virtues of family, love, and joy are a lesson for Americans.
Their stories will make you laugh and weep—and give you a deeper understanding of the wider world in which we live.
The Middle of Everywhere moves beyond the headlines into the homes of refugees from around the world. Working as a cultural broker, teacher, and therapist, Mary Pipher has once again opened our eyes—and our hearts—to those with whom we share the future.
Witnessing Whiteness invites listeners to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations. The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white people toward poor relationships with people of color. Questioning the implications our history has for personal lives and social institutions, the book considers political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal histories that shaped the meanings associated with whiteness. Drawing on dialogue with well-known figures within education, race, and multicultural work, the book offers intimate, personal stories of cross-race friendships that address both how a deep understanding of whiteness supports cross-race collaboration and the long-term nature of the work of excising racism from the deep psyche. Concluding chapters offer practical information on building knowledge, skills, capacities, and communities that support anti-racism practices, a hopeful look at our collective future, and a discussion of how to create a culture of witnesses who support allies for social and racial justice.