Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons
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.
Color Blind: The Whiteness of Whiteness
Taking inspiration from Ralph Ellison’s phrase “the blackness of blackness,” used in the prologue of Invisible Man, chapter 2 explores and critiques the concept of color-blindness as a liberal ideal that is ultimately both false and destructive. The author’s experiences as a young woman teaching in an almost all-black high school, and her current experiences teaching undergraduates in a predominately white liberal arts college, both in New York City, culminating in personal memories of ignorance and increasing understanding as a member of a close black extended family, draws a detailed portrait of the growing awareness in one American woman about her place in a racially divided nation, within a racially mixed family. The story of racial mixing traces how intellectual passion and maternal and family love entwine to create a sense of awareness and belonging.