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.
Chapter 3 explores and deconstructs the concept of whiteness through close readings of memoir and fiction by African American writers, interwoven with stories of the writer’s family life with her husband and two growing sons. The case of the Central Park Jogger, in which a group of black boys were arrested and imprisoned for years (and eventually exonerated), merges with the response of one of the sons whose name is similar to one of the arrested boys; a close friend who is a converted Jewish woman and a rabbi leads a yearly seder occasioning the writer’s contemplation of her own...