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The prologue introduces the central themes and concerns of the author’s journey unraveling the complexities of race in America, beginning in a scene of her younger son’s college graduation in which black and white “events” are sometimes separated. The voice is personal and intimate, recording several key experiences: the college graduation, a brother-in-law’s death, the impact of motherhood, and years of teaching the African American autobiographical tradition to undergraduates in a small liberal arts college in New York City. The prologue introduces the story of a change in a white woman’s vision from “self-discovery to conscience” (phrase from Chinua Achebe, see footnote to 2015 Preface).

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