LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — In Combined Destinies: Whites Sharing Grief about Racism Co-editor Ann Todd Jealous says the anthology shows that racism hurts everyone.
“It’s about the ways in which racism has hurt white people,” Jealous said to WNEW’s Judlyne Lilly. “It’s about the shame that they feel, the guilt that they feel, the ways in which their humanity has been diminished.”
Jealous – who’s the mother of NAACP President Ben Jealous – says her own life provided a glimpse of what some whites have suffered.
“I worked as a therapist for 30 years with primarily white clients,” Jealous said. “Because I’m in an interracial marriage I already had been conscience of my husband’s grief about racism. But the thirty years of working with white clients some of whom brought me their pain about this.”
In the 52 essays in the book the authors talk about how as young people they felt something was wrong and how later in life, some took action against racism.
“There’s a story written by Bob Zellner who’s been a civil rights activists 76 years old,” Jealous said. “He grew up in the deep south with a grandfather who was a klansman and a father who was a klansman who was also a minister who was preaching love and practicing hate and had a nervous breakdown when Bob was young and then got out of the klan and allied himself with Martin Luther King. And became an activists.”
Jealous offers a different look into racism through the perspectives of others.
Combined Destinies is edited by Ann Todd Jealous and Caroline Haskell.