A Courageous Meditation


Real American: a Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims
Henry Holt and Company, October 3, 2017

In this beautiful and affecting memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult, we are privileged to be given the opportunity to understand the insidious ways that American racism shaped Ms. Lythcott-Haims, a biracial child growing up in mostly white environments in the Midwest. As the only child of an African-American doctor and his white British wife, Lythcott-Haims reveals the corrosive impact of years of micro- and macro-aggressions and how these shaped her sense of self well into adulthood. She is able, with unflinching clarity, to talk about her struggles in parenting, with her white Jewish husband, her own biracial children. Additionally, she chronicles the many ways in which she faces her fears, particularly for her son as he grows up as an African-American teen in American streets where black males are under threat. Educators, parents, and students who found Lythcott-Haims’s first book a great source of wisdom and advice will similarly find deeper understanding and inspiration from this one. Lythcott-Haims’s courageous meditation on her struggle with internalized racism and her ambivalence about an America, which still has far to go in doing right by its citizens of color, is vital reading for anyone working in an educational setting.

Submitted By: Stephanie Lipkowitz, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM

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