My style in interracial conversations about race has definitely evolved. I now try to subscribe to Ta-Nehesi Coates’ advice: “Shut up and read. A lot.” Another transformative book was Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children. I even apologized to a few people after reading that and hearing her talk.
Prior to that, I was definitely prone to what Singleton and Linton call “White Talk” – verbal, impersonal (I once asked a black male teacher if he ever thought he thought about race too much – that’s one I’d like to have back), intellectual and task oriented. From the “Color Commentary” side, I am definitely emotional because, well, I always am.
But I am sitting with something – a family member’s very public claim that she’s been a victim of “reverse racism,” a concept I no longer accept. I am not sure that I am the one she needs to hear it from, but she needs to hear it. The road to, well, today is paved with good intentions.