Sunday, May 8, 2011

The R Word is here!

I'm happy to announce that my young adult novel, The R Word, is now available in print and Kindle editions. I wrote The R Word because I wanted to explore contemporary attitudes about race in a supposedly "post racial" culture. The novel is aimed at youth 12 and above, or at adults like me who love young adult fiction. While, of course, my primary goal was to tell a good story, The R Word is also intended for classroom use, where I hope it will stimulate discussion about present-day racial inequity on a structural level. I hope you'll check it out.

A recent blog entry from Eastern University's Urban Studies Department reiterates much of what I've been trying to say through this blog, and through The R Word.  Whitney Monn, the author of the post, shows through economic statistics that racism is far from over.  She says, "...racism still exists.  I believe it has just grown sneakier, hiding from the public eye in economic practices and policies."  You can read the entire post at  

I like Whitney's use of the word, "sneakier."  Racism used to be blatant.  It used to look like signs at a water fountain or separate entrances for people of color.  It used to sound like Archie Bunker.  But that was a long time ago.  Now it looks like a public school system that is largely segregated and unequally funded.  It sounds like the argument about "reverse discrimination."  It sounds logical and fair.  It argues that we should be colorblind, which means we should forget the past and move on.  Sounds good, but the problem is that in forgetting the past we absolve ourselves from doing anything about the present.  Sneaky.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention of my recent blog post. This issue is something that most people shy away from, and I love that you not only address it but also bring it to a young audience. Talking with children about racism can be difficult, and I appreciate your book as a tool to do so. After reading a section on Amazon, I am adding it to my wish list! Blessings on all you do ~ Whitney