Butler, a white man taking a stand against slavery

Who was Benjamin Franklin Butler, and why would anyone care? I am in the process of exploring ideas for my third novel, and am considering Butler as a historical character. My two previous novels – White Bread and The Inheritance – have featured present-day educators wrestling with social justice issues that link the present with […]

Genealogy and Anti-Racism: A Resource for White People 

I want to connect my love of genealogy with the work of anti-racism. As a child and teenager, I loved genealogy. With handwritten charts and typed biographies, I had no question about the goodness of what I was doing. I was honoring and preserving the past. What could be better? Eventually, I went off to […]

Confronting Racism at Home

As a white teacher educator who has taken on the “daunting” (Sleeter, 2008) work of antiracist education with preservice teachers, the work of critical family history is beginning to play a key role in my classroom. Importantly, critical family history is giving me insights into my family’s complicity in the fight against multiculturalism, as it […]

The First Step Towards Healing

Have you ever felt disenfranchised, bullied or marginalized? How about the feeling of simply not fitting in within your environment? For some, this describes their adolescent years. For too many others this experience repeats itself throughout life. Many experience such to the extent of feeling like outsiders daily. The first step towards healing is admitting […]

Theft of Indigenous Peoples’ Land

In a recent article I wrote about ancestors who, in different states and at different times, acquired land very cheaply from the state rather than from a specific person, and my realization that they had profited directly from the U.S. government’s theft of Indigenous peoples’ land. On two occasions in the last month, I have been asked how […]

Four Generations of One Family’s Perspectives on Racism

During my doctoral program, I conducted two mini-studies on race and racism. The first was with successful Black professionals coping with micro aggressions in the workplace. I presented the findings from this study at the 2014 Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) conference in Houston where the audience had some interesting follow-up questions that led […]

Good Liberal White People?

“Our philosophy of life is that a man must teach his child to increase the goodness in the world more than his father before him… [My wife] is an English teacher. I hope some day to become a teacher of social studies and a high school counselor and advisor. We believe we can, through our […]

But Aren’t We Good White People?

My white family history is, perhaps, somewhat unique—I never heard my parents use a racial epithet, and I was taught that being good white people meant we (including I) should never use one either. My white family history is also very usual—I still learned racism, to be racist, and to protect my white privilege. Reconciling […]

In Memory of Samuel Bush

Samuel Bush had something in common with Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Akai Gurley, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Victor White, Emmet Till — and many more. Bush was a young Black man who was killed by white leaders without a trial. In Bush’s case, a white mob that included leaders of the village of […]

Critical Family History and Sundown Towns

Christine: I am having a conversation with James W. Loewen, author of many well-known books including Lies my Teacher Told Me and Teaching What Really Happened. We are talking about critical family history and sundown towns. Jim, I didn’t know I had grown up in a sundown town until I read your book Sundown Towns. I […]