Praise

Morris Dees Combined Destinies Endorsement
Marian Wright Edelman Combined Destinies Endorsement
Henry Louis Gates Combined Destinies Endorsement
Cecile Richards Combined Destinies Endorsement
Van Jones Combined Destinies Endorsement
Rea Carey Combined Destinies Endorsement
Larry Cohen Combined Destinies Endorsement
Katrina vanden Heuvel Combined Destinies Endorsement
Larry Roper Combined Destinies Endorsement
Cherie Brown Combined Destinies Endorsement
Derek Douglas Combined Destinies Endorsement
Karen V Hansen Combined Destinies Endorsement
Patrice Vecchione Combined Destinies Endorsement
James Forman Combined Destinies Endorsement
Patrick Gaston Combined Destinies Endorsement

Praise for Combined Destinies

Combined Destinies, available: February 2013

Morris Dees, Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

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“I picked cotton alongside blacks in the 1940s. It was our cotton and their sweat. We had a combined destiny that troubled me—mine to law school and theirs to grinding poverty. Racism pained me despite my white privilege. Combined Destinies puts that frustration into better focus. What a perceptive, well-written, and timely narrative.”

—Morris Dees, Founder, Southern Poverty Law Center

Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund 

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“With the stories in Combined Destinies Ann Jealous and Caroline Haskell take us another step forward towards understanding the legacy of racism’s impact on all children.”

— Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children’s Defense Fund

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University, and author

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“Ann Jealous and Caroline Haskell have assembled a groundbreaking collection of stories by white Americans who recognize the pain and sorrow that racism has created in their lives. Everyone in society is hurt by racism, not just those who are its targets. What better way to teach this profound truth than to allow white people to share their epiphanies?”

—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University, and author of America Behind the Color Line: Dialogues with African Americans

Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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“This is a powerful collection that challenges us all to think about the role of race in our lives and our communities—and helps us do that. Each story takes you inside one person’s experience, and collectively they make you reflect on your own experience and beliefs. This book highlights just how important these continuing conversations around race are—for every person, of every race, of every background.”

—Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Van Jones, president, former Special Advisor to the Obama White House

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“Our discourse is replete with false dichotomies: environmentalism vs. prosperity, rich vs. poor, and white vs. black. While some special interests thrive on conflict, Americans don’t—we suffer. The first step toward healing is to realize that we’re all in this together. Combined Destinies puts this in perspective like no other book. Read it and let one more false dichotomy dissolve into a deeper understanding of the way forward.”

—Van Jones, former Special Advisor to the Obama White House and author of Rebuild the Dream

Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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“This intimate and powerful book invites us to face fears, be honest, step in and step up. To engage, to be conscious partners as white people in seeing, healing, and stepping up to confront the effects of racism in the U.S.

You cannot read this book and finish it unchanged, unprovoked, unmoved.  And, that is the point. You will find yourself turning each page with a more open heart and bolstered courage to step up. Wherever you are on your journey in confronting racism, you will find this book to be a gift of love.

This book offers a unique invitation to heal, create change, enrich our lives and engage in authentic relationships with ourselves and others.  It reveals the pain, damage and separation that racism brings on all of us.

To confront racism, to commit oneself to challenging the systemic racist conditioning to which we are all subject in the U.S., is a life’s work.  This book provides a rare vision for engaging in that lifetime of work with ourselves, each other, community and society.”

—Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Larry Cohen, president, Communication Workers of America

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“For all of us on the road to social change, we must first learn to walk on the bridge to a multicultural America. Combined Destinies is part of that path, excavating our pasts through personal accounts, but also pointing forward. I enjoyed the read!”

— Larry Cohen, president, Communication Workers of America

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation and author of The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama

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“The raw and honest stories in Combined Destinies are both heartbreaking and heartwarming—devastating in their scope and specificity, but uplifting in demonstrating how people have overcome not only their own prejudices but also those of friends and family. There is much work yet to be done, and this book is a great start.”

—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation and author of The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama

Larry D. Roper, professor of ethnic studies and vice provost for student affairs at Oregon State University

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“Combined Destinies is liberating and life-giving. This book allows the reader to free himself or herself from the binds that deny access to our full humanity, while also allowing one to claim space in the human family. While this is a book about the power of the racism on the lives of whites, it is also about the influence racism has on those whose lives are touched by and intersect with whites—it is about the impact of white grief on all of us.  Anyone who cares about healing our world and reconstructing hope for our future must read this book.  This book moved me to tears and left me feeling confident that when we create space for soul-revealing storytelling we also create windows of opportunity to transform lives and reclaim souls from the damaging impacts of oppression.  Thank you for this hopeful message during a time when it is so badly needed.”

—Larry D. Roper, professor of ethnic studies and vice provost for student affairs at Oregon State University

Cherie R. Brown, Executive Director, National Coalition Building Institute

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“This book is a significant contribution to the country’s ongoing work on racial healing. The stories, along with the authors’ contextualizing introductions to each piece, are filled with compassion, honesty, and integrity. The collection challenges each reader to take a personal, intimate, and honest journey into his or her own past, thereby revising our understanding of the country’s past as well. This is a must read for anyone who cares about social justice and healing racism.”

—Cherie R. Brown, executive director, National Coalition Building Institute

Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago

Derek Douglas Combined Destinies Endorsement

“Covering multiple generations in the span of half a century of memories, Combined Destinies is an invaluable contribution to the oral history of the impact of racism on all Americans.”

—Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement, University of Chicago

Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology & Women’s and Gender Studies, Brandeis University

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“This powerful book breaks our hesitant silence to talk about race. Building on the premise that all people suffer ill effects from racism–its perpetrators as well as its victims–Combined Destinies offers oceans of personal stories from white people about their childhoods, individual and collective guilt, wrenching separation and loss, and eventually the bridges they managed to build over a racial gulf. Told in the first person, these stories range from gritty recollections of childhood to horrifying discoveries to eloquent insights emerging from contemplation and hard-won wisdom.

The gift that is this book invites truth telling, reflection, and learning with compassion and empathy. It gives readers the chance to listen, which as one man writes, he learned “is more important than being right.” These astute editors and their generous, brave informants lead readers through the many quagmires of living in a racialized society. This book is a must read for everyone searching for self-understanding, inspiration and hope.”

— Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology & Women’s and Gender Studies, Brandeis University

Patrick Gaston, president, Western Union Foundation

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“I am a Haitian-American black male married to a Caucasian American woman and we have two children.  This book’s courageous and personal testimonials present powerful evidence that all of humanity, regardless of race or ethnicity, is victimized by racism.  More important, the book demonstrates that many individuals have pursued a path that leads to a place of honesty, sharing, acceptance and understanding.”

  —Patrick Gaston, president, Western Union Foundation

James Forman, Jr., Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School

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“With grace, passion and authenticity, Combined Destinies reveals the long-hidden story of how racism harms whites too.  These stories, full of grief but also inspiration, show us how to heal the wounds that racism has caused.”

 —James Forman, Jr., Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Patrice Vecchione, Author, Writing and the Spiritual Life: Finding Your Voice by Looking Within

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“Not only is Combined Destinies an important book, it is a touchingly intimate one that gives voice to white people’s experiences of growing up in a racist world and how those experiences have helped to shape their adult lives. Contributor Brenda tellingly writes, ‘Just under the surface of my white skin I was always itchy.’ The book elegantly interweaves the stories of contributors with the authors’ commentary, which provides perceptive and wise context. To fully understand how racism is perpetuated we need this book. By looking closely at personal stories, we deepen our understanding of racism and of the human condition.”

—Patrice Vecchione, author, Writing and the Spiritual Life: Finding Your Voice by Looking Within

3 thoughts on “Praise

  1. I can’t wait to read the book. Knowing one of the authors and her dedication to reducing racism brought enlightenment where none existed in understanding the plight of those “less than”.

  2. I’m eager to read this important book. I would like to understand the role that grief plays in relationships between different races. Just contemplating that stirs thoughts of new possibilities for healing in our society, once we begin to see things at a deeper level.

  3. Last week I had the privilege to attended the workshop Combined Destinies “Whites Sharing Grief About Racism” and both Ann Todd Jealous & Caroline Haskell were there to lead the workshop. Spending three hours with both of these remarkable women/authors and discussing “White Privileged” along with sharing our personal stories of grief about racism and how its impacted our lives left me with a profound feeling of “things can get better”. I have intentionally waited until today to begin reading the book. I wanted time to digest the workshop and its impact on me before reading the stories of others. I can’t wait to dive into its pages this evening! Thank you so much, Ann and Caroline

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