Straddling White and Black Worlds
How Interpersonal Interactions with Young Black People Forever Altered a White Man’s Understanding of Race
Author(s): Paul Clement Reck

A white male professor reflects on the formation of his own racial consciousness, vicarious understanding of Blackness, and resulting commitment to racial justice, through relationships with young Black people in school and personal life.

Collection: Black Studies
ISBN 9781915734204





How does a white man understand what it’s like to be Black? How can he start to form a sense of racial consciousness, and take action for racial justice?

For Dr Paul Reck PhD, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ramapo College, this journey was sparked and informed by the interactions and relationships he has, and has had, with his Black godchildren and Black students he has taught. To use one’s privilege for the benefit of those less privileged means first understanding that privilege and the needs of those you are trying to help: this honest and reflective autoethnography recounts Reck’s developing sense of racial consciousness from his childhood through to his work as a university professor.

Ideal reading for students of Black Studies or African-American Studies and similar courses, this book will be of interest to anyone who is beginning to explore how to de-centre their own whiteness in their understanding of race.

Paul Reck PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ramapo College. His research interests focus on the social construction of race, class, and gender, and how such constructions contribute to structural inequality, particularly within the context of the criminal justice system. During his tenure at Ramapo College, Dr Reck has created and supervised the Diversity Action Student Group, a student organization dedicated to promoting diversity and social justice on campus, and has spearheaded the establishment of a chapter of the NAACP.

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