Saturday, September 21, 2019

Seeing My Skin - a review

Jarrett-Schell, Peter, Seeing My Skin: (A Story of Wrestling with Whiteness) [New York]: Church Publishing, [August 17] 2019.

I picked this up as an ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy) at ALA this summer. In unusual fashion, I actually was reading it as the publication date arrived. It has made me stop and think about many of the things I think, say, and do.

The book opens with an incredibly powerful vignette of an actual event, and is the author's Facebook posting of that event. The rest of the book is divided by location and starts with a series of vignettes, followed by a “debriefing.”

The stories tell of his experiences of the racial divide and his reactions to what he has experienced. It starts with his growing up, and ends with incidents after the most recent presidential election. The debriefing section of each chapter is probably the most powerful.

The author is an Episcopal priest who met his wife in college. She is also an ordained Episcopal priest. He is white, she is black.

I think this a book which I want to sit and read again … that doesn’t often happen.