Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor: Essays on Life and Lineage by white Women
Description"A timely and thoughtful discussion about the intersection of gender and White privilege." -Kirkus Reviews
Using the lens of inherited trauma and family history, Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor offers a hopeful, humanizing path for dismantling whiteness.
For over two decades, family constellations facilitator and therapist Lisa Iversen has been working with groups, including descendants of ancestors who have perpetrated harm or been victimized in circumstances of injustice. In this collection of essays, she brings together twelve white women who explore the role of whiteness in collective movements of immigration, colonialism, slavery, and war. Through genealogical research, family documents, and deep reflection, these writers from the US, Canada, and the UK disentangle themes of innocence, grief, race, privilege, and belonging in their families and ancestries.
Each essayist shares moving stories and anecdotes from their life, adding historical and cultural context to current conversations about white women's role in creating and sustaining whiteness.
"This collection of 12 personal essays represents brave explorations of their relationships to whiteness via different aspects of their histories and heritages. The essays provide a fascinating look at whiteness through the lenses of American racism and Jewish Americans; the Swiss and Nazi collaborations; displacement by war; relationship to unceded tribal Native lands; and German ethnicity and reparations. This book is a good reminder for Americans that whiteness may be expressed differently depending on the country and culture, but has always been associated with privilege and oppression." -Patricia L. Dawson, MD, PhD, FACS, Medical Director, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor will appeal to those ready to engage with the difficult truths of history, those interested in healing collective historic trauma and dismantling racism, therapists and family counselors, and all concerned about the fate of democratic nations sourced in whiteness. Each essay includes sources and resources for more information.
Essays by Sonya Lea, Karin Konstantynowicz, Anne Hayden, Summer Starr, Kate Regan, June BlueSpruce, Sabine Olsen, Carole Harmon, Christina Greené, Sharon Halfnight, Una Suseli O'Connell, Pam Emerson. Edited and Foreword by Lisa Iversen.
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About the Author
"...well written...poignant and often raw...A timely and thoughtful discussion about the intersection of gender and White privilege." - Kirkus Reviews
"A daring and willing look into identity and the structure of whiteness in family, communities, and history. When we ask what the stories are underneath what we carry, sometimes we have to change our lives." - Lidia Yuknavitch, national bestselling author of Verge and The Chronology of Water
"Healing from trauma requires the whole trauma story & that requires the voice of the perpetrator which has largely been missing. These essays are a wonderful primer...in how to search your heart for the truths within your family and history...so that you & others might heal and work toward justice." - Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD Author of Journey Through Trauma
"The essays that this group of soulful women have written provide a glimmer of possibility that we can re-humanize ourselves...I saw new pathways I could travel. People of color need us to find our way back home. So do we." - Katrina Browne, producer/director, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
"...a much-needed conversation that begins from a place of acknowledgment of white hegemony. This collection of layered and nuanced essays fills me with hope for the real and honest dialogue...this revolutionary anthology serves as both a rallying cry and a guide to the reckoning necessary for meaningful change." - Huda Al-Marashi, author of First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story
"With compassion and grace, [these writers] bear witness to the ways in which they have benefited from the systemic racism that plagues our society. Their reckonings, full of pain, love, and new awareness...point the way toward a better future for us all." - Priscilla Long, author of Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?