Title: Hello Racism, It Has Not Been a Pleasure to Meet You
Anthology Title: SOUL DEEP: Perspectives on Race, Relationships, Social Justice, and Hope
Author: Traci Wooden-Carlisle
Genre: Ethnic Studies, Essay, Memoir, Racism
“Soul Deep”— Perspectives on Race, Relationships, Social Justice, and Hope - offers a soul-baring excavation into the lives of eight African American women. Born, raised, and educated in the United States, the authors currently live in eight states and three countries. Despite differences in personality, lifestyle, skin color, hair texture, regional vernacular, and geographic location, they share a significant and life-changing common bond—Their ethnicity. At one or more points in each woman’s life, she found herself in toxic environments teeming with an undeniable message. This language was spoken in a manner they will never forget— The language of hate. These women—mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, musicians, artists, professors, educators, and entrepreneurs share a collective, intense desire to make a difference with their truth. Personal experiences that only they can share. Experiences that are often painful, vile, confusing, hurtful, and deeply rooted not only in the fabric of who they are, but in the ongoing, systematic practices of our society and repercussions of our past – the perpetuation of exploitation, greed, denial, and a criminal sense of misguided entitlement. In this compilation of short essays and memoirs, these writers, including USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors, re-examine their hearts and minds under the microscope of racism. If you have ever felt marginalized or oppressed, their voices will enlighten and resonate with you.
“Racism is not like smoke that dissipates with a strong wind, even though it can distort the truth for a moment. By its very origination, this word is designed to demean, devalue, take from and destroy. It is not silent, and we as a people can’t afford to be, either.”
Hello Racism is a formidable essay on one woman’s experience with racism. The quote above exemplifies what it is, what its purpose is, and what we, as humans, need to do to eradicate it. Starting with her childhood, the author explains how it wasn’t until much later that she personally experiences intolerance. She details one very specific instance where she got read the riot act on the basis of her skin color.
This micro-memoir is one that every citizen of the world needs to read. It portrays with an unguarded and sincere voice the emotions one feels being a target of intolerance. I’m a white woman who grew up learning about race relations and treating everyone the same. It’s never mattered to me the skin color of a person, what’s inside is much more important. Now, I know this thinking is the minority these days and that breaks my heart. This story is a treatise on equality but also on seeing intolerance from a different viewpoint. The writing is heartfelt but not preachy. I connected with the author on so many levels. It’s not a long read but is a great way to start conversations dealing with tolerance, family, empathy, and humanity. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that as a way of creating worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.
Today, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, Mr. Carlisle. She teaches fitness classes, runs a jewelry and craft business, and is currently writing the next installment in her Christian-fiction series.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N