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Some of My Friends Are...: The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships
Plummer, Deborah L., PhD
Beacon Press / Hardcover / 2019-01-01 / 0807023892
Discrimination & Racism / Social Psychology
reg price: $34.95 our price: $ 29.71
256 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

An insightful look at how cross-racial friendships work and fail within American society.

In a U.S. national survey conducted for this book, 70% of respondents strongly agreed that friendships across racial lines are essential to making progress toward improving race relations. However, further polling found that most Americans tend to gravitate towards friendships within their own racial category.

Psychologist, Deborah L. Plummer tells us why that is so. She examines how factors such as leisure, politics, humor, faith, social media, and education influence the nature and intensity of cross-racial friendships. With engaging stories and inspiring anecdotes drawn from national focus groups, interviews, and analyses of survey results of contemporary patterns of adult friendships, she provides insights into the fears and discomforts associated with cross-racial friendships. Through these narratives and social analyses of friendship patterns, Plummer explores how we make connections to form solid bonds, and why it is so challenging to do so across a racial divide. She discusses how we cross that divide and get beyond the prickly uncomfortable moments and have meaningful, enlightening, empathetic conversations about race. With the inclusion of personal stories, this book stirs up authentic racial discourse, prompts readers to examine their own friendship patterns, and encourages us all to create a better path toward a more enlightened future by crossing racial lines in friendship and deepening the strength of current cross-racial friends.

Reviews and Endorsements:

“Her analysis of the process by which people develop their personal racial identities, based in a gestalt psychological model, will be enlightening to white readers who don’t understand how to approach comprehending their own race.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Plummer’s call is inspiring because of—rather than despite—its willingness to call out difficulties and eschew naiveté.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“If you have ever wondered why genuine cross-racial friendships are challenging to develop and maintain in our racially polarized society, and why they are essential to racial reconciliation, read this thoughtful book!”
—Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Can We Talk About Race?

“We know that seemingly incidental features of our lives can—by provoking a sense of identity threat—act as small barriers to crossing racial lines in friendship. In Some of My Friends Are . . ., Dr. Plummer identifies these cues and charts a pathway to establishing more friendships that heal divisions among racial groups. In doing so, this book offers hope for a better and more inclusive tomorrow.”
—Professor Claude Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

“Dr. Plummer challenges us to continue to have dialogues on race. This necessary and meaningful discourse is for the benefit of all humankind. Her book reminds us that the evil of racism is almost omnipotent and we must be steadfast in working to overcome it.”
—The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss Jr., American pastor, theologian, speaker, author, and activist

“In her insightful and inspiring book, Deborah Plummer examines the racial divide and provides us with a path forward. She explores the historical baggage, institutional structures, mind-sets, and psychological underpinnings that make crossing racial lines in friendship so challenging. Plummer shares how we can break down barriers and foster friendships across racial lines. She arouses hope for racial harmony, offering pathways to get us there within the workplace and in society.”
—Christine Porath, author of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace

About the Author:

Deborah L. Plummer is a practicing psychologist, university professor, chief diversity officer, consultant in diversity management, author and speaker. She currently serves as Vice Chancellor/Chief Diversity Officer at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care and has written for Diversity Executive and the Boston Globe Magazine. Her previous books include Handbook of Diversity Management (Rowman and Littlefield) and Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations through Friendships (Pilgrim Press).

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