The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

genre: essay, non-fiction

I admit that this collection of essays hurt my heart and opened my eyes. As a white woman, I know, at least I really try to know, that my privilege leaves me completely unaware of much of the hurt and pain in my country. These writings, both poems and essays, took me to New Orleans and New York City, introduced me to a southern grandmother and the husband of Phillis Wheatley. While some touched me more than others, I couldn’t read without a pen because each piece taught me something, made me look from a different angle or try to imagine a life in someone else’s shoes. Anyone trying to get out of their white comfort zone would do well to spend time on these pages. There is much to learn and feel.

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