Giving Up Whiteness

One Man's Journey

Giving Up Whiteness

One Man's Journey

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Available October 6, 2020

It's one thing to know about white privilege. It's another to try to give it up.

Jeff James was one of the good white guys--or so he thought. But when he asked an African American friend how he could help fight the rising tide of racism, he had to think again. "Simple," she shot back, "get rid of whiteness."

Thus began his journey to discover, name, and dismantle the racial category that had defined and advantaged him for a lifetime. In Giving Up Whiteness, James leads readers on an intimate, humble, and disorienting investigation of what it means to be white in twenty-first-century America. He shares his discoveries on just how deeply the forces of race have shaped his own and other white people's choices about where to live, what causes to care about, who to marry, and what church to join. With a blend of honest storytelling and incisive critique, James guides readers through the questions he encountered: How and why were race and, specifically, whiteness invented? What privileges and protections accrue to people categorized as white--and why has it been so difficult to expand them to everyone? How has the white Christian church bolstered white supremacy? Is it even possible to give up whiteness as an identity, and if so, what would that look like?

The things we can't see yield the most power, so it's time to take a hard look at whiteness. Ultimately, James writes, well-meaning white people have a lot of work to do, and it's past time to get started.


"Contrary to the opinion of many, you?can?give up whiteness. Jeff James, while taking us on a very personal journey of his own, provides us with both solid research and compelling reasons to do so."
-- Skot Welch, principal at Global Bridgebuilders and author of Plantation Jesus
"With a deep, genuine rumbling in his belly for racial equality and justice, Jeff James offers a hard look at history, the racial invention of whiteness, the structures built around the protection of white supremacy, and a hopeful posture toward a more beautiful world where racism is confronted, condemned, and overcome."
-- Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author of For the Love, Of Mess and Moxie, and Fierce, Free and Full of Fire
"I'm adding this book to my toolbox, making it required reading for individuals and organizations who are genuinely invested in understanding and dismantling racism and the insidious notion of white supremacy. This book is going to help change the conversation about race!"
-- Nicole Cutts, PhD, success coach, diversity trainer, and CEO of Cutts Consulting
"With the spirit of an explorer, James invites us into his quest to discover what divesting from whiteness looks like and whether or not it's even possible. Personal storytelling at its best!"
-- Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White
"Giving Up Whiteness is a very personal and honest journey through how the idolatry of 'whiteness' has influenced one man, but also holds powerful clues for fighting this ongoing evil."
-- Jefferson Bethke, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus > Religion and To Hell with the Hustle
"Giving Up Whiteness offers a compelling and unique perspective on why our culture continues to stumble on our journey to equality. This book will make you think about race and racism in a different way."
-- Jacquelline Fuller, president,
"In Giving Up Whiteness, Jeff James reminds us that as beneficiaries of exploitation and systemic discrimination, all white Americans need to do more. In other words, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."
-- Mary Mazzio, director/producer of A Most Beautiful Thing

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • ISBN 9781506464022
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 244
  • Publication Date October 6, 2020