Too White

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Although scholars have outlined the stages of white identity development, it wasn’t until Kelly Norris was the single mom of a biracial child, teaching in a suburban school, that she began seriously considering them. Kelly had long been struggling with identity and race in America, haunted by the question: what does it mean to be white? Her early attempts to answer this, however, focused primarily on what it meant to be black. Too White is a memoir of a white woman’s journey to explore the racial divide. In this sometimes embarrassing, sometimes painful, but often exhilarating journey, she confronts racism head-on, ultimately forging a positive white, anti-racist identity. Unlike the theoretical body of work on the subject, this memoir offers an intimate, honest look at the motives, struggles, and revelations attending white identity development.


Kelly Norris is a teacher, mother, writer, and activist living in Amherst, Massachusetts. Several of her essays dealing with anti-racism in the classroom have appeared in anthologies and online journals. As a Teacher Consultant with the National Writing Project, she’s presented workshops for fellow educators on topics such as teaching for social justice, using hip-hop in the classroom, and addressing privilege with privileged groups. Kelly holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Lesley University and is working on a second book of nonfiction, a collection of profiles of radical people living outside of mainstream.