White Like Me is one-part memoir, one-part polemical essay collection, addressing racism and white privilege in the United States. Herein, Wise examines what it means to be white in a nation created for the benefit of whites, and in which persons of color have been routinely denied equal access to opportunity. Wise addresses the privileges whites inherit from previous generations and those that continue to be bestowed today (in employment, education, the justice system and elsewhere), weaving personal stories from his own life with academic analysis and factual information gleaned from the worlds of sociology, history and ethnic studies. Wise also explores the ways in which whites can challenge their unjust privileges, and explains in clear and convincing language why it is in the best interest of whites themselves to do so. This updated version of the 2005 release also includes a lengthy discussion of white denial, and an epilogue on the race and class dimensions of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans.
James Loewen, best-selling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, and Sundown Towns calls White Like Me:
"...the most important memoir by a white person about how race and racism affect everyday life since Lois Mark Stalvey's The Education of a WASP. And, as with Stalvey, after reading Wise, white readers are energized to join the fray and reduce racism in our society."
Author and long-time liberation activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz calls White Like Me:
"A brilliant and personal deconstruction of institutionalized white supremacy in the United States...It is a beautifully written, heartfelt memoir."
And Publisher's Weekly, speaking of the book's first edition, called it "invigorating."