For those interested in critical race theory and “whiteness” studies in particular, Professor George Yancy’s new book, Look, a White! Philosophical Essays on Whiteness, is a valuable resource. Dr. Yancy is an associate professor of philosophy at Duquesne University. He is a well-known scholar in critical race theory and has written, edited, and taught on the subject of race for several years. As his institutional website notes, Dr. Yancy “is particularly interested in the formation of African-American philosophical thought as articulated within the social context and historical space of anti-Black racism, African-American agency, and identity formation. His current philosophical project explores the theme of racial embodiment, particularly in terms of how white bodies live their whiteness unreflectively vis-à-vis the interpellation and deformation not only of the black body, but the white body, the philosophical identity formation of whites, and questions of white privilege and power formation. He is also interested in the intersection between philosophy and biography, and how this intersection implicates normative issues at the level of praxis.” Not only is Dr. Yancy an excellent scholar whose passion for justice and desire to allow marginalized voices speak is abundantly evident (just check out his CV), but he is a kind, approachable, and generous person.
The following summary of Professor Yancy’s new book is taken from the Temple University Press website:
Look, a White! returns the problem of whiteness to white people. Prompted by Eric Holder’s charge, that as Americans, we are cowards when it comes to discussing the issue of race, noted philosopher George Yancy’s essays map out a structure of whiteness.
He considers whiteness within the context of racial embodiment, film, pedagogy, colonialism, its “danger,” and its position within the work of specific writers. Identifying the embedded and opaque ways white power and privilege operate, Yancy argues that the Black countergaze can function as a “gift” to whites in terms of seeing their own whiteness more effectively.
Throughout Look, a White! Yancy pays special attention to the impact of whiteness on individuals, as well as on how the structures of whiteness limit the capacity of social actors to completely untangle the way whiteness operates, thus preventing the erasure of racism in social life.
Dr. Yancy’s book is available for purchase at Amazon.com. I encourage you to order your copy now!