Raising Our Hands
How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines
by Jenna Arnold
Pub Date 23 Jun 2020
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White women are one of the most influential demographics in America—we are the largest voting bloc, with purchasing power that exceeds anybody else’s, and when we unify to demand change, we are a force to be reckoned with.
Yet, so many of us sit idly on the sidelines, opting out of raising our hands to do, learn, and engage in ways that could make a difference. Why?
White American women are no monolith. Yet, as Women’s March national organizer Jenna Arnold has learned over the past few years criss-crossing the US in conversations with white women about their identity and role in the country, we do possess common characteristics—ones that get in the way of us becoming more engaged as citizens. We're so focused on checking off our to-do lists, or so afraid of getting it wrong, or so busy trying to avoid conflict, that we are actively avoiding the urgent conversations we need to have.
We are confused about how we got here and unsure how to do better.
Raising Our Hands is the reckoning cry for white women. It asks us to step up and join the new frontlines of the fight against complacency—in our homes, in our behaviors, and in our own minds.
Consider Raising Our Hands your starting place, your “Intro to Being a White Woman in Today’s World” freshman-year class. In these pages, Jenna peels back the history that’s been kept out of textbooks and the cultural norms that are holding us back, so we can finally start really listening to marginalized voices and doing our part to promote progress.
The American white woman is a powerful force—an essential participant—to mobilize alongside the rest of humanity on behalf of the world, and we can no longer make excuses for why we don’t have time or don’t know enough. Raising Our Hands provides the tools we need to be the full, productive participant the world has been waiting for.
A Note From the Publisher
PDF-ONLY AVAILABILITY AT THIS TIME. PDFs opened on Kindle will likely show serious formatting issues.
"Jenna has uplifted marginalized voices embodying a crucial sentiment of Malcolm X’s: it is white people’s responsibility to bring other well-intended white people to the social justice work of our time. Raising Our Hands is the urgent answer to our request." —Angela Rye, CNN correspondent and political analyst
"To my allies we ask for the clarity and compassion that Raising Our Hands offers. It takes you into a history that gives you the space to reflect and unpack judgements, separation and the below-the-surface hate that divides us. This book and books like this bring us to a space of collective healing so we can see how deeply dependent and connected we truly are. I applaud Jenna’s delivery of a work whose time has come." —Erica Ford, social justice activist and mediator/cofounder of the National Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium
"The wisdom in these pages will help you see the world, and your role in it, through a powerful new lens. If you want to raise your hand and step up to the frontline, this book will firmly point you in the direction of how." —Sophia Bush, actress and activist