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Examines why it’s difficult to form friendships with people of different races, how we can make those connections, and how they will encourage more meaningful conversations about race.
Surveys have shown that the majority of people believe cross-racial friendships are essential for improving race relations. However, further polling reveals that most Americans tend to gravitate toward friendships within their own race. Psychologist Deborah L. Plummer examines how factors such as leisure, politics, humor, faith, social media, and education influence the nature and intensity of cross-racial friendships.
Inspiring and engaging, Plummer draws from focus groups, statistics, and surveys to provide insight into the fears and discomforts associated with cross-racial friendships. Through personal narratives and social analyses of friendship patterns, this book gives an insightful look at how cross-racial friendships work and fail within American society. Plummer encourages all of us to examine our friendship patterns and to deepen and strengthen our current cross-racial friendships.
About the Author
Deborah L. Plummer, PhD, is a practicing psychologist, university professor, chief diversity officer, and speaker on topics central to racial equality, inclusion, and mutual respect. She currently serves as vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care, and she has written for Diversity Executive and the Boston Globe Magazine. Her previous books include Handbook of Diversity Management and Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations Through Friendships.
“Her analysis of the process by which people develop their personal racial identities, based in a gestalt psychological model, will be enlightening to white readers who don’t understand how to approach comprehending their own race.” —Publishers Weekly
“Plummer’s call is inspiring because of—rather than despite—its willingness to call out difficulties and eschew naiveté.” —Kirkus Reviews
“If you have ever wondered why genuine cross-racial friendships are challenging to develop and maintain in our racially polarized society, and why they are essential to racial reconciliation, read this thoughtful book!” —Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Can We Talk About Race?
“We know that seemingly incidental features of our lives can—by provoking a sense of identity threat—act as small barriers to crossing racial lines in friendship. In Some of My Friends Are . . ., Dr. Plummer identifies these cues and charts a pathway to establishing more friendships that heal divisions among racial groups. In doing so, this book offers hope for a better and more inclusive tomorrow.” —Professor Claude Steele, author of Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do
“Dr. Plummer challenges us to continue to have dialogues on race. This necessary and meaningful discourse is for the benefit of all humankind. Her book reminds us that the evil of racism is almost omnipotent and we must be steadfast in working to overcome it.” —The Reverend Dr. Otis Moss Jr., American pastor, theologian, speaker, author, and activist
“In her insightful and inspiring book, Deborah Plummer examines the racial divide and provides us with a path forward. She explores the historical baggage, institutional structures, mind-sets, and psychological underpinnings that make crossing racial lines in friendship so challenging. Plummer shares how we can break down barriers and foster friendships across racial lines. She arouses hope for racial harmony, offering pathways to get us there within the workplace and in society.” —Christine Porath, author of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace