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How I shed my skin: unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood

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"White people declared that the South would rise again. Black people raised one fist and chanted for black power. Somehow we negotiated a space between those poles and learned to sit in classrooms together . . . Lawyers, judges, adults declared that the days of separate schools were over, but we were the ones who took the next step. History gave us a piece of itself. We made of it what we could." --Jim Grimsley More than sixty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that America''s schools could no longer be segregated by race. Critically acclaimed novelist Jim Grimsley was eleven years old in 1966 when federally mandated integration of schools went into effect in the state and the school in his small eastern North Carolina town was first integrated. Until then, blacks and whites didn''t sit next to one another in a public space or eat in the same restaurants, and they certainly didn''t go to school together. Going to one of the private schools that almost immediately sprang up was not an option for Jim: his family was too poor to pay tuition, and while they shared the community''s dismay over the mixing of the races, they had no choice but to be on the front lines of his school''s desegregation. What he did not realize until he began to meet these new students was just how deeply ingrained his own prejudices were and how those prejudices had developed in him despite the fact that prior to starting sixth grade, he had actually never known any black people. Now, more than forty years later, Grimsley looks back at that school and those times--remembering his own first real encounters with black children and their culture. The result is a narrative both true and deeply moving. Jim takes readers into those classrooms and onto the playing fields as, ever so tentatively, alliances were forged and friendships established. And looking back from today''s perspective, he examines how far we have really come. "Does more to explain the South than anything I''ve read in a long, long time . . . Simply put, a brilliant book. While I was reading, I kept thinking two things. One, this is totally shocking. Two, it''s not at all shocking but a familiar part of my life and memory. Grimsley''s narrative is straightforward and plain spoken while at the same time achingly moving and intimately honest." --Josephine Humphreys, author of No Where Else on Earth "I not only believed this account but was grateful to see it on the record . . . The boy in this narrative is becoming a man in a time of enormous change, and his point of view is like a razor cutting through a callus. Painful and healing. Forthright and enormously engaging. This is a book to collect and share and treasure." --Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina "Jim Grimsley''s unflinching self-examination of his own boyhood racial prejudices during the era of school desegregation is one of the most compelling memoirs of recent years. Vivid, precise, and utterly honest, ?How I Shed My Skin is a time machine of sorts, a reminder that our past is every bit as complex as our present, and that broad cultural changes are often intimate, personal, and idiosyncratic." --Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire "In all his beautiful works, Jim Grimsley has told hard, hidden truths in luminous, subtle prose . . . Here, he renders history not on the grand, sociological scale where it is usually written, but on very personal terms, where it is lived. This is an exquisite, careful story of a white boy of simple background and great innocence." --Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet "Grimsley probes the past to discover what and how he learned about race, equality, and democracy . . . in this revelatory memoir." -- Kirkus Reviews "Acclaimed writer Grimsley offers a beautifully written coming-of-age recollection from the era of racial desegregation." -- Booklist, starred review
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 8e6c0377-6aa8-124a-56c7-e846c6b4af6b
Grouping Title how i shed my skin unlearning the racist lessons of a southern childhood
Grouping Author grimsley jim
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-11-20 22:48:45PM
Last Indexed 2018-11-20 01:31:27AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
auth_author2 Leyva, Henry,
author Jim Grimsley
author2-role Leyva, Henry,narrator., hoopla digital.
author_display Grimsley, Jim
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library, Southeast
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction, Southeast - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description "In August of 1966, Jim Grimsley entered the sixth grade in the same public school he had attended for the five previous years in his small eastern North Carolina hometown. But he knew that the first day of this school year was going to be different: for the first time he'd be in a classroom with black children ... Now, over forty years later, Grimsley ... revisits that school and those times, remembering his personal reaction to his first real exposure to black children and to their culture, and his growing awareness of his own mostly unrecognized racist attitudes"--
format_catalog Book, eAudiobook, eBook
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id 8e6c0377-6aa8-124a-56c7-e846c6b4af6b
isbn 9781616203764, 9781616204938, 9781622315734
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last_indexed 2018-11-20T07:31:27.894Z
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 379.263 G865h
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Main Kids, Main Library, Southeast
primary_isbn 9781616203764
publishDate 2015
record_details hoopla:MWT11418146|eAudiobook|Audio Books|Unabridged.|English|HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books ,|2015.|1 online resource (1 audio file (420 min.)) : digital., ils:CARL0000459717|Book|Books|First edition.|English|Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,|2015.|xii, 275 pages ; 22 cm., overdrive:332db68a-70e9-48e3-b50a-2127fa4e3355|eBook|eBook||English|Algonquin Books|2015|
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subject_facet African Americans -- Education -- North Carolina -- Pollocksville -- History -- 20th century, African Americans -- North Carolina -- Pollocksville -- Biography, Grimsley, Jim, -- 1955- -- Childhood and youth, Public schools -- North Carolina -- Pollocksville -- History -- 20th century, Segregation in education -- North Carolina -- Pollocksville -- History -- 20th century, Whites -- North Carolina -- Pollocksville -- Biography
title_display How I shed my skin : unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood
title_full How I Shed My Skin Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood, How I shed my skin : unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood / Jim Grimsley, How I shed my skin : unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood [electronic resource] / Jim Grimsley
title_short How I shed my skin :
title_sub unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood
topic_facet African Americans, Biography & Autobiography, Childhood and youth, Education, Grimsley, Jim, History, Nonfiction, Public schools, Segregation in education, Sociology, Whites