Interracial Mother and Daughter Explore Race
Interracial Mother and Daughter Explore Race Through Their Relationship in New Co-authored Book
By Rachel M. Anderson, Contributing Writer
This adult white mother and black daughter reflect and dialogue around the places and histories that shaped their relationship. Through three voices: the voice of critical history, the daughter and the mother, the co-authors excavate the past to see if and how it lives in their present.
Joni and Rebecca Schwartz in their collaborative autoethnography, Learning to Disclose: A Journey of Transracial Adoption, are doing soul work. This adult white mother and black daughter reflect and dialogue around the places and histories that shaped their relationship. Through three voices: the voice of critical history, the daughter and the mother, the co-authors excavate the past to see if and how it lives in their present. In an intriguing mix of critical history of places like Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Gulu, Uganda as well as lesser-known narratives of W.E.B. Dubois, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and Shirley Chisholm, the co-authors tell their own personal and moving stories of becoming mother and daughter engaging such topics as racial identity, disclosure, racial appropriation, colonialism, and the complex history of transracial adoption.
For anyone interested in racial identity in the complex world of blended families and adult mother and daughter relationships, this is a must read. This book is ideal for all humanities and social science courses across disciplines from sociology, education, qualitative research, and social work to race and communication studies. In this era of strained and confusing racial dialogue, this book is refreshing in its honesty, moving in its personal narratives, and instructive in its engagement in how the historical lives in the social imagination of our present lives and relationships.
Joni Schwartz is Professor of Humanities at LaGuardia Community College, the City University of New York, a critical researcher, social activist scholar, mother, and grandmother. She is the co-editor of Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens: Counterstories & Counterspaces, author of twentyfour scholarly publications, and producer of two documentaries.
Rebecca Schwartz holds a BS in communications and a MS in international affairs from New York University. Her work as a humanitarian encompassed implementing emergency response programs
We are excited to share the book cover we designed over the summer. We loved working with the authors, Dr. Joni & Rebecca Schwartz, to bring their vision to life. The book, Learning to Disclose, a Journey of Transracial Adoption, is now available at a bookstore near you or on Amazon.
Well- done! Thank you for laying yourselves bare.The book is so edifying and you both are so vulnerable and candid about your work, which is both refreshing and inspiring!
This book addresses the complexities of transracial adoption as itweaves together an evolving conversation between mother and daughter. Highlighted in its juxtapostion of racial issues and honesty in their relationship, is the historical narrative derived from the countries where mother and daughter have lived or worked. This unique lensrransforms and awakens the personal and historical I highly recommend this fascinating and scholarly read. It is a page-turner for those who seek depth and insight for the racial justice issues of our day.
Enjoyed the book very much. Love the historic visit to the different geographic territories and of course the desire to care beyond our shores.
This is a conversation that draws the reader in through history. The authors oscillate between history & personal narrative. Looking through the lens of history and memory. It is so current. It is a wonderful book.
I love the book. Once I started I had a hard time putting it down.Well done.
I get emotional about talking about this book. You were so brave and strong. The readers get to see a glimpse of you both and you led with your heart. It is so inspiring. I love the format of autoethnography; the dialogue reads faster and the history sections need more time and I want to digest everything. Rebecca and I are just a few years apart, and I can see what privilege I have had in her story. This book is giving me strength to tell my story."
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! The unique three person narrative was insightful and refreshing...I loved the co-authors creative freedom to say "We went where the journey took us." Traveling with history and their perspectives -- places I know, and some I mau never see, I am thankful for the journey and their courageous disclosure.
The intricate interweaving of the authors’ collaborative autoethnographic revelations with historic eras, figures and milestones makes for a powerfully intoxicating brew of storytelling excellence. Learning to Disclose proves to be a seductive page-turner: provocative, highly informative, and actually fun to read! Bravo, Joni and Rebecca Schwartz!
I read the book this weekend - wow!! Got really caught up in it and finished it in two sittings. So much powerful thinking there, and I feel like I know you both better after reading it. The way you combined the background, your story, and Rebecca's story was genius.
It is indeed rare to see such a dialogue on such difficult matters between an adoptive parent and an adoptee and I am especially impressed by how you together are able to historize all these global and transnational histories of race, colonialism and nation building that you do together in relation to so many different places, cities, regions, countries and continents.
"This book is so necessary ... the healing and transformation that is wrought, just made me capture the urgency for continuing to tell my own story. ... Andrea Francis, Professor
Joni Schwartz receives Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from Minnetonka HIghschool in Minnetonka, Minnesota - the focus of chapter 3 in Learning to Disclose.
Created by Alejandro Torres, Spring 2021 LaGuardia Community College - LIB 200 Student
Check out this video from the International Autoethnography & Narrative Conference 2022