No one speaks to racism and its cure better than David Billings, a white Southerner who has seen it all. His is a voice that needs to be heard. It is a voice with perfect pitch.
– Charlayne Hunter-Gault, award-winning journalist, former correspondent NPR, MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and CNN; civil rights pioneer
Deep Denial, part popular history and part personal memoir, documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called white. Author David Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of white supremacy and tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in the words of the author, a nation hard-wired by race.
A master storyteller, Billings starts each chapter with a disarming and intimate vignette from his personal life, beginning with his white, working-class boyhood in Mississippi and Arkansas. He then situates these telling moments in a broader historical context that will be new and disturbing to many readers.
Part I covers the origins and evolution of white supremacy from 17th century Virginia through World War II. Part II focuses on the Civil Rights Movement, how it emerged in the post-WWII era, and why it subsequently devolved from a vibrant community-led, issue-based movement into the bureaucratic, government-sponsored, needs-based, nonprofit industry of today. An epilogue discusses strategies for dismantling white supremacy and undoing racism in America.
Margery Freeman / email@example.com / 504-813-2368
Proceeds from sales of Deep Denial are contributed to The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.