The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person by Frederick Joseph
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fifteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person is for the white people who want to do better in a legacy of white supremacy and systemic racism. Frederick Joseph offers himself as the “Black Friend,” as a person who uses their experience of racial oppression to educate the un-oppressed. This is a position that no one should be forced into. This book and it’s insight is a gift to white people with a hope that they will do better, be better, and help dismantle the system of racial oppression, while being certain not to further its harm.
With simple, vulnerable, and often humorous writing, Frederick Joseph brings the reader through a multi-step course of white conduct, with chapters covering how mainstream culture is mainly white culture, or how color blindness is really just refusing to see someone for all they are. But it isn’t a textbook with plain and boring text. It is a request for humanity, for empathy, in order to create a better world for everyone in it.
I, a white person, benefited immensely from this book, and I think that every white person should read it too. In many cases, the root problem is a lack of education. In this book, Frederick Joseph offers people both that education and the opportunity to be better, an opportunity all should take.