Talking About Race Matters: Background information when reading The Kindest Lie

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The Kindest Lie

by Nancy Johnson

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson X
The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson
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  • Published:
    Feb 2021, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Valerie Morales
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About this Book

Talking About Race Matters

This article relates to The Kindest Lie

Years ago, comedian Chris Rock told a joke: "All my black friends have a bunch of white friends and all my white friends have one black friend." It is one of those bits of humor where the laughter leaves you reflecting on a sadder truth. Particularly, that racial segregation is still normalized in white communities. To have more than one black friend is an anomaly.

As Nancy Johnson shows in her novel The Kindest Lie, interracial friendships are contextually complicated. People of different races talk about race differently. According to Pew Research data, 63% of blacks and 66% of Asians say that race or race relations come up in conversations with family and friends. 50% of whites and 49% of Hispanics say the same. But 27% of blacks say these kinds of conversations come up often, while only 15% of Hispanics, 13% of Asians and 11% of whites say the same.

Of course, it's not just conversations about race that are significant in healing divisions. Developing actual relationships ...

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