"You never really
understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you
climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
- Atticus to Scout in
To Kill A Mockingbird
Not since Scout relayed her innocent, yet stark, fictional awakening to racial injustice in To Kill a Mockingbird has the influence of race on the world of children been painted with such delicate clarity as in this collection. Including the perspectives of women of color, white women, and those caught in between, Under Her Skin traces themes related to double lives, fear, envy, lineage, and family, broadening our understanding of the often-painful subject of racial difference. Essays include the reflections of a woman whose girlhood is spent deciphering levels of oppression-from her Jewish family's internment in the camps to her own treatment of their African-American maids; a radical parallel forged between a half-Nigerian narrator and three generations of Finnish male immigrants whom she claims as kin; and the startling connection of a white fourteen year old to Emmett Till through the photograph found on his lifeless body. The first book of its kind to include the impact of racial awareness on women of all colors, Under Her Skin is a diverse exploration of how race shapes, and sometimes shatters, lives. It embodies a vital and unique contribution to the national discussion on race.
Download a reading group guide.