About the Book
In Letters to My White Male Friends, Letters to My White Male Friends Ross speaks directly to white men, a group that is "everyone's target but no one's focus." His book is not a primer on how to be anti-racist, but rather a challenge to white men to consider how they have been racialized, to revisit moments in their lives when racism was in the room even when they couldn't see it, and to learn what it will take to rebuild society so that it is truly equitable--and commit to making that a reality.
After George Floyd's murder, Ross wrote an open letter, "A Letter to My White Male Friends of a Certain Age", that ran in Nonprofit Quarterly that was widely read and shared. He heard from many white men--old friends and complete strangers, overwhelmingly from Gen X--who reached out to share their grief, their realization that racism had hurt them, and their desire to to heal and act. In his book, he expands on this letter to help the countless white men (and others) who are suddenly awakening to race and racism.
In Letters to My White Male Friends, Dax explains how his and subsequent generations were educated with colorblind narratives and symbols that typically, albeit implicitly, privileged whiteness and denigrated Blackness. He provides the context and color of his own experiences in white schools to help white men examine racist incidents in their past. Dax shows how learning to see the harm that racism did to him, and forgiving himself, gave him the empathy to see the harm it does to white people as well. Ultimately, Dax offers white men direction so that they can take just action in their workplace, community, family, and, most importantly, in themselves, especially in the future when race is no longer in the spotlight.
About the Author
Dax-Devlon Ross is the author of five books and his journalism has been featured in TIME, The Guardian, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post Magazine and other national publications. He won the National Association of Black Journalists’ Investigative Reporting Award for his coverage of jury exclusion in North Carolina courts and is currently a reporting fellow at Type Investigations. A New York City teaching fellow turned non-profit executive, Dax is now a principal at the social impact consultancies, Dax-Dev and Third Settlements, both of which focus on designing disruptive strategies to generate equity in workplaces and education spaces alike.