To Live Woke: Thoughts to Carry in Our Struggle to Save the Soul of America (Paperback)
If you are concerned about race relations in the U.S., put To Live Woke: Thoughts to Carry in Our Struggle to Save the Soul of America by Rupert Nacoste at the top of your reading list, along with his previous book, Taking on Diversity: How We Can Move From Anxiety to Respect.
Dr. Nacoste teaches a groundbreaking course at NCSU called Interdependence and Race and shares 14 years of his experience helping students and others navigate interactions with people different from themselves. In addition to race, he covers sexual orientation, religion, bodily condition, gender identity, mental health condition, sex, and ethnicity, with compassion and respect for all of us. If you have experienced discomfort or anxiety in interactions with someone unlike yourself (and who among us hasn't?) you will find yourself challenged, moved, and helped.
Nacoste, a self-described “Black-Creole native of the Louisiana bayou country and Navy veteran” who grew up in the Jim Crow South, doesn't shy away from describing our current pain, both personal, as a society, and a country, but, most importantly, he gives us personal tools to navigate and improve it.— Sarah
He grew up in the Jim-Crow South. A black male, born in 1951 in deep-South Jim-Crow legally segregated, Louisiana, Nacoste has seen so much. From his education in segregated schooling, to living through the 1973 race riot aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid, Navy aircraft carrier, to his becoming a scholar of intergroup tensions, Nacoste has experienced, learned and taught so much.
To Live Woke is built upon Nacoste's experiences to help us understand--and what we can do about the fact--that America's unavoidable neo-diversity is being used by those who peddle fear of "them" to tear at the soul of America. The country is being ravaged by intentionally emboldened bigotry that we are vulnerable to because of our nation's new anxieties about how to interact with people "...not like me."
Using stories from his life and college teaching, in short essay chapters, Nacoste gives the reader think pieces about today's American neo-diversity anxieties. He lays out concrete interpersonal strategies anyone can use to confront and disempower bigotry in their everyday social interactions.
To Live Woke is a call to personal action. A call to Americans to live in a way that embraces our nation's neo-diversity. We can save the soul of America. In this book, Nacoste shows the many Americans who really want us to build that more perfect union, how each can contribute to that effort, how each of us can play our personal part in saving the soul of America, how each of us can "...live woke."