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The Education of a WASP

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Brimming with honestly and passion, The Education of a WASP chronicles one white woman's discovery of racism in 1960s America. First published in 1970 and highly acclaimed by reviewers, Lois Stalvey's account is as timely now as it was then. Nearly twenty years later, with ugly racial incidents occurring on college campuses, in neighborhoods, and in workplaces everywhere, Brimming with honestly and passion, The Education of a WASP chronicles one white woman's discovery of racism in 1960s America. First published in 1970 and highly acclaimed by reviewers, Lois Stalvey's account is as timely now as it was then. Nearly twenty years later, with ugly racial incidents occurring on college campuses, in neighborhoods, and in workplaces everywhere, her account of personal encounters with racism remains deeply disturbing. Educators and general readers interested in the subtleties of racism will find the story poignant, revealing, and profoundly moving. “Delightful and horrible, a singular book.” —Choice “An extraordinarily honest and revealing book that poses the issue: loyalty to one’s ethnic group or loyalty to conscience.” —Publishers Weekly


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Brimming with honestly and passion, The Education of a WASP chronicles one white woman's discovery of racism in 1960s America. First published in 1970 and highly acclaimed by reviewers, Lois Stalvey's account is as timely now as it was then. Nearly twenty years later, with ugly racial incidents occurring on college campuses, in neighborhoods, and in workplaces everywhere, Brimming with honestly and passion, The Education of a WASP chronicles one white woman's discovery of racism in 1960s America. First published in 1970 and highly acclaimed by reviewers, Lois Stalvey's account is as timely now as it was then. Nearly twenty years later, with ugly racial incidents occurring on college campuses, in neighborhoods, and in workplaces everywhere, her account of personal encounters with racism remains deeply disturbing. Educators and general readers interested in the subtleties of racism will find the story poignant, revealing, and profoundly moving. “Delightful and horrible, a singular book.” —Choice “An extraordinarily honest and revealing book that poses the issue: loyalty to one’s ethnic group or loyalty to conscience.” —Publishers Weekly

30 review for The Education of a WASP

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dawn C.

    It saddened me that incidents in this book that happened in the 60's are still happening today. Are we ever, as a society, going to overcome this? It saddened me that incidents in this book that happened in the 60's are still happening today. Are we ever, as a society, going to overcome this?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Had to read this for class, turned out just loving it. Written by a white woman in the 60's-70's, who realizes she has isolated herself from all the racism in the country, so she sets about "educating" herself and her family on the status of race in the USA in the 60's. It's really, really interesting and thought provoking. It's very easy to read. Had to read this for class, turned out just loving it. Written by a white woman in the 60's-70's, who realizes she has isolated herself from all the racism in the country, so she sets about "educating" herself and her family on the status of race in the USA in the 60's. It's really, really interesting and thought provoking. It's very easy to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ricenbaw

    This was another book I had to read for my multicultural education course through Doane. This book is written by a white women, Louis Stalvey, during the 1960's era. The book consists of a collection of experiences with racism from Louis' point of view. This book helps you evaluate your own prejudices and takes you on a little bit of a self discovery journey. Louis was extremely courageous and stood up for her own beliefs during a time of much hate for black people. She went through difficult ti This was another book I had to read for my multicultural education course through Doane. This book is written by a white women, Louis Stalvey, during the 1960's era. The book consists of a collection of experiences with racism from Louis' point of view. This book helps you evaluate your own prejudices and takes you on a little bit of a self discovery journey. Louis was extremely courageous and stood up for her own beliefs during a time of much hate for black people. She went through difficult times exploring and acting upon her beliefs. I believe this book is very empowering and would be a great read for new and experienced teachers at all grade levels.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This book is truly an eye opener and should be read by any individual curious enough to learn about the nuances of race, especially in the 60s. Now, with racial tensions developing across the American nation thanks to certain political candidates, this book becomes more potent than ever before. Almost 60 years has passed and yet, very little has changed in what we are told to consider a modern civilization. Lois was raising her WASP family in the early 60s when she received an eye opening experie This book is truly an eye opener and should be read by any individual curious enough to learn about the nuances of race, especially in the 60s. Now, with racial tensions developing across the American nation thanks to certain political candidates, this book becomes more potent than ever before. Almost 60 years has passed and yet, very little has changed in what we are told to consider a modern civilization. Lois was raising her WASP family in the early 60s when she received an eye opening experience after listening to a speaker point out some rather cruel racial problems in the world. Lois, still naive, believed these problems were easily healed and fixed, but would soon come to find out that they are much bigger than herself and even her few friends she rallys to her side. This book is simultaneously fascinating and horrifying, especially as it applies to today. Lois is brave enough to not only combat racial inequities, mostly between blacks and whites, in the 60s, but was also courageous enough to write a book about it in hopes that she could penetrate more minds than just those she knew personally. She does not shy away from how uncomfortable a lot of this process was for her an for her black friends. In short, she had to swallow the fact that being white allowed her certain rights that has and always has been stripped from blacks in America. Whether or not you see these inequities is what Lois seems to first strive to prove. In this time in America, it's important to see all people as just people. Another human, just like us, but just looks a little different. We are the smartest creatures on this planet and yet we get hung up on such petty differences as class, race, socio-economic status, location, and belief. Equality for all has replaced Black Power, and yet we are spinning our tires just the same. This is a true book, an honest book, and something that should be read in classrooms and as a personally educational experience. It only works, however, if you follow in Stalvey's footsteps.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brook

    I have had SO many questions. Many of them rolling around in me so deep I could not verbalize them. Some of them made me afraid to verbalize. I was incredibly grateful and feel indebted to this author's biography... in the end, she has become both student and teacher, and in the telling of her own story, answered many of my questions. In a time where many I know are indignant at rioting and still say things like 'get a job' oh so ignorantly, this curious white woman's simple story answers so man I have had SO many questions. Many of them rolling around in me so deep I could not verbalize them. Some of them made me afraid to verbalize. I was incredibly grateful and feel indebted to this author's biography... in the end, she has become both student and teacher, and in the telling of her own story, answered many of my questions. In a time where many I know are indignant at rioting and still say things like 'get a job' oh so ignorantly, this curious white woman's simple story answers so many of my questions. I have little hope those I know and love will read this book, but if they wanted to, and if they took time to really absorb its powerful message, pertinent right now, I believe they could be part of the change and peace they long to see.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Viviana

    50 years have passed since this book was published and sadly, not much has changed in terms of racism in this country. Ms. Stalvey's first and second-hand experiences with racism in 60s USA is gripping. Racism has never left us and now, it is so out in the open as it has become normalized. An important read for any white and white passing person who desires a glimpse into what it is like to live as a POC in this country. It is though provoking and will open your mind to another reality; to anoth 50 years have passed since this book was published and sadly, not much has changed in terms of racism in this country. Ms. Stalvey's first and second-hand experiences with racism in 60s USA is gripping. Racism has never left us and now, it is so out in the open as it has become normalized. An important read for any white and white passing person who desires a glimpse into what it is like to live as a POC in this country. It is though provoking and will open your mind to another reality; to another set of rules; to another way of living when you are left with little choice.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brad Neece

    Enlightening! Stalvey, a WASP, gives us a front row seat into the first and second-hand education she received during the 50s and 60s on racial injustice, as she and her husband boldly and willingly thrust themselves into a multitude of friendships with African Americans during an era in which it is was unpopular (to say the least) to do so.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Miller

    Still Relevant Sadly, this autobiographical book is still relevant today. I don’t want to believe that 50 years have seen so little progress in race relations, and that white Americans are still woefully ignorant of both the history and the current realities. Read this book and see.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    I don't say this lightly, but I found this book to be life-changing. Stalvey gives incredible insight that helps you see stereotypes in an entirely different light and aids you in understanding better how and why minorities often can't catch a break. This book could easily increase our potential for compassion and caring feelings for others, and as a result, I strongly encourage everyone to add it to their reading lists. I don't say this lightly, but I found this book to be life-changing. Stalvey gives incredible insight that helps you see stereotypes in an entirely different light and aids you in understanding better how and why minorities often can't catch a break. This book could easily increase our potential for compassion and caring feelings for others, and as a result, I strongly encourage everyone to add it to their reading lists.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Eyeopening autobiography of a white women in the 60's who has become close friends with many African American families. This is her story on their stuggle in society through her eyes, with a focus on housing and social segregation in our country providing a great insight into sociatal segragation today. Eyeopening autobiography of a white women in the 60's who has become close friends with many African American families. This is her story on their stuggle in society through her eyes, with a focus on housing and social segregation in our country providing a great insight into sociatal segragation today.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    One of the best books that I have ever read. I think that this book should be required reading for everyone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jada

    I reread this this summer and it still taught me so much. Maybe I wasn't ready to learn some things earlier. Maybe I should read again... Such an honest book. I reread this this summer and it still taught me so much. Maybe I wasn't ready to learn some things earlier. Maybe I should read again... Such an honest book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    An important memoir highlighting the insanity of racism only a handful of decades ago. The fight continues.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aunty Jean

    One of the most insightful books that I have ever read; this book gets into areas that may make some people uncomfortable about how they perceive things.

  15. 5 out of 5

    J

    Just found out this is about Philadelphia!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Gupta

    reading this bookf or school yawn not interstig

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    December book club selection

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Had to read this for my Racism and Sexism class in college and loved it! Very eye opening and really makes you think about your unknown biases. Highly recommend!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily Jo

    Interesting read, but I had to read it in such a short amount of time, I really didn't appreciate it. Interesting read, but I had to read it in such a short amount of time, I really didn't appreciate it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Great conversations about race, privilege, teaching and parenting (although I can't speak to the last one). Great conversations about race, privilege, teaching and parenting (although I can't speak to the last one).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paula Fatura

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patti

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Benavides

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Clifford

  29. 4 out of 5

    Toni

  30. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

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