• Thomas Chatterton Williams
Cover of Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race

A reckoning with the way we choose to see and define ourselves, Self-Portrait in Black and White is the searching story of one American familys multigenerational transformation from what is called Black to what is assumed to be white. Thomas Chatterton Williams, the son of a ‘Black father from the segregated South and a ‘white mother from the West, spent his whole life believing the dictum that a single drop of ‘black blood makes a person Black. This was so fundamental to his self-conception that hed never rigorously reflected on its foundations -- but the shock of his experience as the Black father of two extremely white-looking children led him to question these long-held convictions. ‘It is not that I have come to believe that I am no longer Black or that my daughter is white, Williams writes. ‘It is that these categories cannot adequately capture either of us. Beautifully written and bound to upset received opinions on race, Self-Portrait in Black and White is an urgent work for our time.--Adapted from publisher description.


Williams, Thomas Chatterton. Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.