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In this spiritual memoir, a white woman in an interracial marriage and mixed-race family paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. Author and speaker Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her, and she wa In this spiritual memoir, a white woman in an interracial marriage and mixed-race family paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. Author and speaker Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her, and she was ignorant of many of the racial realities (including individual and systemic racism) in America today. A colorblind rhetoric had been stamped across her education, world view, and Christian theology. Then as an adult, Cara's life took on new, colorful hues. She realized that white people in her generation, seeking to move beyond ancestral racism, had swung so far in believing a colorblind rhetoric that they tried to act as if they didn't see race at all. When Cara met and fell in love with the son of black icon, James Meredith, the power of love helped her see color. She began to notice the shades of life already present in the world around her, while also learning to listen in new ways to black voices of the past. After she married and their little family grew to include two mixed-race sons, Cara knew she would never see the world through a colorless lens again.  Cara Meredith's journey will serve as an invitation into conversations of justice, race, and privilege, asking key questions, such as: What does it mean to navigate ongoing and desperately needed conversations of race and justice? What does it mean for white people to listen and learn from the realities our black and brown brothers and sisters face every day? What does it mean to teach the next generation a theology of justice, reconciliation, and love? What does it mean to dig into the stories of our past, both historically and theologically, to see the imago Dei in everyone?  Plus, Cara offers an extensive Notes and Recommended Reading section at the end of the book, so you can continue learning, listening, and engaging in this important conversation.


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In this spiritual memoir, a white woman in an interracial marriage and mixed-race family paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. Author and speaker Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her, and she wa In this spiritual memoir, a white woman in an interracial marriage and mixed-race family paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. Author and speaker Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her, and she was ignorant of many of the racial realities (including individual and systemic racism) in America today. A colorblind rhetoric had been stamped across her education, world view, and Christian theology. Then as an adult, Cara's life took on new, colorful hues. She realized that white people in her generation, seeking to move beyond ancestral racism, had swung so far in believing a colorblind rhetoric that they tried to act as if they didn't see race at all. When Cara met and fell in love with the son of black icon, James Meredith, the power of love helped her see color. She began to notice the shades of life already present in the world around her, while also learning to listen in new ways to black voices of the past. After she married and their little family grew to include two mixed-race sons, Cara knew she would never see the world through a colorless lens again.  Cara Meredith's journey will serve as an invitation into conversations of justice, race, and privilege, asking key questions, such as: What does it mean to navigate ongoing and desperately needed conversations of race and justice? What does it mean for white people to listen and learn from the realities our black and brown brothers and sisters face every day? What does it mean to teach the next generation a theology of justice, reconciliation, and love? What does it mean to dig into the stories of our past, both historically and theologically, to see the imago Dei in everyone?  Plus, Cara offers an extensive Notes and Recommended Reading section at the end of the book, so you can continue learning, listening, and engaging in this important conversation.

30 review for The Color of Life: A Journey toward Love and Racial Justice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie Proctor

    I was blessed to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and here it is. This book was beautiful. It was part memoir, part love story, part history, part research. Cara Meredith was so vulnerable in sharing her own journey toward racial justice, unraveling her own deep-ingrained biases, her own (sometimes painful) learning process as she, a white woman, married a black man and is raising their children. The writing was beautiful, the information woven in in I was blessed to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and here it is. This book was beautiful. It was part memoir, part love story, part history, part research. Cara Meredith was so vulnerable in sharing her own journey toward racial justice, unraveling her own deep-ingrained biases, her own (sometimes painful) learning process as she, a white woman, married a black man and is raising their children. The writing was beautiful, the information woven in in such a meaningful way, and I found it to be so hopeful. As a white woman learning as much as I can about racial reconciliation and social justice, this book gave me so much.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lane

    There are few white women I trust more than Cara Meredith to write about race without becoming defensive, sentimental, or detached. The Color of Life defies all of these things as Cara digs deep into doing her own work around privilege. Hers are the hard-won reflections born of real relationships which include a black husband, biracial children, and a civil rights icon for a father-in-law. She admits her romanticization with being a mixed-race couple. She questions calling her sons her "little c There are few white women I trust more than Cara Meredith to write about race without becoming defensive, sentimental, or detached. The Color of Life defies all of these things as Cara digs deep into doing her own work around privilege. Hers are the hard-won reflections born of real relationships which include a black husband, biracial children, and a civil rights icon for a father-in-law. She admits her romanticization with being a mixed-race couple. She questions calling her sons her "little caramels." She accounts for why a white woman is writing a book about a topic like this in a time like this. And she does so with the wisdom of a theologian and the winsomeness of a writer. Cara is a writer's writer, easy-to-read and hard-to-put-down. As a parent of brown children who's navigating life between the black and white, I can't get enough of generous conversations like the one Cara is joining. When is the sequel coming out? I'll be passing along my copy promptly and hoping to find more conversation partners close to home. (Disclaimer: Cara is a friend and I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher to review. I received no compensation for the review of this book.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hoeksema

    Such a great book. This is the kind of book you will read in a weekend and think about for a month or even longer. It will change the conversations you have with strangers and friends, and hopefully it will add to your reading list as you explore the topics of Civil Rights History (which is American History), white privilege and fragility, current issues of racial justice and identity, etc. Cara is a masterful storyteller who weaves together her own personal experiences and relationships and our Such a great book. This is the kind of book you will read in a weekend and think about for a month or even longer. It will change the conversations you have with strangers and friends, and hopefully it will add to your reading list as you explore the topics of Civil Rights History (which is American History), white privilege and fragility, current issues of racial justice and identity, etc. Cara is a masterful storyteller who weaves together her own personal experiences and relationships and our national histories of race and justice, and a Christian theology that actually matters to our world today. She writes from a place of humility and curiosity, the only way for a white person to enter in. I highly recommend this book for your own enjoyment, learning, and exploring of new ideas. It is best digested through conversations with friends so you can work out your own internal reactions to some of the issues raised and conversations described in this book. Challenging in the best of way. I will be giving away copies of this book and encouraging friends and the members of my church to read and learn from this book. (Disclaimer: Cara is a friend and I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher to review. I received no compensation for the review of this book.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    The things I didn’t I didn’t know. I loved reading Cara’s story, learning about James Meredith, and being invited deeper into discussions of faith, history, and the way redemption story of justice is for each and every one of our lives. I really appreciated Cara’s point that racial justice is something we all work out from the inside out, not just for the black and brown people in our lives but for the wholeness of our own life and soul. My curiosity and my to-be-read list to help me understand The things I didn’t I didn’t know. I loved reading Cara’s story, learning about James Meredith, and being invited deeper into discussions of faith, history, and the way redemption story of justice is for each and every one of our lives. I really appreciated Cara’s point that racial justice is something we all work out from the inside out, not just for the black and brown people in our lives but for the wholeness of our own life and soul. My curiosity and my to-be-read list to help me understand more just grew by a lot. Thank you for sharing your heart, wisdom, and story, Cara. (I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from the author/publisher.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Floyd

    I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of this book and absolutely drank it in. The Color of Life is honest, vulnerable, challenging, and redemptive. Cara takes a long, hard look at whiteness and blackness in America through the unique lens of her own family and does not shy away from the complexities of pursuing racial justice as a privileged white woman. She tells her story with a refreshing humility that called me (a fellow white woman) to examine my own place in the pursuit of he I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of this book and absolutely drank it in. The Color of Life is honest, vulnerable, challenging, and redemptive. Cara takes a long, hard look at whiteness and blackness in America through the unique lens of her own family and does not shy away from the complexities of pursuing racial justice as a privileged white woman. She tells her story with a refreshing humility that called me (a fellow white woman) to examine my own place in the pursuit of healing and restoration and reparation of damages I have caused by being complicit in systems that perpetuate racial bias and inequality. Her story is rooted in love, and plunges the depths of what love really means in the face of historical wounds and ongoing questions of equality and humanity. Prepare yourself to be drawn into her storytelling, compelled by the weaving together of her family’s unique perspectives, and challenged to find your own place in the bigger picture of the journey we are all on together in seeing God’s image in every human being. Such a gift of a book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nora Hacker

    This book is a story. The true story of how a white Christian girl fell in love with a Black Christian man who is the son of James Meredith and how that led her to realize her ignorance on race in the United States of America. Because it is told in a narrative, engaging way, it would be high on my list of first reads for people, particularly white Christian people, just entering the race conversation. She weaves her husband's father's history with her own story in a way that shows how our own st This book is a story. The true story of how a white Christian girl fell in love with a Black Christian man who is the son of James Meredith and how that led her to realize her ignorance on race in the United States of America. Because it is told in a narrative, engaging way, it would be high on my list of first reads for people, particularly white Christian people, just entering the race conversation. She weaves her husband's father's history with her own story in a way that shows how our own stories can be, and must be, placed into the United States's history of race. She also expresses some global truths she learns on the way that I enjoyed. The book is an invitation to start the journey towards anti-racism for yourself and a guide post of what those steps might look like on the way. Finding the balance between placing enough stepping stones and challenging white Americans to take the large steps we need to take in order to actually dismantle white supremacy in our country is a difficult task. I felt the book could have been more challenging, but I just finished "Stamped from the Beginning" by Ibram X. Kendi so I might not be the best judge of that. If the book presents her as still a little too attached to white solidarity in the name of kindness and honor that could be, as will be the case for all white people, that she is still on a journey that takes a lifetime. Overall, it is a book I'm glad exists as it is easy to read and covers a lot of ground a lot of anti-racism works skip over because they assume people have already moved past the color-blind starting place.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chara

    This is one of those stories that will change its reader. Cara is a generous soul full of love, and her words reveal that but will also make you reflect on your own bias and possible prejudice. It’s had all the pieces of a good story, but more importantly makes you ask worthwhile questions of your own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen B.

    I have never read a book that so clearly spoke words into my life that I have struggled to find on my own. As a white, Christian, female, in this world, I could choose, quite easily, to not engage in conversations about race and social justice. However, that would mean, as a foster mama to three brown boys, I would be setting our family up for failure. Cara Meredith, while she embarked on her own journey in conversations of racial reconciliation through falling in love with a man that did not sh I have never read a book that so clearly spoke words into my life that I have struggled to find on my own. As a white, Christian, female, in this world, I could choose, quite easily, to not engage in conversations about race and social justice. However, that would mean, as a foster mama to three brown boys, I would be setting our family up for failure. Cara Meredith, while she embarked on her own journey in conversations of racial reconciliation through falling in love with a man that did not share her skin tone or her history, shares honestly and passionately, how this difficult but immensely important conversation developed. One of the most refreshing things about this writing is that Cara acknowledges that the conversation is never-ending. She does not hop on her high horse and tell the world how she has figured it all out. Rather, she shares one mistake, one experience, one bias, and one challenge after another. She not only shares each individual moment, but she shares her process of reflection and growth in the before, during, and after - validating that this process is not easy, but rather, necessary, as a wife, and a mother, in a mixed-race family. I can't think of anyone that likely wouldn't get SOMETHING from reading Cara's work. However, I will be focusing on sharing it with my white family, because the amount of love and respect Cara holds in her writing, allow it to spark conversation without laying blame or engaging in defensiveness. This truly is a work of art!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bible Gateway

    In The Color of Life, Cara Meredith, white wife of the black son of prominent civil rights activist James Meredith, asks how do we navigate ongoing and desperately-needed conversations about race? How do we teach our children a theology of reconciliation and love? And what does it mean to live a life that makes space for seeing the imago Dei in everyone? Cara’s illuminating memoir paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in In The Color of Life, Cara Meredith, white wife of the black son of prominent civil rights activist James Meredith, asks how do we navigate ongoing and desperately-needed conversations about race? How do we teach our children a theology of reconciliation and love? And what does it mean to live a life that makes space for seeing the imago Dei in everyone? Cara’s illuminating memoir paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. Read our blog post with Cara here: https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/201...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth M

    This is really good, and absolutely worth the read. Cara writes of both her own story, her family’s story, and gives a personal glimpse of James Meredith Sr and his role in the civil rights movement. Good history here, as well as important questions and thoughts from Cara on how we can all do better in conversations of race & justice. It will challenge you (gracefully), invite you into something good and worthwhile, and probably help you want to notice & understand others more. Great stuff, high This is really good, and absolutely worth the read. Cara writes of both her own story, her family’s story, and gives a personal glimpse of James Meredith Sr and his role in the civil rights movement. Good history here, as well as important questions and thoughts from Cara on how we can all do better in conversations of race & justice. It will challenge you (gracefully), invite you into something good and worthwhile, and probably help you want to notice & understand others more. Great stuff, highly recommend!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book was amazing! I could not put it down. Cara Meredith deals with the complex issues of racial inequality, white privilege, and racial justice with such honesty and openness. I really related to her perspective, and this book made me think more about my duties as a white person to my family and friends of color. I think this book is a perfect springboard for important discussions on race that need to happen between people in our country. I’m going to recommend it to as many people as I ca This book was amazing! I could not put it down. Cara Meredith deals with the complex issues of racial inequality, white privilege, and racial justice with such honesty and openness. I really related to her perspective, and this book made me think more about my duties as a white person to my family and friends of color. I think this book is a perfect springboard for important discussions on race that need to happen between people in our country. I’m going to recommend it to as many people as I can. Thank you for this book, Cara!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sflisa

    In The Color of Life, Cara issues a gracious invitation into the conversation about race through sharing her own journey. I long for eyes to see what I haven’t yet seen, to better love my neighbor as myself, and to honor the image of God in each one of us. Cara invites us, especially the white reader, to listen carefully to stories we perhaps haven’t listened to before, to feel the pain and injustice we find there, and to remember that when one of us suffers, we all suffer. In her story, I feel In The Color of Life, Cara issues a gracious invitation into the conversation about race through sharing her own journey. I long for eyes to see what I haven’t yet seen, to better love my neighbor as myself, and to honor the image of God in each one of us. Cara invites us, especially the white reader, to listen carefully to stories we perhaps haven’t listened to before, to feel the pain and injustice we find there, and to remember that when one of us suffers, we all suffer. In her story, I feel permission to learn, to grow, to make mistakes, and to ask forgiveness when needed on the road to healing racial divides. The Color of Life will challenge and encourage you!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    Oh this book is so needed, my (white) friends! Cara weaves through American history and her personal story of reckoning with race issues in this beautiful, grace filled book. I loved her honesty and vulnerability. This is a much needed book in this moment of history -one that will make you pause and reflect, and hopefully change in the best, most positive, most justice-oriented way possible.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert Namba

    Wow! If you want a page turner, read this book right now. Cara Meredith understands the power of story and her's is one worthy of your time. Using her own love story as a vehicle, Cara invites you on a journey exploring deep questions of equality, privilege, and humility. I was not prepared for the combination of delight and discomfort this book has to offer, but I'm better for reading it. This courageous book gets personal and goes just far enough to inspire more reflection, conversation and ac Wow! If you want a page turner, read this book right now. Cara Meredith understands the power of story and her's is one worthy of your time. Using her own love story as a vehicle, Cara invites you on a journey exploring deep questions of equality, privilege, and humility. I was not prepared for the combination of delight and discomfort this book has to offer, but I'm better for reading it. This courageous book gets personal and goes just far enough to inspire more reflection, conversation and action. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and I set the book down with tears in my eyes reading the closing lines. I won't give them away here, but for those who have ears to hear- listen, listen and keep on listening. In the end, you'll find something beautiful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    What an honest book about the journey of a woman who is white wrestling with what justice looks like in our country for people of all color ... I saw myself in some places both in reflection and sorrow and hope as well as learning more about the history of race on the US and an arms open wide view of justice. I know I will refer to and draw on this book in the weeks and months to come.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather Caliri

    The devastation of racism is hard to take in, especially if you're white, and thus removed from the daily slights, dangers, and griefs of systemic inequality. But every time I read a personal account of the particular twisted way that systemic racism lies, cheats and even kills, I find myself surprised and implicated--which spurs me to action, engagement, and a firm resolve. Cara Meredith's story of how, as a white woman she married into a prominent civil rights family, began to understand that p The devastation of racism is hard to take in, especially if you're white, and thus removed from the daily slights, dangers, and griefs of systemic inequality. But every time I read a personal account of the particular twisted way that systemic racism lies, cheats and even kills, I find myself surprised and implicated--which spurs me to action, engagement, and a firm resolve. Cara Meredith's story of how, as a white woman she married into a prominent civil rights family, began to understand that particular way that racism had shaped her husband's experience, saw how complacent and willfully ignorant she'd been about race, and then, ever more viscerally, began to understand how race would shape the life of her sons, is one of those stories. It's a smaller story in the grand scheme of race, but it's no less important because of it. It should stand side-by-side by works of people of color on our bookshelves (the reading list at the back of the book is a good place to begin). Yet for white people, seeing how race can blind us and allow us to harm even in our most well-meaning, intimate relationships is a firm wake-up call. It shows just a portion of the journey and resolve we must move towards if we are to be at all engaged in issues of race. And it chronicles the deep fruit of intimacy, awareness, and freedom that happens when we choose to engage in issues of race that our brothers and sisters of color already must engage in. We will be impoverished if we -only- read Cara Meredith's book, but as a stepping-stone to more truth-telling about race, this is an excellent way to begin.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is a brave and beautiful account of personal growth and a powerful example of asking the right questions as we journey through life. Cara's heartwarming account of her grappling with race, religion, and spirituality is inspiring and the perfect fit for anyone unsure of how they are meant to influence social issues. The sociologist in me loved the way she uses statistics and stories to tell a historical narrative and the spiritual writer in me loved Cara's honest questions and message of gra This is a brave and beautiful account of personal growth and a powerful example of asking the right questions as we journey through life. Cara's heartwarming account of her grappling with race, religion, and spirituality is inspiring and the perfect fit for anyone unsure of how they are meant to influence social issues. The sociologist in me loved the way she uses statistics and stories to tell a historical narrative and the spiritual writer in me loved Cara's honest questions and message of grace. We all matter - our pain, our promise, our human-ness. She captures all of these elements so well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shanda Scherdin

    I was given an advanced copy to read and I feel so grateful for the opportunity! I’ll be purchasing the book to read again and share. It is part memoir part well researched history with lots of personal insight. It’s a story of love and learning and unlearning. Cara, a white woman, shares how her relationship with her husband (the son of a prominent figure in the civil rights movement whose story is a large part of the book) began a lifelong journey of moving from “not seeing color” to becoming I was given an advanced copy to read and I feel so grateful for the opportunity! I’ll be purchasing the book to read again and share. It is part memoir part well researched history with lots of personal insight. It’s a story of love and learning and unlearning. Cara, a white woman, shares how her relationship with her husband (the son of a prominent figure in the civil rights movement whose story is a large part of the book) began a lifelong journey of moving from “not seeing color” to becoming an advocate for racial justice. I learned about parts of our nations history I had never heard before and loved how a beautiful family’s story was woven throughout. This book is relatable and challenging, in all the best ways.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Martin

    This book has encouraged me to dig even deeper into our nation's history than I already have done. It encourages me to not stop teaching my own children, blonde and blue eyed, about equality and justice and God's love of all people and how he offers dignity to all. And woven through the whole book is Cara's story of love and learning. This book has encouraged me to dig even deeper into our nation's history than I already have done. It encourages me to not stop teaching my own children, blonde and blue eyed, about equality and justice and God's love of all people and how he offers dignity to all. And woven through the whole book is Cara's story of love and learning.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Currier

    While honest, it is at times very dry, self serving, her writing style did not appeal to me. I was disappointed, as it was recommended by someone I respect, and I expected to like it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dorcas

    Social change often happens when we break down barriers and get to know, and eventually love, the "other." And what happens when the "other" is your spouse and your own children? Cara Meredith weaves heartfelt personal storytelling with unblinking honesty about our country's history of violence, hatred, and discrimination toward people of color, especially African Americans. Even then, she writes with a lot of grace--for herself and for others who are trying to do the right thing but often feel Social change often happens when we break down barriers and get to know, and eventually love, the "other." And what happens when the "other" is your spouse and your own children? Cara Meredith weaves heartfelt personal storytelling with unblinking honesty about our country's history of violence, hatred, and discrimination toward people of color, especially African Americans. Even then, she writes with a lot of grace--for herself and for others who are trying to do the right thing but often feel like they have no idea what that is. That, to me, is what makes this book special. Racial reconciliation is extremely complicated, and we will all make mistakes along the way. Meredith readily acknowledges that and, in humility and hope, presses on anyways.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Written with tremendous humility, Cara recounts her story of interracial marriage and parenting. This is the perfect book to start conversations regarding race issues in our country and what it all means for the very real people living at the certain of these hot button topics. It was incredibly moving as a memoir, but Cara definitely goes beyond memoir to some true education regarding history and racial disparities. I enjoyed every minute.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    For anyone interested in gaining perspective on the complicated issue of racial issues in our country, Cara’s humble portrayal of her journey to understanding will help. With great transparency, she shares with readers her beautiful interracial marriage and her inner thoughts as a mom to two bi-racial boys, as a wife, as a family member, and community member. With wise reflections woven throughout, we all learn from her experience.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    This was a solid book on racial issues through a white Christian perspective. As a white, Christian woman, it was relevant for me. I've heard before that white people shouldn't leave it to friends of colour to explain issues of race and racism to us. So I think there's an important place for this book in the conversation. She highlighted a lot of relevant topics that people in a white bubble would not be confronted by or give thought to. She did (I presume unintentionally) overlook racism related This was a solid book on racial issues through a white Christian perspective. As a white, Christian woman, it was relevant for me. I've heard before that white people shouldn't leave it to friends of colour to explain issues of race and racism to us. So I think there's an important place for this book in the conversation. She highlighted a lot of relevant topics that people in a white bubble would not be confronted by or give thought to. She did (I presume unintentionally) overlook racism related to indigenous/indian people. Especially when she stated that racism arrived in the USA along with the first boat of enslaved people. It arrived with Christopher Columbus. However, Meredith herself acknowledged that she's still learning, and I get how Black History is particularly close to her heart. I found it a little mushy/sappy where she described her courtship and marriage, but I would still recommend the book to others.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kaylee

    A personal look from a wife and mama dealing with real issues that affect her daily life. A hot topic that needs to be dealt with through personal relationship and interaction face to face. Getting to know people different from us always changes the narrative.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    In rural Maine, conversations around race seem remote, theoretical, and (frankly) like somebody else’s business. Colorblindness is nigh unto snow-blindness here: whiteness all around and a certain sightless condition that follows hard after it. Raising sons in the 90’s with a narrative of color blindness involved earnest conversations on the way to Portland or Boston, thankful for the opportunity and mindful of the privilege. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m invited into a completely dif In rural Maine, conversations around race seem remote, theoretical, and (frankly) like somebody else’s business. Colorblindness is nigh unto snow-blindness here: whiteness all around and a certain sightless condition that follows hard after it. Raising sons in the 90’s with a narrative of color blindness involved earnest conversations on the way to Portland or Boston, thankful for the opportunity and mindful of the privilege. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m invited into a completely different way of seeing the world in which we take note of the colorful array that God created. The challenge, then, is to exchange the privilege of not noticing race for the greater privilege of taking note. Cara Meredith is one of the voices I have listened for as she navigates her own way toward seeing color and blazes trail with her words. A white woman married to a black man, Cara is raising two mixed-race sons, and she shares this emergence from her own white bubble in The Color of Life: A Journey toward Love and Racial Justice. She has one eye on the future for her two children and the other cast back into history which has been shaped toward justice by the influence of her father-in-law, James Meredith, the first black man to graduate from the University of Mississippi in the early 60’s. Navigating the Obstacles Navigating a collision of cultures takes courage and the way is often unclear. Walking a “road paved with apologies and lessons yet to learn,” (209) Cara’s memoir calls readers to hear the “tramp, tramp, tramping of feet” toward justice, and she points out the narrow places and perilous potholes in the road: Fear — The unknown — the risk of stepping onto unfamiliar ground — is enough to keep all of us in our safe corners. The power of love calls us to a brave knowing and a new awareness of the stories of others. Will we overcome fear and pray along with Cara? “Lord, give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear the pain and the hurt around me.” (68) 2. Differences — The Merediths found that their differences required an awareness of their lenses of racial understanding. Rather than chalking them up to temperament or gender, Cara made the brave choice to lean into James’s unique pain as part of her healthy partnership in their interracial marriage. 3. Swooping — Cara’s ministry to youth extended the love of God across boundaries of race, but it became clear to her that this had nothing to do with “swooping in to save a brown girl’s experiences of racism and hate.” Opening her ears, she began to listen in a new way to evidences of the real and material effects of race. 4. Ignorance — Like many readers, I smiled at Cara’s edgy description of James as her Hot Black Husband (HBH!). I thought the “little caramels” was a cute designation for her sons. Only after hearing the real names of black and brown victims of racial injustice did Cara realize that her nicknames robbed her family members of their dignity. So she apologized. She admitted that her good intentions had been cancelled by a lack of understanding. Confessing our ignorance may be the first step toward awareness. Beginning to Notice As we make room for paradox and uncertainty and live our way into a new and clear-eyed knowing, we will find a fresh way of seeing the world--with all its many colors.“According to one study, out of about 3,400 books analyzed, people of color accounted for only 22 percent of children’s book characters.” (152) This statistic became reality on Cara’s own bookshelf, and noticing led her to action. She wanted her boys to see illustrations that included faces like their own, strong protagonists who reassured them that theirs was also an active role in their own stories. For all of us, noticing may require some homework to chisel away the granite of our solid “knowing”. As we make room for paradox and uncertainty and live our way into a new and clear-eyed knowing, we will find a fresh way of seeing the world–with all its many colors. Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Although I know many people who have interracial marriages as Cara has, I have never been able to truly get inside any of their heads and hearts to understand what they or their children go through day to day. Cara grew up not realizing her own privilege until she married her husband. Her eyes were slowly opened to the realities of the hardships that people today still deal with every single day just because of the color of their skin. She now has children who share the blood of both of their pa Although I know many people who have interracial marriages as Cara has, I have never been able to truly get inside any of their heads and hearts to understand what they or their children go through day to day. Cara grew up not realizing her own privilege until she married her husband. Her eyes were slowly opened to the realities of the hardships that people today still deal with every single day just because of the color of their skin. She now has children who share the blood of both of their parents who love them dearly, but people around them look at them as something else, when they shouldn't. I really enjoyed reading this. I have only been aware by my own white privilege for the past few years since everything went down in Ferguson, which I watched through a live stream in my own home. I was in shock and did not understand what was happening around me. Everything in my life became clearer of the oppression of people who are of a different color than I am, and I wanted to do something about it. I started by getting out of my bubble little by little. Sure I have always had friends who did not look like me, but maybe I didn't know the pain they suffered when I was not around them. I may have treated them as equals, but I didn't know other people didn't. The first time I even recognized the hatred of others because of skin color was when I was a waitress in 2003/2004. A dear high school friend of mine who has very dark skin came in to visit me on my lunch break. We sat catching up with one another. Before he went to walk home, which was nearby, I overheard one of my Greek bosses click her tongue in disgust that I was even talking to him and speaking to her husband in Greek that sounded nasty. I didn't understand what went on. Then she pulled me aside and said, "Why were you talking to that black man?" I said, "He's my friend. We went to high school together. We always ate lunch together back then and I let him know I worked here since he lives nearby." She said, "He's so dark. I can't believe you'd eat with him." I looked at her in such shock, confusion, and anger saying, "He's really a wonderful person and we have a lot in common." I realized I was doing my best to defend my friend for nothing. She already made up her mind about my friend based on his tone of skin, not on the quality of his character. Going back to Ferguson, it was then that I said we needed to get out of the white bubble church that we were attending, so we switched to a church where we were minorities instead. It was there that I started to learn about the daily struggles people have in a town known for being looked down upon with state troopers circling the roads on purpose. I have seen more things happen to the people in the community I attend church in than I ever saw in the community where I had previously gone to church, where 2% of our congregation was not white. When I started Cara Meredith's book, I learned about her father-in-law, a man I had never heard about ever. In listening to simply the chapter in her book where she spent time alone with him, I felt a deep respect for him. He has a quiet and beautiful wisdom about him, and it is something that I want more of in my own life. This is a really wonderful book that I recommend all people read, especially those who are still growing in learning how to fight oppression and bring justice to those suffering who dwell around them. Maybe you know someone who doesn't even understand they have white privilege, then this book is also for them so they can get out of their bubble too. This book can help open up the blind to see and stir in the hearts of the justice seekers further into fighting the prejudices around them. Cara Meredith wrote everything so beautifully. I enjoyed her story a lot. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is important. It is wonderful. Your family is amazing. I pray for your children's future to be filled with love, respect, and equality!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mmtimes4

    Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her. A colorblind rhetoric had been stamped across her education, world view, and Christian theology. Then as an adult, Cara's life took on new, colorful hues. She realized that her generation, seeking to move beyond ancestral racism, had swung so far that they tried to act as if they didn't see race at all. But that picture neglected the unique cultural identity God gives each pers Cara Meredith grew up in a colorless world. From childhood, she didn't think issues of race had anything to do with her. A colorblind rhetoric had been stamped across her education, world view, and Christian theology. Then as an adult, Cara's life took on new, colorful hues. She realized that her generation, seeking to move beyond ancestral racism, had swung so far that they tried to act as if they didn't see race at all. But that picture neglected the unique cultural identity God gives each person. When Cara met and fell in love with the son of black icon, James Meredith, she began to listen to the stories and experiences of others in a new way, taking note of the cultures, sounds and shades of life already present around her. After she married and their little family grew to include two mixed-race sons, Cara knew she would never see the world through a colorless lens again. A writer and speaker in an interracial marriage and mixed-race family, Cara finds herself more and more in the middle of discussions about racial justice. In The Color of Life, she asks how do we navigate ongoing and desperately-needed conversations about race? How do we teach our children a theology of reconciliation and love? And what does it mean to live a life that makes space for seeing the imago Dei in everyone? Cara's illuminating memoir paints a beautiful path from white privilege toward racial healing, from ignorance toward seeing the image of God in everyone she meets. GR description Chose this book from recommended reads from the newspaper. As I am striving to open my white world to other cultures this book really made evident how sheltered I have been. Page 199 Cara writes "And just as opinions about injustice began to grow in me, I realized my privilege in not having to say anything in the fight for equality in the first place. I realized my privilege in being able to choose which battles I engaged in, because having a choice was the very definition of privilege". Ms Meredith definitely has opened my eyes and my heart to racial injustice, I hope that I can show compassion and understanding to those I don't look like. This book will stay with me hopefully for a lifetime.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kiersti

    A treasure of a book... Cara’s story drew me in from the very first page and kept my interest all the way through. I found this book equal parts relatable and challenging. Relatable because in so many ways I identify with Cara’s experience of growing up in a largely white and “colorblind” world, fairly certain that racism and racial issues were a thing of the past, and then, as a young woman in my 20s, having my eyes opened through various friends, experiences, and current events to realize that A treasure of a book... Cara’s story drew me in from the very first page and kept my interest all the way through. I found this book equal parts relatable and challenging. Relatable because in so many ways I identify with Cara’s experience of growing up in a largely white and “colorblind” world, fairly certain that racism and racial issues were a thing of the past, and then, as a young woman in my 20s, having my eyes opened through various friends, experiences, and current events to realize that wasn’t the case. Like her, I’ve been on a journey of God opening my eyes ever since, to both the beauty and the pain of our diverse country and world and the experiences, past and present, of my brothers and sisters of color around me. And challenging because, partly through her own life experience of marrying the son of Civil Rights icon James Meredith (who wrote the Foreword), Cara has pushed farther in the journey than I have, dug deeper, and holds out an example to me to reach higher and climb farther into the discomfort and beauty of actively working toward racial understanding and justice. The Color of Life is a beautifully written memoir, a book to savor and read again—a book that celebrates the glory of the Imago Dei, God’s image, in every human being, and also peels back the cover on painful truths many of us, especially white American Christians, haven’t really wanted to deal with. It is a book that isn’t afraid to dig into theology, sociology, and history, all of which play so deeply into issues of race. It is real and honest, acknowledging the author’s mistakes and continued learning just as much as her insights and compassion. But most of all it is a story, a love story, of one woman’s journey, one family, one husband and wife and their two little boys and extended family of different colors, and of God’s grace and beauty over it all.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve Horowitt

    As part of our historical evolution, while we again find ourselves in the midst an assault along ethnic and class lines, a resurgence of white nationalism and outright bigotry, it's a soothing and nourishing to read this author's story and message. I should mention that Cara and James are friends and former neighbors of my partner and mine; we've seen each of their boys born and see them growing into amazing humans. I always knew Cara had it in her to write brilliantly, anecdotally and from her As part of our historical evolution, while we again find ourselves in the midst an assault along ethnic and class lines, a resurgence of white nationalism and outright bigotry, it's a soothing and nourishing to read this author's story and message. I should mention that Cara and James are friends and former neighbors of my partner and mine; we've seen each of their boys born and see them growing into amazing humans. I always knew Cara had it in her to write brilliantly, anecdotally and from her heart; if you ever get the chance to meet her...do it! She's infectious, passionate, insightful; just the messenger to bring us to heed call to see all colors, for each of us is special and equal. It was also fascinating to learn the history of James' father, an icon of the civil rights movement; I'm truly humbled. Equal part history and theology lesson with a big dose of uneasy but necessary big picture questions, this is the real deal at the perfect time. While I'm not a Christian, the call goes to all who believe.

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