A series of letters that is part memoir, part non-profit white paper ...The open letter is a durable genre, and a venerable tradition in the literature of Black America’s fight for Civil Rights ... Ross’s original post was aimed at people in the non-profit sector. He usefully extends some of his critiques here ... But Ross’s criticisms of the non-profit industrial complex, as well as his accounts of dealing with the (mostly-white) administrators in charge of programs that serve (mostly) communities of color, lack the specifics of the stories he tells about his upbringing, and his disillusion with the myth of meritocracy ... I’m a white, Gen-X man, but I don’t work in the non-profit sphere. As an outside reader, too often, I felt I was grasping at a vague non-profitese.
Astute and accessible account the challenges and double standards he faces as a Black man in America and what white people can do to help bring about change ... Ross folds analyses of Supreme Court rulings, gentrification, the 'war on drugs,' and income disparities into his candid personal reflections, and offers a useful framework for how white men, in particular, can 'shift culture and advance equity' by paying attention to how they receive feedback and by drawing on their own feelings of powerlessness to empathize with marginalized groups. This commonsense guide tackles a pressing social issue head-on.
A Black man speaks hard truths to White men about their failure to dismantle systemic racism ... The letters are consistently compelling, covering wide ground that includes the broken criminal justice system, gentrification, and the problem with framing equity work as 'charity.' Finally, Ross offers practical guidance and solutions for White men to employ at work, in their communities, and within themselves ... A fiery, eloquent call to action for White men who want to be on the right side of history.