From The Guardian’s Georgina Lawton, a moving examination of how racial identity is constructed—through the author’s own journey grappling with secrets and stereotypes, having been raised by white parents with no explanation as to why she looked black.
... eloquent ... a thoughtful and far-reaching investigation of the importance of racial identity, covering a wide variety of issues including identity theft, the perils and pluses of DNA analysis, how beauty standards are used to repress women of color and the soul-destroying effects of microaggressions. Lawton writes about her journey with passion, erudition and more than a touch of sass. Most of all, she writes with searing honesty—about herself, her family and our society ... Ultimately Lawton’s story is one of reconciliation and redemption, which can only ever be achieved with truthfulness, and of the limitations of love ... Beautifully and movingly written, Raceless is an important book about the cost of deception and the value of identity.
... a jaw-dropping story, told deftly, interspersing personal experience with wider research and insight into the ways racial identity has an impact on our lives. Occasionally I found the tone over-casual (the words 'hella' and 'obvs' are particularly jarring), but it doesn’t make this any less of a gripping, thought-provoking book.
Lawton’s discussion of racial passing, transracial adoption, mixed-race identity and the health implications of being misidentified are freshly fascinating. She is a particularly astute observer of the psychological dislocation caused by growing up mixed race in a white family who never acknowledged her racial identity, and she writes beautifully about questions of identity and belonging, so central to each of us in finding our particular place in the world. When it comes to reconciling her newly embraced Black consciousness with the racial attitudes of her white family and friends, however, Lawton sidesteps the possibility of hurting them by saying only 'we’ve come a long way.'