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Daily Verse 11.24.20—Before…and After Caste

I want to write a love letter to Isabel Wilkerson for writing her book Caste.

I want to go up to every white person on the street, every history teacher in white suburban America, every white CEO in the country, every white board chairperson, every senator, and state representative and ask this: “HAVE YOU READ CASTE YET!!!??? YOU ‘VE GOTTA TO READ CASTE.”

That’s how strongly I feel about this book that has not only blown my mind but cracked me wide open to understanding the “bones” that live underneath our conversations about race in this country.

“Like the cast on a broken arm, like the cast in a play,” she writes, “a caste system holds everyone in a fixed place.”

Shortly after starting this book, I looked at my husband in the kitchen and announced, “This is going to be one of the most important books I will have ever read.” The more I read—and listen to interviews and podcasts with the author—the more I am convinced that this book will fundamentally alter my thinking about race in this country and the white supremacy systematically baked into it.

It’s one of those books that draws a line in the sand, like before Caste….and after Caste. I’m digesting, processing, and getting this book into MY bones as part of my work in The Beach community at SheChanges online, but today, as I consider the gift she has given the world with this book, I will seal my love letter to Ms. Wilkerson her own quote: “Caste, along with its faithful servant race, is an x-factor in most any American equation, and any answer one might ever come up with to address our current challenges is flawed without it.”


Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.

Want to know more about The Beach, the online gathering place where white women in my SheChanges community to do our anti-racism work together? Click here and learn how 100% of your one-time membership fee will be donated to Rachel Cargle’s Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund.