Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race - Chapters 11 - 20 Summary & Analysis

Debby Irving
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Summary

In Chapter 11, “Headwinds and Tailwinds” (54), Irving defines the term “systemic racism” (54) and points out the ways systemic issues affect black people using the example of Cynthia Wiggins, a teenager that was hit by a truck crossing a busy street in Buffalo, New York in 1995. She was killed because of the lack of accessible bus routes in and out of the majority-black neighborhood. Black people face countless obstacles established by society, many not glaringly obvious to the casual observer.

Part III, “Why Didn't I Wake Up Sooner?” (61) begins with Chapter 12, “Icebergs” (63), in which Irving uses the iceberg as a metaphor. Most people see only the top of the iceberg—stereotypes and other sweeping generalizations about race—and miss the vital context of everything happening under the surface—systemic racism and a history of oppression.

In Chapter 13, “Invisibility” (69), Irving considers some of the less obvious...

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This section contains 1,565 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race Study Guide
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