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America's Atonement

Racial Pain, Recovery Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Healing -- 2nd Edition


Aaron David Gresson III

The second edition of America’s Atonement: Racial Pain, Recovery Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Healing argues that racial pain is a driving force in contemporary race relations and is especially prevalent in social discourses on identity, fairness, and social justice. Despite its importance, racial pain is too often glossed over as mundane or disingenuous. For this reason, social justice activism and education are in danger of undermining the needs and opportunities to more effectively convey what has been called «difficult knowledge». This book highlights emergent examples of psychic and relational healing.
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This second edition has a somewhat shorter list of people to whom I am grateful, but it goes without saying, perhaps, that I continue to be thankful to those mentioned in the first edition since this volume builds on it. I would like to mention once again my thanks to Shirley Steinberg and Chris Myers for their support and encouragement. To Derrick Alridge and his students from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, I owe special thanks for inviting me to their campus to work through some of the ideas added to this edition. Mark McPhail of the University of Wisconsin (Whitewater), John Hatch of Dubuque University, and Donal E. Mulcahy of Wake Forest University have offered very helpful insights into my thinking on racial pain—thanks to each of you. Michael G. Lacy has been both generous in his assessment of my efforts and inspiring in his important work on critical race rhetorics; and I thank him for this. As always, I am thankful for the love and support of my family, especially my life partner and wife, Pat.

I also want to recognize three people—master clinicians and mentors—whose guidance and support have aided my transition from academe into private life and clinical work. Drs. Robert Williams, Bernie O’Brien, and Rosaline Griffin have contributed to helping me find “a room of my own” within which I have been able to do the revisions to this book. Dr. Griffin, ← xxiii...

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