Author Kaypri is getting a great deal of attention for her work, especially now that her subject matter seems so timely with the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, that have put a spotlight on the issue of racial profiling and the disconnect between communities who draw different conclusions from the same events. Recently, Kaypri was featured in two separate Small Business Trendsetters articles that discussed her book “I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know: A Southern White Woman’s Story About Race,” and made the connection between this book and the current climate of frustration and continued misunderstanding in our country.
Both articles came after Kaypri sat for lengthy interviews to speak about the state of race relations in the United States and the solutions available for this seemingly intractable problem. In one article, Kaypri discusses the notion that America entered a post racial world with the election of President Barack Obama, and the elevation of so many African-Americans to positions of prominence in business, government, sports, and entertainment. For Kaypri, this notion is foreign, and she sees many of the same problems with race and misunderstanding that her mother, Dorothy Hampton Marcus began to observe during segregation, as a white woman in North Carolina.
The laws have changed and there has been progress, but many of the underlining problems and attitudes remain. This is the focus of her book, and she says, “Whoever invented the term post racism was wrong. Maybe because Oprah has her own station or that our president is African American, they feel there is equality, but no other president has been hung in effigy or treated like this before.” In this thought, Kaypri is in good company as many prominent African-Americans feel the same way. Just recently, comedian Chris Rock spoke out about the hidden racism in Hollywood when he said, ““It’s the most liberal town in the world, and there’s a part of it that’s kind of racist.”
Kaypri makes the connection between the sense of fear that black men in her mother’s day had just walking down the street, to the fear that black men have today that they will be targeted and be the victims of police when they go about the mundane acts of everyday life, like simply walking down the street.
Her second sit down interview touched on the issue of white privilege, which is also prominent in the book. In the book, her mother writes about how she came to recognize it was a very different thing to have darker skin as she heard the stories of her black friends and read the works of black authors. Once this realization set in, her mother decided to build on that awareness and she strove to understand how others felt and how they viewed the broader world. As Kaypri explains it, “White privilege is when you don’t have to think about your child or loved one of any age leaving the house and not coming home alive. You don’t have to worry about your loved one being harassed by a cop or a wannabe cop because they feel threatened, you don’t think about something terrible happening to your loved one, you don’t have to think about racism, period; you can just live your life.”
Kaypri’s intention was not only to finish writing her mother’s story, but also to spark awareness of the struggles that remain, and where we might go from here. In that sense, she expressed hope that there are people who are working every day to make significant change, and not all of them are in the black community. She mentioned Russell Moore, a white evangelical leader who recently spoke out about the recent incidents of police violence and how the white community can respond in a positive way. Moore said, “It’s time for us in Christian churches to not just talk about the gospel but live out the gospel by tearing down these dividing walls, not only by learning and listening to one another, but also by standing up and speaking out for one another.”
This kind of sentiment makes Kaypri believe that change is possible and many are now looking to her and other writers/leaders/entertainers to step up and offer inspiration. “I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know: A Southern White Woman’s Story About Race” is currently available on Amazon.com.
To learn more about Dorothy Hampton Marcus visit www.dorothystory.com
Company Name: Dorothy’s Story
Contact Person: Kaypri Marcus
Country: United States