Barbara Beckwith

Barbara is a White cisgender woman who was raised in racially isolated NY and NJ suburbs that had been regulated, by law and commercial practices, to insure they were all white. She had no teachers of color in K-12 nor at her New England college, where racial inequity was assumed to be caused by “the culture of poverty” (while Black Southerners were risking their lives—to get access to libraries, schools, stores, buses and ballot boxes). She earned two graduate degrees, considered herself a progressive feminist, co-led “diversity” efforts. But only by taking WPCR in 2001, and attending White Privilege Conferences could she clearly see her country’s “invisible” institutionalized racial inequity and take responsibility to help dismantle it. She is now committed to press for racial equity in each sphere of her life. And as a writer, she reflects on everyday racism—including her own—in her What Was I Thinking series ( She lives in Cambridge.

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