More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never Knew

Convergent. May 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780593443040. $27. MEMOIR
Award-winning journalist Blake’s perspective on what race means and how it shapes people individually and collectively was first informed by his own upbringing in the 1970s and 1980s. Blake grew up with his Black father, brother, and relatives from his extended family in a lower income, predominantly Black community in Baltimore. Many members of his community distrusted white people due to systemic racism. This led to the author hiding the truth about his white mother, who vanished from his life not long after his birth, and his denouncing “the white side” of himself. As an adult, Blake finally met his mother and some of her family and embarked on a journey of self-discovery and faith, which ultimately allowed him to reconcile the painful aspects of his heritage, find forgiveness, and engage and advocate for what he calls “radical integration.”
VERDICT Blake’s message of empathetic compassion and coming together as a community is a balm for a divided country that leans on sensationalism, hate, and scare tactics. An essential purchase for all libraries, especially those with DEI collections. It will likely appeal to readers who enjoyed How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
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