Author: Georgina Lawton
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
From The Guardian’s Georgina Lawton, a moving examination of how racial identity is constructed—through the author’s own journey grappling with secrets and stereotypes, having been raised by white parents with no explanation as to why she looked black.
Raised in sleepy English suburbia, Georgina Lawton was no stranger to homogeneity. Her parents were white; her friends were white; there was no reason for her to think she was any different. But over time her brown skin and dark, kinky hair frequently made her a target of prejudice. In Georgina’s insistently color-blind household, with no acknowledgement of her difference or access to black culture, she lacked the coordinates to make sense of who she was.
It was only after her father’s death that Georgina began to unravel the truth about her parentage—and the racial identity that she had been denied. She fled from England and the turmoil of her home-life to live in black communities around the globe—the US, the UK, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Morocco—and to explore her identity and what it meant to live in and navigate the world as a black woman. She spoke with psychologists, sociologists, experts in genetic testing, and other individuals whose experiences of racial identity have been fraught or questioned in the hopes of understanding how, exactly, we identify ourselves.
Raceless is an exploration of a fundamental question: what constitutes our sense of self? Drawing on her personal experiences and the stories of others, Lawton grapples with difficult questions about love, shame, grief, and prejudice, and reveals the nuanced and emotional journey of forming one’s identity.
Raceless is a very interesting and informative memoir about a black woman that was raised white. Georgina didn’t find out until she took a DNA test as an adult that her dad was not her biological father and her biological father is actually a black man her mom slept with. Georgina gives a very interesting perspective of race, family and belonging. She explains how hard it was growing up and never fitting in. Even after learning her genealogy she was still confused where she belonged. Her ancestors came from a culture she knew nothing about. Georgina also discusses how her and her family dealt with her paternity and race. Georgina discusses other people with similar situations to hers. I was shocked that something like this would happen, but Raceless explains why people didn’t question it. Raceless gives an interesting perspective on race. I recommend Raceless to anyone interested in a memoir about race.
Thank you Harper Perennial for Raceless.
About the Author
Georgina Lawton is a journalist, speaker, and writer. Previously a columnist for The Guardian, she has also written for VICE, Marie Claire, Refinery29, Bustle, The Times, Stylist, Time Out, and others. She writes about the link between travel and identity on her blog, girlunfurled. She lives in London.