My too-white bookshelf

by Jess

A very interesting exchange during Drew Toal’s interview with James Hannaham got me to thinking:

My bookshelf, through no fault of my own, is too white I think.

Why is it not your fault?

Well, I guess it is, but it wasn’t what I set out to do.

Isn’t it funny how that works? You’re not even trying, and yet, somehow… It’s probably just because you’re not thinking about it. And that’s what privilege is. Not thinking about it. There is a lot of shame involved in thinking about whiteness, I think.

I too have a primarily white bookshelf, not by design, but by happenstance.  Books that were my mother’s, books I got for free or off the $1 rack, books I bought for class, books I bought for their pretty covers, books I bought because I liked that one other book that the author wrote.  This is how these things happen, I suppose.