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I'm Still Here - Austin Channing Brown

I'm Still Here

By Austin Channing Brown

  • Release Date: 2018-05-15
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4.5
From 433 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK • From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so often falls short of its ideals.
“Austin Channing Brown introduces herself as a master memoirist. This book will break open hearts and minds.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.

In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness—if we let it—can save us all.


  • Great read

    By Q 🌫
    A well written book about experiences that many educated people of color face on a daily basis. I purchased this book on a whim without reading the synopsis and was not disappointed.
  • Justice is a 2 way street..

    By Lola414
    I think you are absolutely correct in your review about this book. It’s sad to see someone live their life believing every white person is bad, I wish them luck through their journey because it’s going to be VERY hard with all this negativity in their mind before they even get to know someone! No facts in here, like for instance children getting murdered in Chicago at barbecues, and even in their own homes by drive by shootings. It’s really sad and upsetting to see people playing victim instead of taking advantage of this beautiful country, and making the best of their life! Are there some bad ppl in the world?.. of course there are, no matter what color they are, some ppl are just evil. But to sit here and blame white people, and white privilege, is just completely ignorant. I pray for some that think this way, because being oppressed in their own mind will lead them nowhere. If you play by the rules and do the right thing, you won’t run into situations that you don’t want to be in. Like your cousin.. maybe he should have thought about things and his path in life before selling drugs. Stop playing the victim and take your life and future in your own hands. It’s NOONES fault If a person ( no matter the color) isn’t successful in their own life. Stop making excuses. I’m so tired of hearing the white man, it’s his fault! Take some responsibility for your own actions. Stop looking at the worst in every white person before getting to know them.. the negativity before u even speak to an individual first is very sad.
  • First of all the world isn’t just made for white people

    By Duck lover 27
    You make us out as monsters because our ancestors were dicks so don’t bully us
  • Can not recommend.

    By -Frank-
    Mostly just propaganda
  • A Must Read

    By J A Rice
    Beautifully and thoughtfully written. Austin Channing Brown is a gifted story teller who shares her experiences with grace and vulnerability. One of the best books I have read in a long time. Thank you to the author for having the courage to share your truth.
  • Thank You

    By Dahrah4u
    Thank you to Austin Channing Brown for writing this. It was the biggest education that I have ever gotten. It is a Must Read!
  • Not all negative things are racist.

    By justice is a two way street
    Unfortunately yes, there are elements of racism in America. There are racist people. This author however sees the opposite. America is racist. White people are racist, and perhaps some elements of non racists exist. This author sees racism and sexism in every negative altercation with a white person. Somehow as a Christian she manages to judge the heart of every human that has been awkward or rude to her. No grace for a mean person, a miscommunication, surprise or any other possibility- no it’s bigotry or racism. However she condemns whites for assuming the worst in any of HER actions - and of course that’s anti black racism for doing so. As much as she stereotypes white people (only sometimes using “some” or “most” but usually white people in totality) it’s hard to get around her own racism. She “found pride in her blackness.” Well it’s on full display here. Any disagreement (white fragility chapter- white male strongly and perhaps rudely argued with her take on an issue) is immediately discounted since she’s black and they are not. It must be because she’s a female, black, and the teacher and he can’t handle that. Really? How did you know he just didn’t disagree with you strongly? Because he then asked, “whose really in charge here?” Ever not gotten the answer you’re looking for and and wanted the manager? That racist? No but for you- totally. All are wrong because they are of white and you are black so they are cancelled, that’s called black privilege. I have strongly disagreed with others on similar cases, but both being the same color somehow it was not racist but a strong disagreement. How many times the author describes people surprised at finding a black woman when they expected a white man because her name is Austin? All of this is evidence of racism. A person EXPECTING a white man due to a name usually used with white culture does not mean the person PREFERS a white man. The awkwardness or silence or surprise when meeting you is because many want to be as respectful and NOT RACIST as possible when reacting. A little bit of walking on eggshells so as not to offend. Too late because you already judged them. The librarian asking you as a 7 year old if that really your library card? That was a huge racist moment for you. But what evidence? I would have done the same, because your name didn’t fit and that’s cultural confusion, not racism and you are 7. So excuse talking to you like you are a little kid. Cuz you were. My wife’s name is Lebron, and she’s white. I can’t tell you the confusion that comes from that. (Not really but you get the point.) Now, there are a few things in here that are bad, and I would fight with her against those racist things if they happened again. But, a lot of examples are her seeing the world expecting and therefore seeing racism at every turn. Her parents didn’t help by instilling that “they” will do this and “they” will do that. “They” being white people. This isn’t your parents America. I’ve taught my kids not to put their hands in their pockets in stores, guess what? It’s not a black thing! And all the racial profiling of your cousin being pulled over and searched so many times, after you mentioned he was a drug dealer?? Sounds like they were right?! If you’ve ever seen anyone lose their battle with drugs, you’d maybe not condemn the institution that locked him up so much. Shame on your light hearted view on that. He had three chances to straighten out before prison. Christ is mentioned a few times which, as a fellow believer, is awesome. However all evil is placed on the shoulders of whites and America. No mention of the spiritual warfare we are fighting as well. Evil. Satan, lies. Also, at work someone touched her hair admiring it. She equates this to mean something along the lines of white peoples belief in the right TO HER BODY. What? All the times people reached out and touched my gelled spiked hair when I was younger... life is tough, tough to share with other humans, tough to navigate. It’s hard enough before making it all about race. I’ve had so many experiences similar to hers and race wasn’t there. I truly think she brings it with her. There’s no giving others the benefit of the doubt. “Ain’t no friends here..” is quoted so many times after an example, but I think she has begun living by that and it’s her lens on everything before it happens. That creates a negative bias. And discussion would have been good on perhaps class differences, and CULTURAL DIFFERENCES. Those are not, it’s as if they are non existent. It’s all racist. Cultural differences aren’t bad things. Black and whites do some stuff or enjoy some stuff differently, as you point out in music and church. Great! To each their own. Black Jesus or white Jesus so long as Jesus finds his way in! Stop believing what you see on the news is true for all. “Blacks dying in the streets.” She uses no facts no data. Just “her truth.” Well if all, or most, whites are racist, then all or most blacks are looters. Cuz that’s what the news showed. You see I don’t believe that. But, if I saw the world from your perspective of the media’s racial narrative.... also no discussion of black on black deaths. She has worked in Chicago. I’ve been targeted as white in Chicago. (And by the way I took that to mean THOSE blacks people were racist, not all black people are racist) But she avoids that violence. Avoids anything blacks could do to help change. Its all about whites, we are “so exhausting.” So, if you are white“ ain’t no friends here...” Even if you are a “nice white person.” There’s a chapter for you. Now, she could read my review and say as the author over the reader, “yup, white fragility here!” Well, that’s her “black privilege.”
  • Must read

    By Charkuyrkendall
    Highly recommended to read.
  • “Walk a mile in their shoes.” And then some.

    By iRockUrHeartz
    While I empathize with what black people go through on a daily basis, I will never truly know what that pain is like. So, I will be forever grateful for this book for giving me a glimpse into what life is like for black people. Thank you.
  • The mirror we desperately need

    By Rie-embody
    This book is a must-read for white folks who work in faith communities and the non-profit sphere. Brown is able to convey how whiteness lands on her every day in a descriptive way, and also to sum them up into philosophical conclusions.This balance of the small and large, the quotidian and the eternal not only illuminates the experience of black people in white workplaces, but also holds up a mirror to the behavior of the white people in them.