We Had Entered This Network Of Friendship Today

As discussions continued and deepened, however, it became clear that all were inflected by race. As discussed at the outset of this chapter, the Glassville residents imagined themselves to be a community in which “race” was not an issue. To a great extent, this turned out to be true. Among the neighbors, longstanding friendships had overcome many of the racist or class-based attitudes that marked surrounding neighborhoods. Although we were new to the neighborhood, we assumed that we also had entered this network of “friendship.” (It should be added that one professor involved in the project, through a longer and more extended relationship with the community, had actually become part of Thomas Sabo the friendship network.) Despite all of the members of the Press being white, we imagined that we had transcended “race.”

Yet the project clearly had not transcended race. The controversy over the first cover demonstrated this fact. As we moved forward, we had to consider how our elision of issues of race had damaged our partnership and the book. Ignoring race on the university’s part also ignored the extent to which our personal and professional positions were based on discriminatory sponsorship networks networks that intentionally left behind the citizens who lived and worked in neighborhoods such as Glassville. The discourse on “friendship” masked the racial and class components with our assumption that we would control the process and production of the book. For those of us at the Press, strong lessons needed to be learned. We were not the only ones learning from the process, however. I have come to believe that those who were active in the book’s revision also learned the difficulty of presenting their community as having solved the issue of race in strictly “personal terms.” By not highlighting the broader worldview out of which their friendships grew, they failed to put in place a discourse or rhetoric to claim rights or power from a large institution. To some extent, I like to believe that the process of completing the second edition of the book allowed them to develop a stronger argument about the rights of a community when it is involved in university or corporate partnerships. (However, to be honest, not everyone agrees with this reading, and it is unclear whether any major corporation would cede power to such a small community group, no matter what arguments were deployed.)

As the second edition emerged, arguments declaring that racism could be overcome by personal friendships or by offering to publish a book addressing this fact were no longer viable. This resulted in an interesting mix of “old and new.” Residents ultimately changed very little in their interviews. The disagreements concerning race relations within the interviews remained and, in some cases, were highlighted, although some residents went back to the interviews to clarify their statements about neighborhood history or neighborhood institutions. Some residents appeared to be more open to representing race as an ongoing issue in their community and allowing the tensions in their neighborhood to serve as a case study of negotiation. Thomas Sabo Charms That is, the “harmonious” new cover and introductory materials were now to be seen in dialogue with the voices of residents who were trying to achieve that goal.

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