She Writes Press, October 5, 2021
A Timely and Necessary Book: These Walls Between Us
“These Walls Between Us is a powerful book with an important lesson that we all must learn in trying to understand others.”
—Reverend John Reynolds, author of The Fight for Freedom:
A Memoir of My Years in the Civil Rights Movement
“A tender, honest, cringeworthy, and powerful read.”
—Debby Irving, Author of Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race
"I've never read a memoir that is so consistently courageous."
—George Lakey, Author of Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice
“Wendy Sanford is doing the work that only she can do!”
—Byllye Avery, Founder, Black Women's Health Imperative.
Mary Norman and I co-created These Walls Between Us in order to reflect on, and honor, the still-evolving sixty-year connection between us and to chronicle how we came to call each other friends. Though we are close in age, we met in my mother’s kitchen; Mary was the Black domestic worker and I the privileged white daughter. In our thirties, Mary suggested that we write a book about our friendship, and I said yes. While I focused on the writing, Mary co-created the content through visits, phone calls, emails, road trip conversations and, most recently, texting. My work as a co-author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, a widely-selling resource on women’s health and sexuality, had prompted me to face my unexamined biases around class and race. These Walls Between Us offers lessons from my oft-stumbling efforts, as a white woman, to see Mary more fully and to become a more dependable friend. We'd love to visit your book group or anti-racism group via Zoom!
Nautilus Awards 2022 ("Better Books for a Better World"): SILVER in Memoir
Eric Hoffer Book Awards 2022: Finalist for Grand Prize and First Horizon Award, Honorable Mention
Chanticleer International Book Awards 2021: Short Listed for Hearten Book Award for Uplifting and
Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition 2021: A Notable 100 Book
Best Book Awards 2021: Finalist in Multicultural Nonfiction
“Unless the white community breaks its silence and determines that race is not a peripheral issue, but an issue central to the things that we say are valuable to America . . . the finest movement in the world will not cause racism to cease.”
— Reverend James Lawson