Maxine Beneba Clarke has been brave and bold enough to share her experiences as an Australian born black woman, growing up in middle class Australia. This book should be read in high schools – it’s well written, true, and it highlights just how racist we can be without even thinking we are. To make young people realise the impact of racism, how it manifests and what we can do about it would surely help society change for the better.
The Hate Race is shameful to read, as a white Australian. How many times have I been a bystander in racism it made me wonder. Maxine Beneba Clarke shares her lifetime of growing up, with all of the outright bullying and racism, and the more ‘subtle’ racism that she has experienced and the way it shaped her life, beliefs about herself, and what it means to be beautiful. I found it hard to read, as I am white Australian, and I have seen plenty of racism, people staring at people who have different coloured skin, and sometimes I have stood up and others I haven’t.
The Hate Race isnt preachy or blaming, it’s simply one person’s story of how much they had to endure in their life, all because they don’t ‘look Australian’.