007 – Real Americans, Skin Color, and Tough Truths – with Julie Lythcott-Haims

How is American Identity shaped, when you grow up here — and succeed here — yet still get asked “where you’re from”?

New York Times best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims joins American Enough to discuss how skin color, values, and tough truths about our nation have shaped what it means to be a Real American.

As the descendant of slave owners and the daughter of a bi-racial marriage, Julie often states that she’s So American It Hurts. In her most recent book, she highlights the racism, the micro-agressions and dominant narratives which shape the virtues of citizenship and identity in the United States.

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the author of the New York Times best-selling book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success (2015) and Real American: A Memoir (2017). She is deeply interested in what prevents people from living meaningful, fulfilling lives.

How to Raise an Adult emerged from Julie’s decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen, where she was known for her fierce advocacy for young adults and her critique of the growing trend of parental involvement in the day-to-day lives of college students. She received the university’s Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for creating “the” atmosphere that defines the undergraduate experience, and toward the end of her tenure as dean she began speaking and writing widely on the harm of helicopter parenting. How to Raise an Adult has been published in over two dozen countries and gave rise to a TED talk that became one of the top TED Talks of 2016 as well as a sequel which will be out in 2018.

Real American details Julie’s personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The child of an African-American father and a white British mother, Julie shows how microaggressions in addition to blunt-force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Julie’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.”

Julie is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Law School, and California College of the Arts. She lives in Silicon Valley with her partner of over twenty five years, their two teenagers, and her mother.

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