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By Katie Faulkner, ’17
Dr. Robert P. Amico, professor of philosophy at St. Bonaventure University, has written a new book addressing the issue of white privilege.
“Exploring White Privilege,” available from Routledge Press, addresses the topic of white privilege and the roles that make it difficult for many Americans to understand it. It is the second of two books. The first, “Antiracist Teaching,” was published in 2015 and explores the difficulties of teaching students about antiracism.
When the publisher received the first book, Amico was asked to write a similar one from a learner’s perspective. Amico felt he had something to say that would help educators approach the topics of race and privilege.
“’Exploring White Privilege’ gives people the opportunity to learn more about themselves and how they are situated in American culture,” said Amico. “Beginning to understand privilege can help one to navigate through that system differently.”
Though this book is a personal exploration of Amico’s white privilege and how he fought to transcend it, it is couched in a sociological analysis of oppression and privilege that will be useful to anyone embarking on a similar journey.
Amico served as chair of the Council on Discrimination and Harassment for 20 years and continues to serve as chair the university’s Diversity Action Committee. He said a lot of the initial action that took place in his consciousness was the result of accepting the invitation to be the first advocacy officer at the university.
“I began to open up my mind to the idea that the lived experiences of women and people of color were fundamentally different than the lived experiences of white men at this university and around the country,” said Amico.
He began to understand how systems of privilege and disadvantage work and interlock together and wanted to make a constant impact both at St. Bonaventure and around the country.
“Exploring White Privilege” is available on Amazon.
Amico earned his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts before earning his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.
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