Almost Hereditary is one person's story of overcoming the racism that was passed down in his family from generation to generation. It is a story of transformation that offers hope to others who want to see less prejudice in the world around them. As well as sharing the history of his family and his own journey, the author addresses causes of prejudice and offers specific steps to overcome prejudice in oneself and society. The book includes excerpts from diaries of the author's great-great-grandmother, a slave owner, quotes from slaves' stories, and photographs. Advice for student groups that want to diminish prejudice on high school and college campuses and discussion questions for classes and book clubs are included.
Praise for Almost Hereditary: (1) "An important perspective from someone who grew up in a world poisoned by racism but learned to see others in a more tolerant light." - Benjamin Todd Jealous, former President and CEO of the NAACP; (2) "Bill Drake writes with disarming humility that guides the reader into a real yet non-judgmental conversation about the nature of prejudice....With support from his book I have found a greater courage to examine the prejudice that lives in me." - Rob Steffke, youth therapist and mentor, Movimiento; (3) "Almost Hereditary has been a valuable supplement for my class on the Cultural Politics of Peace. It would be an excellent complementary reading for both undergraduate and graduate courses in race and ethnic relations, conflict resolution, and social inequality." - Jeffrey G. Toussaint, PhD, Dept. of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University; (4) "Bill Drake's story is an inspiration to our students and staff, and lends hope and promise to a situation that can often feel despairing....Almost Hereditary would be a valuable complement to appropriate high school and college classes." - Dan Frisella, Principal, Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley, CA; (5) "Almost Hereditary, as a book club choice, has generated lively group participation. The sheer humility of the author's inner search, openness, candor, and the fruits of his dedicated research touch a poignant cord for many readers...Because it is part memoir, the experiences Bill Drake lays out can resonate without indicting, thus inspiring meaningful introspection or group dialogue." - Teresa Langness, author of Nine O'Clock Blue (Writer's Showcase 2001), Nevada County Baha'i Book Club Co-Convenor.