How Do You See Us is a personal narrative written by Amy Nickerson, M.A. detailing and analyzing what she and her family have seen and experienced as it relates to issues of law enforcement. This is not Black vs. Blue. This isn’t about sides – the black side or the blue side. This is not an attack on the overall institution of law enforcement. Nor is it a rebuke of every white law enforcement officer and the men and women who serve their communities.
As Amy states in her book, "This is about my perspective, my innermost feelings about how I am viewed as a Black person in America, why I feel vulnerable around police officers, and how it got this way."
What an amazing read! This book provides honest clarification about the author's experiences with racism and ways that those outside of the black and brown community can start to bridge the racial divide that exists in America. Thank you, Ms. Nickerson, for your candid insights and explanations of ways that I can practically work to break down the racism that exists around me.
Amy did a fabulous job describing challenges had between law enforcement and the African-American community. She did well to express the need to address unjust behavior within policing in the U.S.
A rare insight into the psychological damage of race related fear. Amy Nickerson's book illustrates the untold psychological damage done to one's own psyche by being constantly identified as a potential threat to ones neighbors, community, and society simply based on the color of your skin. These stories reflect a hidden damage you won't see on the evening news. They never rise to that level of infamy. It's a subtle pain that eats away at one's soul. Why do you hate and fear us so much? Why? Of course, there is no simple answer to that question so we instinctively internalize our pain, hence the ongoing psychological damage. Amy Nickerson in this book has eloquently revealed her individual pain, and has outlined the mental adaptations she and her family have created in order to cope with being identified as a constant threat by no action of their own. It is a human story. It's also a love story that only a mother and devoted wife can tell. And finally, it's simply a cry in the night for meaningful change.
As I continue seeking solutions throughout my life, there are movements that cannot be avoided. The disparate processes of policing and justice are high on the list. This well written personal narrative provides a reasoned dialogue that can foster either understanding or questions. Either of those outcomes can only result in a broader understanding as we all work towards the society we believe we should exist in.
Amy does an incredible job detailing (through her own family’s experiences) the ugly and painful reality so many African Americans experience in America…just by existing! She invites the reader to ‘walk in her family’s shoes’ and take a front seat to witness very disturbing racist encounters. She challenges the reader that feels racism doesn’t exist, to not walk away unchanged. To still deny its existence after reading her accounts is like saying these experiences were a figment of her imagination. But they are very real. HDYSU is a compelling read with a clear call to action for further discussion of solutions to meet the goals laid out at the end of the book.
Makes it very personal as you are reading this. Extremely thoughtful and vulnerable. A must read. As a white man in America this book allowed me to truly feel how my brothers and sisters of color regardless of social status feel in today’s America. We must all take this to heart and start seeing this for what it truly is. Thank you Amy for your courage to share.
This book is very real and honest. It's inspirational. It's written as if a friend is sitting across from a table telling you her fears and experiences. It reminds us all of how people are in fear every single day, just going about daily routines and Its important to realize this inequity is something that seems to be getting worse and not better. We can all do a part to simply pay attention and participate and try to create change in our own communities by just showing up, listening, engaging, voting, shouting out when things are wrong and continuing to read books like this one. I hope people can sit back and listen to Amy, her experiences and those she shares and learn from it.
This book literally tells my own personal experience of being viewed as a threat. I too know how it feels to be #drivingwhileblack. This book really exposes the harsh reality of how it feels to be judged and viewed as a threat simply for being black and successful! I was taken through a wave of emotions throughout each description of the author's family being pulled over for simply driving through their own neighborhood. Being black and having a nice car in an all-white neighborhood many times results in police interaction. Each chapter took me on a roller coaster of how far we have come on some levels and in the case of black & blue, not much has changed.
VERY compelling read. I highly recommend if you want to gain insight into some of the things that people of color go thru on a daily basis. I personally travel w/my passport in my car for fear of targeting in the current climate - step outside your own lens if you truly want to learn and understand the world.
Essential reading. Any painstakingly shares her family’s stories, the evolution of white privilege and the specific challenges that lie on the path to change. And in all of this-she wipes away the excuses that “white privilege” or racism don’t exist in our country TODAY. You shouldn’t have to do this heavy lifting, Amy, but I am so thankful you did.