Book Cover "And don't call me a racist!" A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America / Selected and arranged by Ella Mazel


About the book


Table of contents

A selection of quotes

What people have said about the book

How people are using the book


Request copies

Answers to questions
about "And don't call me a racist!"

These are actual questions I have been asked innumerable times.

How big is the book?
It's a 176-page paperback, approximately 8 inches square, and weighs in at 3/4 of a pound.

Why are you giving books away?
Free distribution -- through civil rights organizations, schools, churches, communities, and other non-profits that can use the book for educational purposes in their anti-racism work -- seemed like the best way to get the book into the hands of the maximum number of people who might not otherwise have access to it.

How many free copies can my non-profit ask for?
There is no limit on quantity! But we can't ship fewer than 36 books, since that is the number in a single carton. (I haven't met an organization yet that couldn't constructively use at least that many.)

So the books are free. What about shipping?
I've learned that most non-profits don't have sufficient funds even to carry on their own vital work, so the books plus shipping/handling are completely free.

How do I order the books?
Please see Request copies for details.

I am a librarian. How can I get a copy?
Sorry, we are not in a position to mail single copies. Many librarians, however, have found they can easily make constructive use of a carton of 36 books by distributing them to the other school or public libraries in their communities.

Is the book available anywhere else?
It shouldn't be, since it is not for sale.

Do you send books outside the U.S?
Sorry, no. It's too difficult for a one-person operation to handle the paperwork and packing.

Can I get books for my company's diversity program?
Yes, if you are willing to cover the cost of the books, plus shipping and handling. Please call Ella Mazel at 781-862-4521 to inquire.

How many books have you distributed, and to whom?
Since publication in November 1998, more than 400,000 copies have been shipped on request to over 2,600 organizations and institutions in all but one state. (Wyoming, where are you?) Many recipients have re-ordered repeatedly. For ideas on its multipurpose possibilities, see How people are using the book.

Can I help to continue the free distribution?
Yes, indeed. Contributions, small and large, are welcome, and are used exclusively to help pay the printing and shipping bills for the book. (There are no salaries or other overhead expenses.)

Can you tell me something about yourself?
I'm a graduate of Hunter College in New York City, B.A. 1938, by profession an editor and book designer. (I'm also the mother of four, and grandmother of five.) In 1941, I wrote an article for The New York Times on Dean Dixon, a brilliant young musician, the first black to be guest conductor of a major symphony orchestra. (Unable afterwards to land a permanent conducting job in the U.S. because of the color barrier, he joined the many self-exiled blacks who achieved successful careers in Europe.) Since then, I have worked on various "projects," of which the most relevant was another labor of love, the editing and design of Philip S. Foner's Paul Robeson Speaks: Writings, Speeches, Interviews in 1978. My most recent effort is "Not in MY name!" A collection of quotes on the past, present, and future of the practice of torture, which is available only on line.

What inspired you to do this book?
It was more like a kick in the stomach than a light-bulb flash of inspiration. In a casual dinner conversation with a new acquaintance, I mentioned having just read Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I was shocked when this seemingly nice, intelligent, jovial man burst into an angry tirade of anti-black clichés, which ended with the disclaimer, "And don't call me a racist!" The incident -- combined with my lifelong feelings about social justice and my experience as an editor and book designer -- "inspired" the book, and its title.

How long did it take?
I spent about a year reading, selecting, copying, keyboarding, arranging, designing, indexing, unearthing illustrations, preparing camera-ready pages, and producing the book. The first copies arrived from the printer just in time for my 80th birthday.

Are you available as a speaker?
Sorry, no. Though I would love to participate in many activities I've been invited to around the country, it's just too hard for me to travel. But thanks for asking. I'd be happy, however, to recommend an experienced, effective speaker / facilitator on all aspects of diversity.


Home | About the book | Introduction | Table of contents | A selection of quotes | What people have said about the book | How people are using the book | FAQs | Request copies

Revised May 9, 2005