‘Race Between Us’: Book by 2 local authors aims to ‘undo’ racism, one human story at a time

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Photo gallery from the March 29 book launch party at the Manchester YWCA.

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MANCHESTER, NH – When world’s collide, the aftershocks can be unsettling. They can also lead to seismic change.

For Laurielee Woodlock Roy, meeting Brenda Bailey Lett on the job at the NH Department of Corrections provided an opportunity to reconsider the truths of racism as she understood them.

That meeting led to life-changing conversations that resulted in a friendship that has transcended stereotypes and misconceptions. It has led to an initiative to “undo” racism as we know it here in New Hampshire – and everywhere.

And it led the two women to seismic change and, eventually, a book collaboration, “Race Between Us,” that tells the story of the profound and inescapable truths that emerge when barriers are removed and honest dialogue happens.

On March 29, Lett and Roy welcomed friends and family for a book launch celebration at the Manchester YWCA. Although the focus of the celebration was primarily on fellowship and community, Lett said that she hopes the book will lead to honest discussions about a topic that is timely and relevant for Manchester.

“We all have stories, and I think this book helps to provide an opportunity for all of us to tell our stories,” Lett says. “But we do need to deal with racism. Racism is a real animal, and we need to address it.”

In January Manchester Police Department hosted a forum on race relations and how the community is affected by the divide that exists in communities across the U.S., prompted by the violence in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City. Lett’s husband, Woullard Lett, is a Manchester Police Commissioner. Both Brenda and Woullard Lett, and Roy are active with the Manchester NAACP.

Roy earned her master’s degree in elementary education and special education from Southern New Hampshire University, and earned a degree in criminal justice from Hesser College.  Brenda Lett has a degree in psychology from the University of Dubuque, and earned a master’s degree in community mental health and community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University, and is active with the NH Black Women Health Project.

The book, published by Popular Truth Publishing, is available for $19.99. For more information or to get a copy of the book, contact Brenda Lett at blett8@email.com.

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