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The front cover of Hey, White Girl
"Hey White Girl contains so many golden nuggets of truth to hold onto..."
Independent Book Review

About the Book

In the summer of Woodstock and the moon landing, a traditional Virginia town forces its Black and White students to cross the city and integrate the schools, unraveling the predictable white path of the Randolph children and the plans their parents had for them.

Young Adult Virginia Author Award 2023 Nominee

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Atmosphere Press


About the Author

I was the White girl. There had always been Black children in my class, but only a few, and we played together without me thinking much about it. Until sixth grade. I was bused to a school I’d never heard of, that was in a neighborhood I’d never been to. On the first day of school the principal gathered the White children who’d shown up into the hall. He redivided us into classes so that there’d be at least two White children in each class. I wasn’t scared. I think I was lonely.

For two and a half years the four children in my family were sent to schools not of our choosing. Our lives changed drastically: socially, academically, culturally. My parents vacillated between their duty as parents and their duty as citizens. In the end, they sold their home and moved us out of the city.

I graduated from my nearly all White high school, and from my nearly all White college. The busing experience was a blip in my past until I returned to Richmond as a teacher thirty years later. The demographics of the city had become even more lopsided. The condition of the city schools had families flocking to the Title 1 private school where I taught. This is where my reflection began. How could this part of our society not have progressed in the time I’d been gone? How could the schools that had bused to integrate be even more segregated? The flawed education cycle for the children I taught had very narrow escape routes.

What began as a personal reflection became a deep dive into Richmond history. What started as a way to understand the issues my students were facing became a revealing of my own privilege. My growing awareness of racism embedded in systems and policy turned into a developing consciousness of what it means to be White.

Hey, White Girl is a work of fiction. It’s a reimagining. It’s a personal journey. It’s a compilation of stories and memories and dreams. I hope it is the beginning of a reckoning.

A photo of Judith Bice