Sarah Valentine is a widely published author and translator whose interests include black and mixed-race experience, mystery, folklore, true crime, horror, and ghost stories. Valentine has taught literature and creative writing at Princeton; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Riverside; and Northwestern University. In 2013 she won a prestigious writer’s residency from the Lannan Foundation and was awarded Prairie Schooner’s award for best emerging writer.
“When I Was White” is her memoir about growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a mixed-race African American who was raised to believe she was white. The memoir chronicles Valentine’s transition from white to black as well as her journey through depression, breaking family taboos and learning the hard truths about race in America. “When I Was White” has been featured on summer “must-read” lists in Essence, PureWow, Bookriot, The Millions, and Bustle, and called “a masterful explication on the formation of self and identity” by National Public Radio.