We’ll All Be Free: A Conversation with Caroline Sumlin

The Conversation

The following is an interview excerpt that has been lightly edited for the sake of conciseness and clarity.

Josh Olds: Now I want to start and I hope this doesn’t sound confrontational, because I don’t mean it that way. But there are so many books that have been written in recent years about white supremacy and racial reconciliation from both secular and Christian perspectives. So in your mind, what makes your voice and what makes this book be different enough to stand out enough that it adds to the conversation?

Caroline Sumlin: I love this question. My book is specifically about how white supremacy culture causes us, as individuals and as a collective society, to feel unworthy as humans, and what we can do about it, and it’s an approach to white supremacy culture that has not I have never seen this been done before. We know about white supremacy culture, there’s been research done about it. And it’s not, it’s not talked about as much as systemic white supremacy is and there is a difference there. So yes, there’s a lot of books out there about systemic white supremacy. There’s a lot of books out there about how systemic white supremacy and systemic racism causes the disparities between the Black community and the white community and other communities of color, specifically in America, but also, globally.

We can go on and on about that, but who has actually talked about how white supremacy culture has impacted the way that we see ourselves and how that impacts every single one of us, regardless of what our racial identity is, or what our gender expression is, or anything, any other identity, we may, we may carry, or we may hold? So that’s where my book comes in. And it’s actually written about a lot less. It’s a lot of my story woven in there, there’s a lot of talk about healing, and how do you heal from the way white supremacy culture has impacted you as a person and the lies that you’ve believed in the standards you believe you have to uphold yourself to.

The Book | We’ll All Be Free

Discover a Better Standard of Excellence

You’re not good enough. How many of us internalize this belief before we even reach adulthood? How many of us feel unworthy and unable to live up to what seem like impossible-yet-completely-arbitrary standards? Where do these toxic beliefs about ourselves come from? And who told us there is a way we are “supposed” to be anyway?

With passion and compassion, Caroline J. Sumlin reveals the force that keeps all of us, whether we are part of a marginalized group or not, from freely expressing who we are as image bearers of God: white supremacy culture. Sharing her own story, she helps you see the wide-ranging effects of living in a culture of white supremacy. She identifies the damaging beliefs we internalize from our very earliest days and shows us how to find clarity and freedom as we dismantle the oppressive structures that hem us in and force us to conform.

If you have struggled with perfectionism, self-doubt, unworthiness, or the unrelenting pressure to pursue someone else’s version of “success,” you will find here the tools you need to silence the voices that seek to keep you down and to value yourself as never before.

The Author | Caroline Sumlin

Caroline J. Sumlin is a writer, speaker, and educator with a passion for helping all people to reclaim their self-worth and their humanity. A former foster child turned adoptee, Caroline brings awareness, healing, and liberation to the topics of toxic white supremacy culture, systemic injustice, mental health, faith reconstruction, and bold, purposeful living to her growing audience. She received her bachelor of arts from Howard University and resides with her husband and their two daughters in Northern Virginia.