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Kansas City author writes of being the only Black woman in the room

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Dawn Downey is a self published author based out of Kansas City, MO.
Courtesy of Dawn Downey
Dawn Downey is a self published author based in Kansas City, Missouri.

In her new memoir, "Blindsided: Essays From The Only Black Woman in the Room," Dawn Downey battles a mental war between sensing racism and denying it.

Whether it’s being called the N-word, being stared at in restaurants or not being accepted in Black spaces, Dawn Downey works to put readers in her shoes.

Downey is the author of three self-published essay collections: "Stumbling Towards the Buddha,” “From Dawn to Daylight” and “Searching for my Heart.”

Her new book, “Blindsided: Essays From the Only Black Woman in the Room,” is a collection of essays in the previous three books. As she pulled essays from each of those books she realized they all had one thing in common, which was race.

"In essays that started out entirely about something else, race crept in,” Downey said. “I was surprised by how often race crept in where I wasn't even talking about race.”

Downey told KCUR’s Up To Date about one morning she went to get breakfast with her husband and received a piece of pie that was not edible. The situation made Downey believe it was because she was Black.

“Now there's all the other questions," Downey said. "Was it just bad service? Did she really do this because a Black person ordered this pie? Did she even know a Black person ordered this pie? But in the end, I just had to close the box and throw it away because sometimes there is no resolution."

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