By the time he turned 2 years Kevin Hofmann had survived an abortion, been given away by his mother, adopted by a family of another race and woke up to a burning cross in his front yard.
Kevin was born in Detroit in August 1967 two weeks after the riots that changed that city forever. It was out of these amazing circumstances his life began. It is out of these experiences he tells his story; a story of struggle and joy, pain and passion, and most of all hope.
Kevin's memoir, Growing Up Black In White is presently used as part of several college curricula in the schools of social work and multiculturalism. Because his story also addresses the impact of race and culture in our society, he uses his story to create open discussions on race and culture as well.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT KEVIN
I was required, as part of my job, to attend a training on diversity and inclusion run by Kevin Hofmann. I considered calling in sick that day because any other training I have ever been to on this topic always made me feel, as a white male, that I was the "bad guy" and all the racial issues in this country were my fault.
In the first 5 minutes of Kevin's training, I knew this was different. He shared from such a vulnerable place that it permitted me to do the same. I participated, I laughed, I cried, and most of all I learned. I walked away feeling hopeful instead of attacked. BRAVO Kevin!
I met Kevin Hofmann a few years ago when our school enlisted his support to open dialogue in our school community regarding diversity and inclusion. Kevin attended our district-wide opening day at the start of the year to equipAs our staff with the necessary tools to support our diverse population. As a district, we purchased his book, Growing up Black in White, for all staff members to read. Throughout the school year we held numerous book studies to deepen the conversation. Since that time we have invited Kevin back to talk with staff in a smaller group setting, and to sit on our diversity panel. Mr. Hofmann's perspective and knowledge has helped Perrysburg Schools to work through a conversation that is ever evolving. Kelly K-8 Principal Ohio
What Hofmann does so well is tell his story. He simply tells his story, without activism or criticism or politics, and that's what I found so moving. He writes sincerely and humorously about the joys and challenges of his childhood, growing up, and his racially-mixed family. Other than demographic details, the chronicle of his personal evolution is thematically similar to that of Langston Hughes, William E.B. DuBois, and James Weldon Johnson. But Hofmann's story is uniquely accessible.
Growing Up Black in White is poignant, funny, and enlightening. Hofmann's decision to steep his story in the ordinary moments of life was inspired. His book pulses with an authenticity that will transport you back to your own childhood. If you spend any time at all there I trust you will see things you never saw before. Because as Hofmann shows, regardless of your skin color growing up is never simply black and white.
Sally Bacchetta Author New York
He draws people in. I know this because when Kevin spoke to us in East Lansing, I invited adoptive parents who needed reaching and they responded to him. They and their children are reading your book together. Reaching these families potentially opens the door to further communication about race, culture and the adoptee experience, perhaps including the writings of other adoptees. I will continue to recommend his book as an important addition to the many great works by adult adoptees.
We sometimes learn more by the stepping into the lives of others than we would from direct advice. I believe many parents will take their first steps to being better parents by reading his book and recognizing what our children experience as minorities. I believe parents who may not have done so will finally take active measures to recognize their children’s race and culture and move into, and interact with, more diverse communities.
Bob Black Children White Parents transracial group Lansing, Michigan
I really appreciate you coming in and speaking with our class. Several students expressed to me that they found your visit very rewarding & enlightening, as did I. Also, I'm enjoying what I've read of your book thus far, and I'm going to request that the university's library get a copy.
Kevin Sociology Instructor Spring Arbor University Michigan
My name is Marcee and I'm a student at Lourdes University. I just wanted to say thank you for coming and speaking with our class last Wednesday. I also really enjoyed your book and am looking forward to your next one. I've passed it along to my daughter and told her what an enlightening read it is. It takes courage to make your personal life public but thank you for doing so. Understanding the world from another persons perspective is always an eye-opening experience and creates an opportunity to have a greater understanding of issues that affect the world around us. I've really appreciated all I've learned from this multi-cultural diversity class and reading your book was a wonderful supplement, as was the opportunity to meet you and have you answer our questions.
Marcee Lourdes University Ohio
I finally had a chance to sit down and start reading your book last night. Stayed up very late, as I couldn't put it down. I have never read anything like it. I have read a LOT of books on transracial adoption, but nothing like this. You have a gift of communicating your feelings, and your transparency has helped my husband and I to make a very important decision regarding our future.
Thank you so much for allowing people like us to look into your heart and soul through your experiences. What you have shared will change our kids' lives. Your examples and wisdom are invaluable to us at this time in our lives. You unselfishly shared things that many people would rather keep inside. Thank you seems 'weak' but it is all we have.