About the authors

Val is black and Katie is white. Over the course of a 20 year friendship, the two engaged in countless conversations about race and racism. However, the stakes grew from two friends trying to understand each other’s perspectives to a mother trying to equip a child to navigate an experience far more complex than anything she had experienced when Katie and her husband adopted a biracial son.

The authors’ formal education and personal experiences gave them access to information, research, and invaluable resources. So, Katie and Val embarked on a journey to make this critical research and expertise accessible. They pepper straightforward talk with personal stories to also tell a story about developing friendships across races and ethnicities and how absolutely essential that is to raising a child.

Valerie I. Harrison

Val has both a law degree and doctorate in African-American studies. She is an attorney, educator, and served as acting president of Lincoln University, the first degree-granting Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the United States. This is Val's second book. Her first, Color Him Father: Stories of Love & Rediscovery of Black Men was published in 2006 by Kinship Press. For a bit more, check out this profile on Medium.

Kathryn Peach D'Angelo

Katie holds a doctoral degree in education and she and her husband are white adoptive parents raising a bi-racial son. Unlike some white parents who subscribe to a “color-blind” or “postracial” ideology, Katie and her husband confront head on the reality that they would need to equip their son for an experience far more complex than anything they had experienced.

Val's image inside the book

by Susan Ragland

Katie's image inside the book

by Susan Ragland

Artwork by Susan Ragland

Susan's work figures prominently on the pages and you are encouraged to check out her amazing gallery online.

A new take on the modern family

Do Right By Me supports parents and caregivers raising Black children in white families, communities and other spaces. The book provides parents and caregivers with an orientation to how race will impact their child’s life, informed by research and the authors’ lived experiences, so that they are better equipped to raise healthy, confident, and well-adjusted children. This work focuses primarily on the adoption by white families of Black children. While the initial impetus for this book was to support transracial adoptive families, the authors believe the book can be helpful for other communities raising Black children, including Black or interracial families of origin.

How the book is being discussed...
Scholarly reviews in the Journal of Black Studies by Molefi Kete Asante and in Ethnic & Racial Studies by Thiago Bogossian 

Philadelphia Community Podcast with Loraine Ballard Morrill featured an interview with the authors which aired on WDAS FM 6-7 am and 7-7:30 am on Power 99. What's Going On airs Sundays on Q102, Radio 104.5, 106.1 The Breeze and 1480 Breakthrough Radio

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane featured an interview with the authors to discuss the book and raising Black children in white spaces, just one week after the insurrection at the US Capitol

Read more