“What presses us to journey to the core of our being beyond the threshold of personal security? In Longing: Stories of Racial Healing, Phyllis and Gene . . . walk a tightrope between self-knowledge and the long march toward a humane appreciation for the hidden gifts of difference.
Taking their souls and bodies on the road of difficulties, they offer rare and intimate insights into class and racial privilege, cultural conditioning, and the often unpaved paths of personal sacrifice and submission to a higher purpose, a greater good. If we are ever to master the psycho-emotional ruin created by racism, it is primarily through such courageous journeys as this. Their courage will encourage others, of whatever generation, of whatever race or nationality. Such a journey should be understood as sacred, as mystical, as transformative, as exciting and fulfilling . . .
By bringing themselves to account through this spiritual experiment, the Unterschuetz’ have undertaken the eternal quest for a personal spiritual destiny and release from the peculiar histories of racial discrimination that continue to challenge the spiritual destiny of the United States. Learning patience, humility, and genuine fellowship, they created the favorable circumstances for racial healing to occur by entering the boxing ring where we spar with our own demons.
Racial awareness is a long process of psychological and emotional growing up. By letting us into their minds, their apprehensions, and their own shortcomings, they permit others to see the possibilities of true freedom from the chaos of individual racism. The Unterschuetz’ give deeper meaning to spiritual citizenship in the twenty-first century.”
- Dr. Robin Chandler, associate professor of African-American Studies and member of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University, author, sociologist, international consultant, artist, poet, and Fulbright scholar.