• You Sound Like a White Girl

  • The Case for Rejecting Assimilation
  • By: Julissa Arce
  • Narrated by: Julissa Arce
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $18.89

Buy for $18.89

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

This program is read by the author and includes a bonus conversation with the author and Paola Ramos, a Vice News journalist, MSNBC Contributor, and author of Finding Latinx.

A love letter to our people - full of fury and passion."
- José Olivarez, award-winning poet and author of Citizen Illegal

"If you could take Rodolfo Gonzales epic poem 'I Am Joaquin' and explain it through compelling, personal narrative in twenty-first century America, You Sound Like A White Girl would be it.”
- Joaquin Castro

Bestselling author Julissa Arce brings listeners a powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans.

“You sound like a white girl.” These were the words spoken to Julissa by a high school crush as she struggled to find her place in America. As a brown immigrant from Mexico, assimilation had been demanded of her since the moment she set foot in San Antonio, Texas, in 1994. She’d spent so much time getting rid of her accent so no one could tell English was her second language that in that moment she felt those words - you sound like a white girl? - were a compliment. As a child, she didn’t yet understand that assimilating to “American” culture really meant imitating “white” America - that sounding like a white girl was a racist idea meant to tame her, change her, and make her small. She ran the race, completing each stage, but never quite fit in, until she stopped running altogether.

In this dual polemic and manifesto, Julissa dives into and tears apart the lie that assimilation leads to belonging. She combs through history and her own story to break down this myth, arguing that assimilation is a moving finish line designed to keep Black and brown Americans and immigrants chasing racist American ideals. She talks about the Lie of Success, the Lie of Legality, the Lie of Whiteness, and the Lie of English - each promising that if you obtain these things, you will reach acceptance and won’t be an outsider anymore. Julissa deftly argues that these demands leave her and those like her in a purgatory - neither able to secure the power and belonging within whiteness nor find it in the community and cultures whiteness demands immigrants and people of color leave behind.

In You Sound Like a White Girl, Julissa offers a bold new promise: Belonging only comes through celebrating yourself, your history, your culture, and everything that makes you uniquely you. Only in turning away from the white gaze can we truly make America beautiful. An America where difference is celebrated, heritage is shared and embraced, and belonging is for everyone. Through unearthing veiled history and reclaiming her own identity, Julissa shows us how to do this.

©2021 Julissa Arce (P)2021 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about You Sound Like a White Girl

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing read for the Latinx community

Thought provoking listen! So good I finished it in a day. Nice history lesson that I really appreciated. It really helped me understand why my Dad worked so hard to assimilate and maybe why he didn’t teach me Spanish and when asked where he was from replied the Bronx instead of Mexico City.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ

Filled with great information and history about Mexican's arrival in this country before colonizers. Filled with vital information about assimilation and the fact that the US does not have an actual national language. This book helps you analyze your own role or ignorance in how we try to hide in whiteness or American culture. The author helps Latinos reconnect with their ancestry and roots with a great sense of pride because of all we have contributed to civilization and how much we continue to contribute to America today. I love how she says, "I did not cross the border, the border crossed me!" A MUST READ FOR ALL OF ALL AGES!!!!! BRAVO JULISSA!! PHENOMENAL BOOK!!!!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for Latinas/os

This is such a wonderfully written book that is a must read for Latinas/os. Assimilation is difficult to associate by many and Julissa does a fabulous job encompassing this concept. I relate so much to several of the stories discussed here. Thank you for clarifying some points and including history I discovered by reading! Keep pouring the passion into your writing as some of us have become more inspired by your work!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My Heart.

I've struggled all my life with my Mexican American side. I've considered myself Mexican American and have never thought otherwise. but I don't speak Spanish. I've tried learning in the past, but I've had others make fun of the way I pronounce things, so I've shyed away from the language. Maybe in the future I'll learn, so i can feel more connected to my heritage. Overall, such a profound and beautiful book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thank you Julissa

Thank you for making me so proud of my heritage and adding to discourse about us and our people. It meant the world to me to hear it read by you as well. Your pronunciations and feeling elevated an already amazing book even more. Thank you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thank you from a 3rd generation Mexican America

Thank you for putting into words some thoughts I’ve had for years and something’s I’ve been wrestling with my whole life as a 3rd generation Mexican American. I’m also from El Paso, Texas

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CZ
  • 05-01-22

Wow! Just wow!

I binge listened to this book, and then went and bought the hard copy. Julissa Arce wrote a book that has never made me feel so seen and so understood as a Latina in my entire life. Full of history, personal anecdotes, and snippets of other writings, everyone NEEDS to listen to this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sounds Real!

This touched on so many of the issues I faced growing up in SELA and that I now see my students struggle with as they shift and form their identities!!! Thank you for bringing the almost lost histories and anecdotes to life! Thank you for ensuring that there isn’t one way to be “American.” I appreciate the insight you share about very complicated family dynamics that ring true for so many!
My 9yo daughter enjoyed some of it and had so many wonders!!! Priceless!!!
Can’t wait to share with the elders!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Let the Choir sing

This book moved me in unexpected ways as a black woman I still felt like I was a part of the Choir to whom Julissa wrote a beautiful chorus. I have been told more times then I can count (being a California black woman) that I sound like a white girl and so I related to so much of the message behind this book. Thank you for the historical gems that you dropped on us. Thank you for just telling it like it is no sugar coating needed. Just facts, honest reflections, and truthful insights. Thank you for trusting us the reader to understand that these truths are being delivered in love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlightening! Impactful!

As a white male, I was both enlightening and impactful. It was enlightening to be able to hear her perspective on the issue of race and ethnicity in the USA. We all need to hear and try to understand different views to appreciate what changes we need to make. It was impactful as three of my grandkids are part Latino/Hispanic. I want them to know life not just as white, but from all perspectives of their heritage. Now, I have a little better idea of how to do that. Thank you Julissa, I have enjoyed both of your books and your own narration of them. You are amazing!