• 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 (201 ratings)

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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

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks That Capture American Latino History


Latinos and Latinas in the United States might find themselves questioning where they belong, whether they migrated from Latin American countries with their parents as children, arrived as adults, or were born in the USA. American history often overlooks those who don't have British or European ancestry. Dive right into this list and prepare to have an "ear-opening" experience as you learn more about what makes Latino heritage of all kinds so special.

What listeners say about You Sound Like a White Girl

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Thank you!

Enlightening! I learned so much while listening and further researched many of the topics. It also sparked many discussions with my 20 yr old who has mainly grown up around Caucasian Americans...knowing his history is something I've always discussed with him. It also sparked many positive family dinner conversations.

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Good Book

This was a good book. I enjoyed hearing about her experiences and what she has learned about valuing her own culture.

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Liberal BS

I hoped this would be about overcoming adversity as a Mexican/Hispanic but instead it’s about crying and victimization.

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Excellent!

I love that this book is “for the choir”. It is well written, informative and definitely worth reading, even for those who are not the “the choir”. My only issue with performance was inconsistent audio volume making the delivery a bit chopping at times.

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A must for anyone that want to understand American History better

I loved this book! Everything covered in it details the experience many latinx (Latine) HispanicLatinos/as have growing up in the US. As well as immigrants and refugees coming to the US alike. It explains how people are othered and how real history has been erased. It’s a fantastic read! Thank you for putting these words to
Paper and in Audio for us to learn, share, and understanding.

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Exceptional

I am glad that I had the opportunity to listen to this book. It was recommended by my wife who grew up bi-culturally on the Texas/Mexico border.

Julissa has a powerful message that certainly resonated with me and my family. There are many topics left for further review, but a perfect overview and provocation.

I will definitely be recommending this to my 'white' side of the family, especially those still living in Texas.

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Exceptionally well written


I loved it from start to finish. Well rounded historical events. It should be required reading for schools.

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Dos palabras Increíble y Gracias

As a Latina whom struggle with identity in this world of many labels this book hits home. I love and learn every bit of your book. I thinks that every story you told from the cheerleaders too people that were loss during 9/11 tragedy are significantly important and are rarely known. I hope you continue to write more books that inspire our Latin community to be ourselves and be proud of who we are.

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I’m mexicana y orgullosamente

I am in my feelings with this book. You definitely open my eyes to a lot of things I didn’t want to admit or see within myself sounding like a white girl. The racism experiences I myself went through not realizing them. Such a good audio that I now am buying a hard copy. Thank you!

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Beautifully written and heartfelt story that doesn’t pull any punches on the analyses!

I’m getting copies for friends and family right away. This is the book I’ve been waiting to read for a long time, and I’ve read a lot of books on Latinx and Chicanx experiences. Gracias Julissa Arce. You’re brilliant!

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