Dorothy Hampton grew up as the youngest and unexpected child in a large (White) southern family in the time of Jim Crow and the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Her feelings of isolation pushed her to seek her place in the world and she fell into what would become her life’s work on doing work on the “inter-racial level”. This newfound commitment to “do something” about Racism took her on an unplanned journey where she witnessed several historical moments in history including the founding of major Civil Rights organization, the Detroit Riots, and the observing major figures of the movement well before they were household names. All the while she put off marriage and motherhood trying to learn more about the role Race played in her life.

She eventually married a prominent Black missionary several years her senior and moved to Teaneck, New Jersey, a racially diverse town chock full of hidden racism.

When a young black boy was shot by a white cop in the 1990's after years of racial profiling was ignored by higher ups, she once again used her experience to make a difference, becoming a major part of the Community Dialogues that were created in its wake. She continued to serve as a Race Relations consultant in the New York area as well as up and down the east coast well until her 70’s. Although she had been behind the scenes from the 50’s, this poignant and honest memoir proves that those that aren’t on the front lines of a struggle often make the greatest contributions.

Due to Dorothy's dementia, her only child Kaypri picked up the baton, surprising her mother with this story for her 80th birthday.

The Rave Reviews!

"..readers will be touched not only by her story but by her daughter’s dedication in bringing it to light. How fortunate we are today to be able to read it, that it needn’t be hidden away for an occasional scholar to happen upon, but available to all. A vote of thanks to Dorothy for helping to create our new, more open and inclusive American future."

- HETTIE JONES Author, How I Became Hettie Jones, New School Professor

"What life teaches us is that we have the ability to continue to grow. Spring is a season but also a possibility as there is renewal. I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know shows us renewal at its finest, a wonderful insight."

- NIKKI GIOVANNI Activist, Author, Racism 101, Distinguished Professor of English, Virginia Tech

"Dorothy’s work models the healing our nation still has to do to fully embrace both our diversity AND the common humanity of us all."

- VALERIE BATTS Executive Director, VISIONS Inc.

"Dorothy invites us into the intimacy of her white family circle to allow us to observe what its like to grow up as a Southern girl and how she became one of the unsung heroines of the movement toward becoming a ’somewhat’ more perfect union. For years I have said of her, “She is a genuine, good white woman.” In this book we get to see what helped to make her such a remarkable human rights activist."

– DR. JAMES A. FORBES The Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor , Union Theological Seminary, Sr. Pastor Emeritus, Riverside Church, New York City

"For all of us waking up to what it means to be white today, it's inspirational to learn that Dorothy's waking up process had continued to be the cornerstone of her life, and and what she seems to hold dear as her legacy.