REVIEW: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

In brief: Why racism and who leads discussions on racism matter – from history to class and feminism.

The good: Very well written with an extensive bibliography to read further.

The not-so-good: I felt uncomfortable at times recognising when I have not acted in calling out racism or letting white privilege take over.

Why I chose it: I need to educate myself further about race and race history.

Year: 2017

Pages: 249

Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus (Bloomsbury)

Rating: 9 out of 10

Like many others, seeing the recent protests in America made me realise that I don’t know much about black history or structural racism. I haven’t read many (if any) non-fiction books about racism, which I realise now I need to do to understand my role in racism and white privilege. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race was the only book my local library had on race (disappointing given that the library services a multicultural region). It is a great book to start my education with, looking at the UK and how racism is a part of everyday life for black and brown people.

Reni Eddo-Lodge writes clearly and eloquently, explaining why racism is an issue and occurs every day, in simple interactions. The book starts with a chapter about black history in Britain. I did not realise that Britain had a large involvement in the slave trade, and who Rhodes really was. The other chapters discuss the system and its flaws from birth to death in its treatment of black and brown people. The chapter on white privilege was particularly interesting to me, explaining what white privilege is and how white people receive it without even thinking about it. It did make me feel uncomfortable at times, realising where this has occurred for me. The other chapter I enjoyed was on feminism and black women, looking at intersectionality, which made a lot of sense to me. The final chapter looks how people can discuss race and increase awareness which I found really useful to put thoughts into action.

This is a powerful read to educate yourself to deal with the, ‘I’m not racist, but…’ conversations and an important read in seeing how the world treats those of colour.

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