In February 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge posted an impassioned argument on her blog about her deep-seated frustration with the way discussions of race and racism in Britain were constantly being shut down by those who weren't affected by it. She gave the post the title 'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race'. Her sharp, fiercely intelligent words hit a nerve, and the post went viral, spawning a huge number of comments from people desperate to speak up about their own similar experiences.
Galvanised by this response, Eddo-Lodge decided to dive into the source of these feelings, this clear hunger for an open discussion. The result is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today, covering issues from eradicated black history to white privilege, the fallacy of 'meritocracy' to whitewashing feminism, and the inextricable link between class and race. Full of passionate, personal and keenly felt argument, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is a wake-up call to a nation in denial about the structural and institutional racism occurring in our homes.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Robina Maslen on 16-08-18
A difficult read for an older white woman
I've just finished listening to this audio-book. My daughter recently went out for a while with a young black African man, and so I thought I should be better informed on current politics (being nearly 60 years old myself). I went through a range of emotions as I listened - from empathy, to resistance and anger, to realisation that I was feeling threatened because of my white privilege, exactly as the writer described. So for me this has been a very uncomfortable and challenging read, but one which has immeasurably widened and deepened my understanding of current race and gender politics and of the importance of intersectionism (not sure I got the terminology right there...). The areas covered and the structure of the book seemed to me to be highly relevant. Not sure what I'm going to do about it yet, but the last chapter was useful in this regard. and I'll discuss it with my (all white and female) book group tomorrow.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Danny on 02-04-18
This was so close to being a great book, but being only 250 pages it just lacked depth. Reni discussed many different areas, but some of them were rushed, with little explanation and statistical analysis (ie the tiny football / Rooney Rule section). Sometimes she made references as if we all knew what she meant, there were parts which were unclear because of a lack of definition and so on. But I did learn quite a bit, there were many parts of black history that I didn't know or think about, and this is the first book of its kind that I've read so I found it informative.
Maybe she was rushed, but I just wish she would revise and re-release it to add way more depth. 7/10.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Duane J. on 15-06-17
Jesus took the wheel...
and chauffeured Ms. Eddo-Lodge through a dynamic thought-provoking yet humbling piece of work. This book challenges you to challenge the idea of what 'normal' is. Whether it relates to race, sex, or gender and the intersectionality of it all. Bravo!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Buretto on 08-03-18
In truth, I don't have THAT particular privilege
What did you love best about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?
I loved the author's power and passion about the subject. There is no doubt that she is sincere in her beliefs. I concur with nearly everything she presents here, save for a few flights of speculative fancy and the citing of some extremist views as mainstream. But as a white American male, I recognize that I am a guest in Ms. Eddo-Lodge's realm here, and respect the chance to hear ideas and learn from sources previously unknown to me.
I acknowledge the privilege I enjoy. My personal morality is based on that recognition and respecting that it is not universal. I have alienated family and friends with this worldview, and have done so without remorse. And I continue, at every chance, to chastise, scold, and occasionally, if I'm lucky, educate those who speak, hint or embolden racist ideas. Hence, the headline. It is my duty, and I accept it.
I don't write this to present myself as one of the "good ones", and to be honest, it doesn't overly concern me if Ms. Eddo-Lodge likes or respects me. I've taken my responsibility, and she's taken hers. I believe these are both positive steps, and I think she'd agree.
What other book might you compare Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race to and why?
I won't list them, but this is much better than many books of this type. She pulls no punches and makes her case. My only, cautious, exception is to the occasional supposition, perhaps unintentionally, of a monolithic black view. She acknowledges differences, primarily American and British, and even, ever so slightly, her own shortcomings. But it never descends to into victimhood.
Have you listened to any of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
It's the only book on Audible by her, but I'd be more than willing to listen to anything else she may produce.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes and, in fact, I did. It was refreshing to hear a reasoned, quite determined, presentation of views. All too often these kinds of discussions are grotesque shouting matches.
Any additional comments?
The author mentions the origins of the term "white skin privilege", but I thought it was useful to mention that term had started to gain momentum in 1999 and 2000, in the person of Bill Bradley, a presidential candidate (who lost the Democratic primary to Al Gore, who subsequently "lost" to George W. Bush in the general election). It seemed like a fair compromise which gave white people the opportunity to take a step back and see the big picture without immediately acknowledging complicity in active racism. It didn't seem to take, though.
Also, I'm curious whether the author didn't know, or didn't care, to give Public Enemy the credit for the name she gave to her worldview. It was a huge album back in '90.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful