Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race Book Summary - Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race Book explained in key points
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Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race summary

Reni Eddo-Lodge

Understand racism and white privilege

4.1 (194 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

'Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race' by Reni Eddo-Lodge is a powerful book that explores the constructs of race and racism in the UK. It challenges readers to confront their own prejudices and engage in meaningful discussions about race and its impact on society.

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    Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
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    A communication gap between white people and people of color is impeding the progress of race relations in Britain.

    “I don’t see color.” You’ve probably heard some well-meaning white progressive bleat the phrase out in total sincerity, and you’ve almost certainly heard it more than once. It’s meant to indicate that the speaker wants to live in a meritocratic world where everyone is afforded opportunities based on innate talent and abilities. What’s more, it signals they are leading by example.

    But, not only is it extremely condescending, it also totally misses the point. Worse still, this myth of “colorblindness” scuppers discussions that might help progress.

    Let’s be clear about this. For people of color – regardless of social class – racism is woven into the harsh fabric of daily life.

    Consequently, if Britain’s racism problem is going to be solved, then the communication gap between white people and people of color has to be bridged.

    Back in 2014, the author – a Black British journalist – was on a mission. She wanted to investigate structural racism. But white people just responded with boredom, indignation or defensiveness.

    Out of sheer exasperation, she wrote a blog post. It was entitled “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race.” She was expecting a racist backlash, but, much to her surprise, it went viral, and mostly for positive reasons too.

    Generally speaking, verdicts on the piece went two ways. Black people felt that she had clearly expressed experiences they’d had trouble articulating. On the other hand, white people were alarmed at the idea that they’d collectively made people feel this way. They were keen to learn how they could improve the situation.

    Both groups agreed that dialogue was the solution. What’s more, the author’s talent in voicing these issues meant it was critical that she keep talking about race to white people.

    Since then, Eddo-Lodge has worked as an activist talking almost exclusively to white people about race. She's attempted to expand her understanding of racism in Britain. She wants to push things forward and has left the frustration of that first piece behind. Productive conversations about race inequalities in Britain have to take place between all strata of society, no matter what color they may be.

    But before we start looking at the specific issues relating to racism in Britain today, we’re going to have to dig a little deeper into its history.

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    What is Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race about?

    Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) examines the often-dismissed problem of racism in Britain and offers insight into how it might be overcome. Contrary to the title, this volume provides a starting point for productive conversations about racism in Britain today. It examines British black history, white privilege and the links between class and race.

    Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race Review

    Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) by Reni Eddo-Lodge is an eye-opening exploration of racism in Britain, making it an essential read for everyone. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • With its in-depth analysis of the historical context and present-day issues, it provides a comprehensive understanding of race and racism.
    • Eddo-Lodge's sharp insights and personal experiences bring the book to life, adding an emotional resonance that deepens the reader's engagement.
    • By challenging white privilege and exploring intersections of race and class, the book stimulates critical thinking and inspires important conversations.

    Best quote from Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

    In 1983 alone there were 76 reports of police harassment against people of color.

    —Reni Eddo-Lodge
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    Who should read Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

    • People interested in black British history
    • Workers who feel the economy and society aren’t working for them
    • Anyone who wants better race relations

    About the Author

    Reni Eddo-Lodge is an award-winning British journalist. She has written for the New York Times, the Voice, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and the New Humanist.

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    Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

    To highlight the realities of racism and challenge white privilege.

    How long does it take to read Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

    The reading time varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A must-read to understand racism, it offers valuable insights into race relations.

    Who is the author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

    Reni Eddo-Lodge is the author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

    What to read after Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
    • You, Happier by Daniel G. Amen
    • The Other Significant Others by Rhaina Cohen
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
    • Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch