Cover Image: So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race

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As a white person, I try to read as much as I can about race to better understand how to be an ally to people of color. Ijeoma Oluo is a fantastic writer and So You Want To Talk About Race is no different. They're able to break down everything in a way that is easy to understand.
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I teach at a four-year college and think this book would make a wonderful classroom resource, particularly in classes that involve a lot of discussion and/or deal with contemporary social issues. I don't know that I'll ever use it as a required text, but I'll definitely add it to my recommended readings list.
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Reviewed on Goodreads: 

Go. Read. This. Book. Well written, informative, and concerned with the reader learning, not just the author being right. 

You should read this: 
• If you want to talk about racial topics better
• If you’re great at talking about race
• If you never want to talk about race

Everyone should read this book. This should be the very next book you read.
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When I read the chapter titles of this book, i asked, is this book for me? I felt like I could answer - or at least already had a basic under of: “Why can’t I say the “N” word?“ or “What is cultural appropriation?”

But, of course, I learned stuff immediately when I started reading. 

One thing of the first things I picked up is that everyone who has privilege is uncomfortable with talking about it. Even liberal people seem to be hesitant to admit that it exists. Damn! I have been saying “no one really sees their privilege” - but it became really clear reading this book. The (black) author talks about having discussions with her (white) friends and they seem to want to think that all poverty can be solved with the same answers. Then the author says <i>Why do you think black people are poor? Do you think it’s for the same reasons that white people are?</i> Wow! 

This is in the first chapter - <b>Is it really about race?</b> 

She goes on to say: 

<i>Race As we know It in the U.S. Is closely integrated with our economic system. The system of racism functioned primarily as a justification for the barbaric act of chattel slavery and the genocide of Indigenous Americans. You cannot put chains around the necks of other human beings or slaughter them wholesale, while maintaining social rules that prohibit such treatment, without first designating those people as somewhat less than human. And later, the function of racism was somewhat repurposed as a way of dividing lower classes, still with the ultimate goal of the economic and political supremacy of white elites.</i> 

This is why slavery still has repercussions today. Is this really so hard to understand? Or would we rather bask in our privilege and conveniently ignore it? 

There’s more: 

<i>Race has also become alive. Race was not only created to justify a racially exploitative economic system, it was invented to lock people of color into the bottom of it. Racism in America exists to exclude people of color from opportunity and progress so that there is more profit for others deemed superior. This profit itself is the greater promise for nonracialized people—you will get more because they exist to get less. That promise is durable, and unless attacked directly, it will outlive any attempts to address class as a whole. 

White Supremacy is this nation’s oldest pyramid scheme. Even those who have lost everything to the scheme are still hanging in there, waiting for their turn to cash out.</i> 

This makes sense if you think about it. And this is why middle class and poor white people vote Republican. Wealth is the great white hope. Maybe I don’t have a lot of money today, but because I’m white, maybe these rich white men will make me rich, too. 

<i>Those who had always blatantly or subconsciously depended on that promise, that they would get more because others would get less, were threatened in ways that they could not put words to.</i> 

I honestly believe that this is how this is how “Obama divided the country racially”. Because white people were pissed at black success.

And there are some good questions for thought…like the section title (in this same first chapter), “Is it about race if a person of color thinks it’s about race?” That’s an interesting question. Because while I think we who are privileged need to be vigilant that we’re not unconsciously supporting racism, I’m sure there’s got to be a few people that use “it’s about race” to deflect honest criticism. But then I realized, who am I to fault someone who has likely consistently been oppressed because of their race lash out at a few false positives?

In <b>chapter 2, the author defines racism</b>. 

<i>For the purposes of this book, I’m going to use the second definition of racism: a prejudice against someone based on race, when those prejudices are reinforced by systems of power.</i> 

This is because: 

<i>When we use only the first definition of racism, as any prejudice against someone based on race, we inaccurately reduce issues of race in America to a battle for the hearts and minds of individual racists—instead of seeing racists, racist behaviors, and racial oppression as part of a larger system.</i> 

And there’s even humor! 

<i>This book will not tell you how to get unabashed racists to love people of color. I’m not a magician.</i> 

This is soooo important. 

<i>But when we acknowledge racism as a part of a system, instead of being limited to our ability to win over racists, we can instead focus on how our actions interact with systemic racism. No, the problem isn’t just that a white person may think black people are lazy and that hurts people’s feelings, it’s that the belief that black people are lazy reinforces and is reinforced by a general dialogue that believes the same, and uses that belief to justify not hiring black people for jobs, denying black people housing, and discriminating against black people in schools.</i>

So, racists aren’t really the problem - it’s the institutional system that they support and that supports them that is the real problem.

I love what she says about <b>privilege in chapter 4:</b> 

<i>The concept of privilege violates everything we’ve been told about fairness and everything we’ve been told about the American Dream of hard work paying off and good things happening to good people. We want to know that if we do “a” we can expect “b,” and that those who never get “b” have never done “a.” The concept of privilege makes the world seem less safe. We want to protect our vision of a world that is fair and kind and predictable.</i> 

This is so true! 

<b>Chapter 5, on intersectionality,</b> is great! It’s much more far-reaching than you might think. 

It’s got to be frustrating when you’re just defending yourself, and you get attacked even more. The author talks about being frustrated at certain things and how she’s attacked for them: 

<i>All I had done was express anger at the abuse of black women, all I had done was ask people to care about us as they did about others. All I had done was ask for the fight for black lives to include black women, too, and for that, I had to block tens of thousands of black people—my people—who wanted me to pay for my audacity.</i> 

Wow. It’s amazing how “hey! Care about us, too!” (like BLM) so quickly gets the response “no! Fuck You - you hate everybody else!” (like responses to BLM suggesting it’s a terrorist organization. I guess it’s just a way to silence those being oppressed - to turn their cries of “see me” into “I hate the people who don’t see me!” That’s why #AllLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter are both tools of oppression to silence a minority that’s already oppressed and further marginalize an already marginalized community. So who is at fault? (1) The assholes that want to silence #BlackLivesMatter by distracting people from the real issue and trying to subvert #BlackLivesMatter and make it seem like it’s not a “Black lives matter, too” (which is what it is) and make it sound like it’s a “Black lives matter more” (which couldn’t be further from the truth). Or (2) the people who buy into this stupidity and parrot it. Both? I think so. Do people even care that #AllLivesMatter is the same as saying #BlackLivesDontMatter or #MyWhiteLifeMattersMoreThanYourBlackLife or #WhiteSupremacy4Ever

<i>Am I listening to people whose identities and experiences differ from mine?</i> 

Wow! More irony - the fact that much of my reading is of “people whose identities and experiences differ from mine” would bring the accusation from conservatives that I live in an echo chamber!

<i>It’s not enough for you to personally believe in intersectionality. We need to start demanding intersectionality of all those who seek to join us in our social justice movements.</i> 

This is so important! I’m running into this issue locally where certain groups seem so homogeneous. But we want diversity. We want to hear more voices. It’s Intersectionality, not tokenism! It’s not about wanting to look diverse! It’s about truly wanting and needing the view of diverse voices. About wanting to give voice to the marginalized. But we have to remember that often when someone of privilege invites someone in a marginalized community to take part we might be viewed with suspicion because of their experiences.

<b>Chapter 6: Is Police Brutality Really About Race?</b>  

There’s some great stuff in this chapter to think about. 

<i>But those who demand the smoking gun of a racial slur or swastika or burning cross before they will believe that an individual encounter with the police might be about race are ignoring what we know and what the numbers are bearing out: something is going on and it is not right. We are being targeted. And you can try to explain away one statistic due to geography, one away due to income—you can find reasons for numbers all day. But the fact remains: all across the country, in every type of neighborhood, people of color are being disproportionally criminalized. This is not all in our heads.</i> 

This sucks!! This kind of thinking (requiring a ‘smoking gun’) requires every non-white person to provide solid and material evidence of every interaction that could be racially provoked even when race can be shown (with evidence) to be a systemic issue. That’s not right. 

Some notes: 

<i>Our police force was not created to serve black Americans; it was created to police black Americans and serve white Americans. This is why even when police were donning white hoods and riding out at night to burn crosses on the lawns of black families, white families could still look at them with respect and trust.

When talking about police brutality, it is important to remember that the police force can be trustworthy public servants to one community, and oppressors to another community—just as we can live in a country that promotes prosperity for some and poverty for others.

People of color are not asking white people to believe their experiences so that they will fear the police as much as people of color do. They are asking because they want white people to join them in demanding their right to be able to trust the police like white people do.</i> 

<b>Chapter 7 is about that greatly contentious idea, Affirmative Action.</b> 

<i>I have found myself now, at thirty-six, with a writing career. For some, who know my history, I’m seen as someone who beat the odds and fought against adversity and won. “You must be so proud,” they say.

I think about every black and brown person, every queer person, every disabled person, who could be in the room with me, but isn’t, and I’m not proud. I’m heartbroken. We should not have a society where the value of marginalized people is determined by how well they can scale often impossible obstacles that others will never know. I have been exceptional, and I shouldn’t have to be exceptional to be just barely getting by. But we live in a society where if you are a person of color, a disabled person, a single mother, or an LGBT person you have to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional by the standards put forth by white supremacist patriarchy, and you are lucky, you will most likely just barely get by. There’s nothing inspirational about that.

Affirmative action’s goal was to force educators and federal employers to get creative and proactive in their efforts to combat the effects of hundreds of years of racial and gender discrimination had had on the diversity of their workplaces and universities.</i> 

Some great arguments here against the cons of affirmative action. The cons can only be raised by people who don’t understand AA.

<b>8, What is the School-To-Prison Pipeline?</b> 

This is a tough read. 

<i>…our publIc-school system sees black And brown children as violent, disruptive, unpredictable future criminals. This may seem like the hyperbole of an angry black woman, but when I look at the way in which our black and brown students are treated in schools, it is the only conclusion I can come to.</i> 

We spend all of our time studying the reaction of children of color to our society, but no time asking about the reaction of our society to these children. Why is this important? Isn’t it obvious? How can we just look at how children of color act in response to what we do to them - but not look at what our society does to these children? 

<i>Black students make up only 16 percent of our school populations, and yet 31percent of students who are suspended and 40 percent of students who are expelled are black. Black students are 3.5 times more likely to be suspended than white students. Seventy percent of students who are arrested in school and referred to law enforcement are black. In the 2011–2012 school year alone, 92,000 students were arrested.1 When I look at these numbers, there are two possible explanations. I can assume that our black and brown children are violent, disruptive, unpredictable future criminals who are not deserving of the same access to education as white children. I can assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with black and brown people, something fundamentally broken that is sending our kids out of school and into prison.

Or, I can assume that the school system is marginalizing, criminalizing, and otherwise failing our black and brown kids in large numbers.

Students of color who have been labeled “disabled” are more likely (by 31 percent) to be suspended and expelled from school than other kids, a harmful marriage of both ableism and racism.

Along with zero tolerance policies came a rise in the number of police officers in schools, known as School Resource Officers (SROs). These officers have become an easy way for schools to delegate their disciplinary responsibilities to a criminal justice system that has already shown quantifiable racial bias.</i> 

This is such a massive problem. Where do we even start? 

<b>10, Cultural Appropriation </b>

This is something not always easy to understand. 

Of course, everyone cries - it’s not fair that we can’t use something created by someone else. I love the author’s response. 

<i>…what actually is not fair, is the expectation that a dominant culture can just take and enjoy and profit from the beauty and art and creation of an oppressed culture, without taking on any of the pain and oppression people of that culture had to survive while creating it.</i> 

Good point. 

<b>11, Why Can’t I Touch Your Hair?</b> 

This is fascinating. Of course, I’ve known about the long-running issue of white people asking to touch black women’s hair. But didn’t think about how deep these issues ran. 

<i>It is a continuation of the lack of respect for the basic humanity and bodily autonomy of black Americans that is endemic throughout White Supremacy.</i> 

<i>Since the first black Americans were brought over as slaves, our bodies have not been our own. We were objects—property. Our bodies were curiosities and tools to be inspected and exploited. Our bodies were sources of judgement and shame. But they were never beautiful, and they were never our own.</i> 

I don’t feel like I have to know <i>why</i> this is annoying to stop doing it merely because I know that people may not like it. But the knowledge of why helps. 

<b>15, What if I hate Al Sharpton? </b>

<i>I receive Facebook comments, Twitter DMs, and emails telling me that “people like me” are the reason why race relations are as bad as they are. My insistence on voicing my anger, on using terms like “White Supremacy” and “racist” to define White Supremacy and things that are racist, my insistence on being seen and acknowledged as black—that is the real issue. White people would love to join me in my fight for freedom and justice, but I’ve made it too unpleasant for them.</i> 

Good god, people are stupid.

<b>Chapter 16 is titled, I just got called racist, what do I do now?</b>

Here’s my answer…um, stop being racist?

<i>But I am aiming this chapter at you, the white person who is afraid of being called racist.</i> 

Interesting. I’m not afraid of being called racist. For two reasons. First, I know I’m privileged, and I fight every day to try to understand what it’s like to not have my privilege. I read, I study, I discuss. But second, and most importantly, I know I’m privileged, and therefore don’t completely understand the experience of people of color, and may do or say something that someone considers racist, and may be called out on it. But then, I’ll know there’s probably something about me I need to change.

<i>You may intend to treat everyone equally. But it does mean that you have absorbed some fucked-up shit regarding race, and it will show itself in some fucked-up ways.</i> 

Ha! Then the author called me racist. But, to be fair, I get where she’s coming from.

<b>17, What else can I do? </b>

There’s lots we can do! As this last chapter will attest to. And there’s always more we can do. I’m grateful that I’m already attempting to do some of the things on this list - but I can do more. And in this chapter, she does a great job of outlining what we can do. 

Read this book. Even if you think you’re already woke. 

<i>Thanks to NetGalley and Perseus Books, Da Capo Press for a copy in return for an honest review.</i>
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This book will be very helpful to students in order to learn about race and social justice issues.  There is a great deal of information and insight.
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Oluo writes for those ready to have an honest and meaningful conversation about race. She is direct and commands the readers thoughtfulness and attention. I can’t wait to put this in the hands of students who are at the beginning of their intellectual understanding of the dynamics of race.
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This book is a must read no matter the race. Very well presented,thought provoking and conversation provoking also. The author presents her infomation very well and precise. This book should be read with an open heart, eyes and mind. I am sure you will see, feel and experience something you may not have normally. A must read. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publsiher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
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Thanks so much to Netgalley and Seal Press for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have been a fan of Ijeoma Oluo’s writing for the last few years, having discovered her first via The Establishment, an online publication that supports marginalized writers and creators. They cover a wide range of topics ranging from politics to kink, and I have learned so much from so many of their writers. So naturally, when their Editor-In-Chief (whom I admire greatly) was coming out with a book on race, I jumped at the opportunity to obtain an advanced copy. 

In the last couple of years I’ve been better about reading nonfiction books on social issues; reading is the best way I learn and as I’ve become more aware and involved in the understanding of systemic oppression and how they’ve led to current events. Specifically, I’ve leaned towards reading books on these topics by women of color. This education is ongoing, and I have to recommend Oluo’s book as an important resource to us non-Black people who are here and willing to engage in these conversations. 

The book opens with clear intentions; talking about race isn’t easy or comfortable and you’re not going to get it right immediately or all the time, but they are necessary because they’re not going anywhere just because you don’t talk about it. 

“For many white people, this book may bring you face-to-face with issues of race and privilege that will make you uncomfortable…But a centuries-old system of oppression and brutality is not an easy fix, and maybe we should not look for easy reads. I hope that if parts of this book make you uncomfortable, you can sit with that discomfort for a while, to see if it has anything else to offer you.”

Divided into chapters that each handle a different topic, all related to race, and all established in the form of questions, this book is almost a 250-page FAQ on race, if you will. Topics include “Is it really about race”, “Why am I always being told to check my privilege?”, “What is intersectionality and why do I need it?”, “I just got called racist, what do I do now?”- you get the idea. Each of the chapters respond to the title question, and every single one of them is absolutely fantastic. They are coherent, easy to comprehend, and come with clear-cut actionable steps one can take. 

It’s really hard for me not to go through and share every paragraph I highlighted in this book because there’s just too many, but I can share with you a story that illustrates its utility. A day before reading this book, my sister and I were having a conversation about privilege, and we kept getting stuck in the “just because someone is rich doesn’t mean they aren’t hardworking and haven’t earned the rewards” argument. Try as I might, I couldn’t articulately explain how privilege worked in this context. The next day, I happened to be reading Ijeoma’s book, and came across the chapter on privilege. I offered to read it out loud to my sister, and this is the paragraph (in addition to the detailed example provided prior to it) with which I was able to get through to her:

“We don’t want to think that we are harming others, we do not want to believe that we do not deserve everything we have, and we do not want to think of ourselves as ignorant of how our world works. The concept of privilege violates everything we’ve been told about the American Dream of hard work paying off and good things happening to good people. We want to know that if we do “a” we can expect “b”, and that those who never get “b” have never done “a”. The concept of privilege makes the world seem less safe. We want to protect our vision of a world that is fair and kind and predictable. That reaction is natural, but it doesn’t make the harmful effects of unexamined privilege less real.”

This book comes with so many such real, relatable moments, which is what makes it so accessible. Don’t be fooled by it’s tone; Ijeoma is not here to let us off the hook. She is candid about the very real, very deep pain and frustration she experiences, caused by navigating a racist society, and while is understanding of the fear and hesitation that audience members might have about talking about race, she doesn’t attempt to shield them from it, and is very clear that such discomfort is necessary in this learning process. Being an ally isn’t easy, nor is it a badge of honor one can bestow upon themselves- the work needs to be done. 

it would be reductive to call this book an introductory text to race conversations; the language is simple and it won’t alienate novices, but the topics are day-to-day only in their occurence. The discussions itself are very nuanced, because dismantling systemic oppression can’t happen in one stroke, and this book lends itself to the ongoing nature of such conversations. Some of the topics are very American-centric, but the overall themes are still so relevant and applicable to non-American contexts. The book also comes with a lot of practical suggestions and tips. Like a lot of things, you can’t have these conversations perfectly from the get go- we’re going to make mistakes, and the only way to get better at them is to keep practicing having them. We have to do the work. 

So You Want To Talk About Race has made it to my all-time favorite kind of social justice book- sheer accessibility with an academic bent. I meant to take it slow but found myself unable to put it down; I was drawn in from the get-go. I urge every single one of you to pick up this book. There’s so much to learn from it, not only in the understanding of systemic oppression, but tangible steps to dismantle it in our everyday lives. So timely, thought-provoking, educational, and necessary.
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Have you ever had a difficult conversation about race where you felt like everything went wrong? Have you avoided talking about race because you're afraid you won't say the right thing? Do you feel like you should be doing more to dismantle a racially unjust political and social system? 

Ijeoma Oluo has written a timely, clear, and comprehensive guide to tackling complicated topics about race. She answers questions like: 
"Is it really about race?" 
"What is the school-to-prison pipeline?"
"Why can't I touch your hair?"
"I just got called racist, what do I do now?"
...and more in a way that is concise, accessible, and backed by data. This book must have been an enormous undertaking to write, but the product is so perfectly executed that I couldn't help but read it in one sitting. 

I truly can't recommend it highly enough. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK MORE THAN ONCE. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A COPY OF THIS AT HOME FOR REFERENCE. The only way to create systemic and cultural change is to engage in difficult conversations with those of the same race, those of different races, people in your family and your community and your office. And once you finish this book, don't stop there, because it's about more than one book by one person. Take the actionable steps Oluo includes in the book. Read other books, like The New Jim Crow and Sister Citizen and Stamped from the Beginning. Support POC in all areas of society. No matter where you are on your path to fighting racism, this book has something to offer you.
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In this series of essays, Ijeoma Oluo addresses how to approach discussions of race, ranging from the importance of intersectionality to the school to prison pipeline and everything in between. Oluo never sugar coats the very serious issues she’s addressing in these pages, and states up front that this book will probably make a lot of readers uncomfortable. That’s probably true, but it’s also true that sometimes we need to be uncomfortable in order to learn and accept hard truths. 

This book wasn’t always an easy read—as a white person in America, I understand despite whatever good intentions I may have, I have not only benefited from a history and institution of racism in this country, but that I have also, at times, contributed to it. That’s not a fun thing to recognize, but it is important, and I think Oluo’s essays do a phenomenal job of explaining not only how we should talk about race and racism, but also why we should. I can say without a doubt that the things I read and learned in this book are going to stay with me. I think everyone, whoever you are, whatever background you’re coming from, should read this book. Whatever your race or ethnicity, however informed or uninformed you think you are, you need to read this book. I really just can't recommend it enough.
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Thank you, Ijeoma Oluo, for an incredibly thoughtful and engaging book on talking about race. This book is a fantastic contribution to discussions that are admittedly difficult, but that we all need to be engaging in. Everyone should read this book.
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I kind’ve figured that I was going to devour this book. I love pretty much everything that Ijeoma Oluo has written - whether that’s an expertly-written online article, a facebook post, or a tweet. She is brilliant, so I was not at all surprised to absolutely love this book. Oluo spends chapter after chapter laying down truth about issues like microaggressions, the “model minority myth”, police brutality, the school-prison pipeline, Black Lives Matter, and so many more. What I loved most about this book was how incredibly accessible it is; Oluo manages to break down scary-sounding concepts in the most easy-to-read way. Not only that, but she also offers super practical, accessible, actionable steps that those of us with privilege can take to have better, more empathetic, and productive conversations about race. If you’re looking around at the state of the world and constantly asking, “but what can I DO about it?”, you need to read this and take it to heart. Highly recommend! Thanks to NetGalley for my copy.
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This book is a must read. It made me uncomfortable at times, but that is exactly what is needed. Highly recommend.
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Évidemment le titre de ce livre fait penser à celui-ci :  Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race. Mais le point de vue est différent : Ijeoma Oluo est Américaine, métisse, a été élevée par sa mère blanche et a grandi à Seattle (où la majorité de ses amis étaient blancs). Comme elle explique dès le début du livre, la question de race a toujours constitué une partie importante de sa vie. En tant que femme noire, impossible d'échapper au fait qu'elle vit dans un pays suprémaciste blanc, où elle doit subir des remarques sur son physique, faire constamment attention car ses moindres faits et gestes sont observés. Sa race est l'une des forces qui définit sa vie, mais elle n'en parlait pas. Elle ne s'attardait pas sur les micro-agressions qu'elle subissait, faisait comme si de rien n'était, parce qu'il lui fallait survivre. Et puis, au fur et à mesure que ses objectifs se réalisaient, elle a décidé de ne plus se taire et a commencé à résister et à ne plus se laisser faire. Elle a commencé à écrire et à dire des choses "trop négatives", "trop polémiques" selon son entourage. Ce qu'elle avait à dire ne plaisait pas à ses amis blancs (ses copains de lycée notamment). Mais ce qu'elle perdait d'un côté, elle le retrouvait parmi les gens qui avaient lu ses articles et la contactaient en ligne ou qu'elle rencontrait en personne. Nombreux sont ceux qui réalisent que l'Amérique n'est pas le melting pot tant vanté, et que la colère et la terreur ressenties par les POC (people of color) sont en fait justifiées. Et ces mêmes POC se trouvent désemparées quand ceux qui les ignoraient auparavant leur demandent de les éduquer sur ce qu'est leur vie. Now that we're all in the room, how do we start this discussion?

Ijeoma Oluo donne donc dans ce livre des thèmes de discussion, la manière de les aborder, pour ceux qui veulent écouter et ceux qui veulent être entendus. Le  titre de chacun des 17 chapitres est une question : What is racism? What if I talk about race wrong? Why can't I say the "N" word? Why can't I touch your hair? Pour chaque chapitre, elle raconte une situation qui lui est arrivée, présente différents points qu'elle détaille ensuite. Le premier chapitre Is it really about race? est grandiose. Le troisième, What if I talk about race wrong? est très intéressant aussi (et parfois comique) car elle parle de sa mère qui ne s'était pas rendu compte de ce qu'être noir impliquait. Pour elle, ses enfants étaient magnifiques, intelligents et c'est tout ce qui comptait pour elle. Elle ignorait que les choses ne seraient pas si simples pour eux. Et malgré ses bonnes intentions, elle commet beaucoup de bourdes quand elle parle de race. Et c'est évidemment très délicat pour sa fille d'aborder ce sujet avec elle. Je n'ai pas pu m'empêcher de rire en lisant la conversation entre mère et fille quand la première laisse un message enthousiaste à sa fille car elle a eu une révélation. J'ai ri, mais je comprends pourquoi Ijeoma Oluo trouve sa mère fatigante parfois. Ce chapitre est vraiment utile pour qui souhaite discuter du racisme. Les conseils donnés sont excellents et, s'ils n'empêchent pas de se sentir mal à l'aise, permettent de comprendre la réaction des autres. Le chapitre What is the model minority myth? où l'auteure parle des minorités asiatiques m'a passionnée. 

Certains pourront trouver ce livre trop basique puisque Ijeoma Oluo prend le temps d'expliquer les concepts, parfois à l'aide d'anecdotes, dans un langage simple. Mais c'est justement ce qui m'a plu ici, et plus particulièrement concernant la notion d'intersectionnalité que je trouvais un peu vague. J'ai également trouvé utile l'explication de l'expression "check your privilege" qui est souvent mal comprise : il suffit de lire les commentaires sur certains forums (je sais que je ne devrais pas) pour s'en persuader.

Lecture très utile, très franche que je recommande. D'ailleurs, je crois que je vais acheter ce livre pour le relire encore et encore.
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This is a good book for those who have just started thinking about race issues. Would recommend for those who are interested in the Black Lives Matter movement and/or intersectional politics and need guidance in articulating these ideas.
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Ijeoma Oluo's So You Want to Talk About Race is an important book. It serves as a good introduction to social justice issues. More importantly, in a very accessible manner, her book takes you through examples regarding how to start talking about race. And it focuses not just on educating the reader about these topics but also the need to take actions. She considers many key topics, including privilege, intersectionality, police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and cultural appropriation.

I think that this book is ideal for people interested in learning more about social justice issues and who wants to learn about what they can do. It will be a good read for those more versed in these issues, too, although it may not teach those individuals as much.
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This thought provoking book has quickly become one of my favorites, so much so that I would recommend it for students of sociology as well as those enrolled in high school.  The book is well written and organized to beautifully discuss, with reason, the subject of race and societal inequities.  The book assumes nothing, and rationally discusses the definition of racism and how to unemotionally converse with others about it. The author handles the subject rationally and gives the reader pause to think about their own perspectives. 

I enjoyed reading this book and will recommend it to my adult classes as a way to reframe race in society today. Big ideas start small and this author has given us all a framework to begin. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. #SoYouWantToTalkAboutRace #NetGalley
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A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, and Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor's seminal essay "The Meaning of a Word." (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC of So You Want to Talk About Race from Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, Seal Press, in exchange for an honest review.

I'm a regular reader of The Establishment, which Ijeoma Oluo edits, so I knew that I would like this book. What I didn't realize is that I will be buying a copy of this for at least four of my friends.

This book is a primer that works hard not to alienate its reader. Oluo makes sure that all of her readers have a base knowledge of the topics she discusses - privilege, intersectionality, police brutality, affirmative action, the school to prison pipeline, the history and impact of the n-word, cultural appropriation, the ever popular touching of black people's hair (just don't), microaggressions, the "angry" black person, what happens when you get called racist, and what we can do other than talk.

This book is full of personal examples, statistics, and race theory, as well as the genuine answers to the bullshit responses that you'll hear if you start talking about race.

This book is devastatingly important for all of us to read, particularly the more privileged of us in America. There isn't a single word in here that isn't necessary to tell the story we all need to hear. 

If you pick up a copy on Amazon or Indiebound, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.
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An incredibly honest and helpful critical look at the small and hard to discuss details about race that are so often misunderstood, Very valuable to read.
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