So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race

Paperback - 2018
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"[The author] explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide"
Publisher: New York, NY : Seal Press, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781580056779
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 24 cm


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Tigard_HalstedB Oct 20, 2020

This book should be required reading for all white Americans trying to educate ourselves about systemic racism and structural injustice. It is not an easy read, nor should it be.

Oct 14, 2020

Definitely a worthwhile read (or listen). Discusses how we we should approach conversations about race, as well as many stories about the author's negative experiences while growing up.

Oct 01, 2020

Before I read this book, I read Oluo's article that she wrote about her interview with Rachel Dolezal. In that piece, her frustration at the act of racism in front of her, followed by sadness at the world that created that brand of racism, is palpable. I wasn't surprised to see that parts of this book read much the same way. As she reveals tales from her personal life, you can feel this sequence of emotions rise up often. But each chapter follows up an anecdote with crucial talking points that anybody can use to face these issues head-on. She poses points that likely make white readers uncomfortable (and they should!), and offers steps as to what people should do differently and why. I think this is a thorough and extremely effective read for anyone who wants to have conversations about race but doesn't know just how to start.

Aug 23, 2020

I don't think you could find a more accessible book on this topic anywhere. Oluo's writing is powerful, captivating, and engaging. It tells the stories that white people need to hear about how their actions negatively affect the lives of people of color. It's also a call to action to directly address racism within yourself and others to dismantle the system of white supremacy that costs people of color their mental and physical health (and lives) every day. Oluo shows her anger and indignation at these systems of oppression while simultaneously showing compassion and understanding for people trying to do better. She provides accessible ways to take action that anybody can and should do. Nobody has the excuse not to read this book.

Aug 22, 2020

255 pages

Aug 19, 2020

Oluo pulls no punches in this often uncomfortable, but absolutely essential discussion of systemic racism and the role white Americans play in keeping it alive. She covers tough topics such as privilege, police brutality, microaggressions, and racial slurs while offering specific steps each of us can take to advocate for social justice reform. This is a book that everyone should read and refer back to again and again.

Aug 05, 2020

With the rise of protests demanding Black Lives Matter, Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race has become extremely prevalent. Oluo covers common questions that white people pose when it comes to movements and rights concerning race, such as why only Black people can use the N-word and whether police brutality is really about race. She also explains concepts such as intersectionality, microaggressions, and the model minority myth, to name a few. Through her informative book, Oluo has created a safe place where white people and people of colour can come to learn about and discuss race without judgement. This isn’t a book to be engrossed in; it’s not fast-paced fiction with a main character who is constantly bombarded with insults and discrimination, although Oluo uses multiple anecdotes from her own life as examples of racism. So You Want to Talk About Race is an in-your-face compilation of mistreatments that people of colour, more specifically Black people, have faced throughout history in America. This is so white people can have a better understanding that, despite the continual protests in the country, equality is still unestablished. Oluo isn’t afraid of making her readers uncomfortable when it comes to racial conversations and, in fact, encourages discomfort for change to happen. Oluo encourages the dismantling of racism by providing basic explanations for burning questions that we are all currently confronting. I give this book ⅗ stars and recommend it to readers of all ages.
@ilovefood of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

WCL_Rosie Jul 16, 2020

"So You Want to Talk About Race" is a great starting point for those who are new to learning about racial inequality, and the ways you may be unknowingly participating in it. There are sections of Oluo's book that are written directly towards white folks who have never experienced racism, but there are others confirming and validating the experiences of BIPOC readers. The audiobook version was particularly excellent.

reading_past_bedtime Jul 15, 2020

Bahni Turpin as the narrator of this book is brilliant. You can see by all the comments how amazing this book is, but I didn't see a shout-out to the audio version, and it is SO well done.

Jul 11, 2020

I reread several chapters in an attempt to absorb as much as possible. A great resource for talking to family.

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Mar 10, 2019

Because the needs of the most privileged are usually the ones prioritized, they are often the only ones considered when discussing solutions to oppression and inequality. These solutions, not surprisingly, often leave the underprivileged populations in our movements behind.

Mar 09, 2019

Racial oppression should always be an emotional topic to discuss. It should always be anger-inducing. As long as racism exists to ruin the lives of countless people of color, it should be something that upsets us. But it upsets us because it exists, not because we want to talk about it. And if you are white, and you don't want to feel any of that pain by having these conversations, then you are asking people of color to continue to bear the entire burden of racism alone.

Mar 09, 2019

Even in our class and labor movements, the promise that you will get more because others exist to get less, calls to people. It tells you to focus on the majority first. It tells you that the grievances of people of color, or disabled people, or transgender people, or women are divisive... it has you believing in trickle-down social justice.

Mar 09, 2019

This promise -- you will get more because they exist to get less -- is woven throughout our entire society. Our politics, our education system, our infrastructure -- anywhere there is a finite amount of power, influence, visibility, wealth, or opportunity. Anywhere in which someone might miss out. Anywhere there might not be enough.

Mar 09, 2019

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 there is more profit for others deemed superior. The profit itself is the greater promise for nonracialized people -- you will get more because they exist to get less.


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Jun 03, 2020

Naya14 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Aug 19, 2020

Ijeoma Oluo explores the history of systemic racism and how it benefits white Americans while harming people of color. She also answers questions people are often scared to ask concerning cultural appropriation, affirmative action, police brutality, and other important topics.


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