Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race

Book Review

Book: Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race
Author: Reni Eddo-Lodge
Year: 2017
Pages: 249
Synopsis: “In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book.

Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.”

Every single white person needs to read this book. It was so educational and eye-opening for me, I learnt so much about my white privilege and the deep rooted history of racism in the UK. I was shocked to read about events that had happened in the UK, that I didn’t know about! It was really interesting to read about the experiences of black people and gain real, gritty insight into their perspectives.

I especially liked the part on feminism and black women – being a feminist myself, it’s a conversation I was already aware of and was prepared to learn more about. I never realised just how harmful white feminism can be, and I found it so intriguing to learn more about it all. The topic of class was really interesting because I’d never aligned it with racism before, but reading about the effects of race and class in the UK made me understand a lot more how deep the structures of racism are.

I was so angry at the shocking British history that is taught to us in school, and how much is covered over. We hardly learn about black history, or the true facts of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and the treatment of the Empire. Luckily I was able to learn about more when I took history as an A-Level, and potentially looked at doing it as a degree, but it should be basic knowledge for everyone. It’s a conversation that needs to be opened up when children are at school, so they are aware from a young age of the situation in the country and can form their own opinions on racism.

The writing itself is flawless, I felt carried along on the narrative and understood every point that was being made. The energy and passion for the topic was felt with every sentence and by the end of the book, I felt empowered to do something, anything, that could help bring about change. The messages that are brought about in the book are well worth taking a note of, it provides an excellent role of communicating structural racism and its effects.

It was a great first book to start with in educating myself.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

-Personally, Emma

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