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

  • By: Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Narrated by: Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (9,912 ratings)

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

By: Reni Eddo-Lodge
Narrated by: Reni Eddo-Lodge
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Summary

"I couldn't have a conversation with white folks about the details of a problem if they didn't want to recognise that the problem exists. Worse still was the white person who might be willing to entertain the possibility of said racism but still thinks we enter this conversation as equals. We didn't then, and we don't now."

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.

©2017 Bloomsbury (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Audible Sessions with Reni Eddo-Lodge

Meet the author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
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What listeners say about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

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143 people found this helpful

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start here for anti racist education

an excellent starrinv point for white people who want to really get their heads around racism, and the imperative of anti racism from white people to effect any form of structural change in a white dominated society.

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68 people found this helpful

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For everyone who thinks race doesn't affect them

everyone who thinks race doesn't affect them should read this book. it's a deep insight into how existing in a world where white is seem as 'normal' and being black or brown is 'other' takes its long grinding toll.

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45 people found this helpful

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Dear White People

Please read this book it may make you uncomfortable, but this is what you need to understand! Please do not whitesplain and say it’s biased, it’s the reason black people are fed up. Leave the privilege on the side table take off the rose coloured glasses and immerse yourself in this wholly honest explanation!

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21 people found this helpful

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A must listen

Brilliant book, challenging and insightful. Gave me a new vocabulary to talk about race and inequality.

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6 people found this helpful

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For a white woman, a difficult pill to swallow

Whilst it was difficult it was worth it. So many times I've sat in feminist spaces and heard exactly the phrases referred to. I felt them boiling in reaction within me. However, whilst I don't agree with everything, I agree it's me that has to change.

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Brilliant well articulated fact unapologetic

Thank so much Reni for witnessing me.
You said everything I feel and have felt since I was a little girl right up to a woman in her 40s.

In the 70s as a 3, 4, 5 year old I felt my job was to do my best to fit in to a society who would only accept me by being good meaning I didn’t complain or ask questions. I should stay small and unimportant and be grateful

Fantastic book.

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4 people found this helpful

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A book that needed to be written!

Really insightful introduction to the tenets of structural racism. I really enjoyed the initial chapters exploring Britain's history of racism post slavery. I also loved the chapter exploring race and class divide using Haringay as an example. I really like the author's persuasive and accessible writing style

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3 people found this helpful

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Why? 'cause you've got so much else to talk about!

This book is a bit of a mixed bag. It seems grounded at the start and other than the phrase  "Black and brown people continue to consider themselves British." Being used as a criticism I generally liked the opening. I enjoy history and the book starts going over the history of racism in Britain, some of which was shocking.

Things got a bit weird in the middle. In one interview a mixed race adult claims her white mother didn't do enough while raising her as she should have provided Jamaican food and such to help her understand where she came from. This seems like madness to me, surely you're your own person after all? I don't give a toss if my ancestor liked lettuce or limes, nor if they liked rock or classical.

This might be a non-black thing but the idea of embracing my heritage seems kind of pathetic. I'd rather like things because I like them, have hobbies that I enjoy rather than trying to emulate my sperm and womb donors of the last few hundred years. I didn't understand this perspective at all, but then some people like "Who Do You Think You Are?" while I find it unspeakably dull so to each your own.

There was then a very interesting bit about white people confronting the burden of racism. Which unfortunately didn't quite overshadow the repeated use of the word "designed" in reference to racism as if one day a cabal of whites sat down and said "Let's make society worse for non-whites!" I think racism comes about because people have always been uncomfortable with people that look different (i.e. freak shows of old with dwarves or bearded ladies) but I think saying "designed" attributes a cunning malice to unfortunate happenstance.

I've never heard of the term "fear of a black planet" before but it is a fantastic term for some of the feelings depicted in the book and that I've seen in the real world! I liked the Schrodingers Cat rebuttal as well. Although quoting Daily Mail readers in a book about racism felt a bit like shooting fish in a barrel I would recommend this portion quite a bit.

Then chapter 5 was very odd. Apparently feminism isn't about gender equality, it is about helping all the oppressed: Disabled/Trans/Non-binary/Black/Working Class etc. It should demand a universal basic income/affordable housing etc. I think the author wishes feminism was some overarching mantle for every social justice issue when, by description, it is instead about gender equality.

I imagine this book was written over a long stretch because Chapter 6 is completely hypocritical when set against Chapter 4. You can't bemoan "Fear of a Black Planet" and anti-immigration views and then complain about whites moving into Tottenham (where the author was raised), Haringey and other largely black areas and changing the culture and make up of the area.

I actually laughed because I was so surprised by how anti white people moving into her poor black hometown the author was after railing against people for not wanting black people moving into more white areas. The editor should have caught this.

Overall the end of the book (after chapter 4) is really quite bad. The phrase "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race" feels like it gets used in every other sentence of Chapter 7. There are bits about immigration, how bad the rich are, reparations for slavery, feminism, ableism, the evils of capitalism, Corbyn. Honestly, go to a Uni town on Friday night, get a student drunk and ask what's wrong with the world and you'd pretty much get the end of this book.

There is very little in the way of new ideas or innovative ways to tackle systemic racism. Just lists of complaints and a half-hearted call to arms. The author does encourage people to use their anger and "anger leads to the dark side" so that might move some people. :p

I don't know. Very interesting to see things from a black woman's perspective in Britain but not much in the way of ideas or advice. If the author publishes an autobiography then buy that instead rather than this book that doesn't stick to its initial racial focus. Speaking of the author, the book was read by the author and the narration was very good.

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Well narrated and rightly challenging.

I loved this book and also Renni Eddo Lodge narrating it. It is like she is in the room explaining these important issues. All white people should engage with this and just try and understand a different perspective.

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1 person found this helpful