So You Want to Talk About Race

by March 29, 2018

In this breakout book, Ijeoma Oluo 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

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.”

Review: This is a truly important book

As a white person with a long-standing commitment to participating in the eradication of systems of oppression, I found this book invaluable. With all the reading I’ve done and all the workshops I’ve attended – and led – this book expanded my thinking. Oluo’s writing style is engaging and accessible. She begins each chapter with a story from her own experience, told with startling openness, unpretentiousness and humor. She demystifies topics such as privilege, intersectionality, microaggressions, cultural appropriation and more. She provides tips on how to start a conversation about race without turning off the person you’re talking to.She’s honest about the sad fact that it probably won’t go well and will feel uncomfortable. If you have never tried to talk about race, this book is a great how-to manual. If you’re not sure you even want to talk about race, this book may change your mind.

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