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

Reni Eddo-Lodge. Bloomsbury Circus, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4088-7055-6
With its provocative title, this debut book by London journalist Eddo-Lodge is a plainspoken, hard-hitting take on mainstream British society’s avoidance of race and the complexities and manifestations of racism. Eddo-Lodge describes Britain’s history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination toward black people, and she shows how this history both mirrors and diverges from the history of America’s treatment of African-Americans. Slavery existed as a British institution for 271 years, but most of the plantations that British citizens operated were in the Caribbean, and as a result “most British people saw the money without the blood.” Once in Britain, black people encountered “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” signs in the windows of many establishments. Eddo-Lodge’s crisp prose and impassioned voice implore white Britain to look beyond obvious racism to acknowledge the more opaque existence of structural racism. She describes this deep-seated prejudice as “thousands of people with the same biases joining together to make up one organization, and acting according.” She points to the “impenetrable white workplace culture” as an example of the collective effects of bias, and shows how black people face these sorts of disadvantages of every stage in life. Her analysis takes on contemporary issues, understanding Brexit through a lens of white fear of multiculturalism and chastising the kind of feminism that refuses to see the how gender and race intertwine. With this thoughtful and direct book, Eddo-Lodge stokes the very conversation that the title rejects. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017
Release date: 12/05/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-4117-2
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