Beacon Press has announced the acquisition of a new title by author Robin DiAngelo, whose 2018 book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism has become the fastest selling title in the press' history.
The as-yet-unnamed new book will look at the ways in which white people form alliances with one another, and the need for them to break those alliances in order to support racial equality.
White Fragility's success came as a surprise for Beacon, in part because of the what the press saw as the title's difficult message. “The response has been incredible and heartening, because this isn’t an easy book, especially for white progressives,” said Beacon editor Rachel Marks. “Robin doesn’t peddle in white guilt or shame, but at the same time she doesn’t hold back any punches. It’s incredible to see white readers acknowledge discomforting truths about the damage we often unintentionally inflict on people of color.”
The book has spent 30 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and according to Beacon over 250,000 copies have been sold since its publication. “It says so much about this movement in our nation, where we’ve heard repeatedly about a surge in white supremacists movements, that a book like Robin’s can serve as such a powerful counter to those ideologies and make such an impact,” said Beacon director Helene Atwan.
Despite its popularity, the book has not met with acclaim in all quarters. The publisher and author have received hate mail and racially charged negative reviews. According to Beacon, bus ads for the book were rejected by public transit agencies in Boston and Washington D.C. because of concerns about offending white riders.
Nevertheless, Atwan said the success of the title gives her “renewed hope that the arch of history is bending toward justice.” DiAngelo’s new book is slated for late 2020, or early 2021.