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Publisher's 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

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Recommended

I admire Reni for being so open and honest about her struggle with the denial that goes on about racism and how we as a society and as a race (white people) don't want to take ownership of our attitudes and perceptions, that have been handed down to us. I would like to say that here in Australia we don't have that kind of thing but that is not the case at all, and trying to get people to admit that the casual jib about another race or minority group was not OK is like trying to shove shit up a hill, so I can't even imagine how much harder it must be for people of the actual group to try to get people to see reason.

It only seems to be getting worse at the moment as politicians point the blame for their F ups onto minority groups that look different and have a different experience, and it is happening all around the world. So we need this conversation now, but it is also becoming more dangerous to bring it up and be the one trying to expose the ugly hidden side of our social structures. And the more people take up the blame the more and more minority groups are targeted and the more and more people are in danger. This is something that people of color have had to deal with for a very long time, the fear of losing a loved one to some random act of fear induced hatred. It is something they shouldn't have to live with, we all deserve to live our lives without fear of being targeted.

Of the book it's self it was well written and flowed naturally. Hearing Reni read out some of the interviews she had was disturbing, for several reasons but it really dose point out how the "freedom" of speech is being used and abused when people are refusing to listen to rational requests. The disparity between races on the actual freedom to speak is horrendous enough but it shows that we have more than just a problem with race and otherness (or strangers as people from different backgrounds were labeled), we have a massive problem with perception, and also with our understanding of what things like freedom of speech actually mean.

So basically it was very eye opening. I also had no idea that people in Britten were largely unaware of their part in the history of slavery. Having grown up knowing a little bit about it I took it for granted that they would also know about it. I have read a few reviews criticizing this book for not being more well researched or for only being a headline grabber but that is not what this book is. It is the pent up frustration boiling up and it is a conversation starter. This book is about the experiences of the author and how the color of her skin and the bias of the social structure of the society she was born into affecting her life experiences. It is about being open and honest and about opening peoples eyes to the problems we face as a community.

Um if you have managed to get this far, I recommend the book if that wasn't clear.

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Read this book!!

Any colour you are, you need to read this book.
As a white female I found it confronting but good, my outlook on racism has changed so much!
Thankyou Reni

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Educating and interesting

This book has provoked conversations I’ve long needed to have with myself. I am incredibly grateful the wisdom passed through this book.

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A first step

I am a white man with an honours degree in history that focused on the colonial experience of Australian Aborigines. I thought I knew about race. But this book shows me that though I have taken the first step, it is only the first step of a one thousand mile march.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Good, but repetitive.

I’m a white person so this book was never going to be an easy read, but it is an essential read. For everyone. It’s also hard to review something that doesn’t call for my opinion on it. This is not like other books where I can say they are good or bad, enjoyable or not. It’s not even about if I agree with it or not.

It’s not a comfortable feeling having these issues laid out on the page in front of you. But this isn’t about me, it’s about a wider societal problem. Very important to keep that in mind when reading - Eddo-Lodge is not attacking me so I shouldn’t get defensive. But she is criticising something I’m a part of by default and recognising my part in that is critical to coming away from this with positivity and not despondency or frustration. Because I think it is positive overall, despite the title that on the surface seems like the author has given up. She hasn’t - she’s just pointing out that the conversation itself, and those who participate in it, needs changing.

The biggest take away for me, and perhaps what Eddo-Lodge meant with the title, is that it’s not up to others to educate us. I need to do that myself by really hearing what those who have actually experienced racism, both in the everyday and as part of the structure of Western society. In this case, as a white person, it’s not about how I might feel when someone addresses white privilege - it’s about recognising that I have it, and accepting that. It’s the same thing feminists ask men to do, so why is it received so negatively here? Think mansplaining, but this time it’s about race and intersectionality. Intersectionality has been criticised for creating division, but all it really does is acknowledge that different experiences exist across gender, politics, social class, race, education, etc and looks at how they interact. As Eddo-Lodge says: “If feminism can understand the patriarchy, it’s important to question why so many feminists struggle to understand whiteness as a political structure in the same way”. There is greater complexity of course, but that’s just it in a nutshell. In an ideal world this wouldn’t matter and we wouldn’t need broad identifiers like race, class and gender to be the first thing we consider when we see a person. But this is not an ideal world. That’s the reality of the world we live in whether I like it or not.

I give this three stars due to the repetitiveness off the book, which I understand is to have the point come across. However it did kind of make me want to skip forward a little. It could have easily been cut down.

For myself, I’ll be doing more listening, less assuming, and more acknowledging going forward.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Must read

Born white. Seen as white. See colour. And long for a world where we see each other in honesty and be treated as such. Thank you Reni. ❤️

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible, insightful and inspiring!

Remi found the words for my thoughts and beliefs. Amazing book and an amazing author!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Essential

Eddo Lodge is a force to be reckoned with! Striking and powerfully narrated - there's something very personal about hearing her speak her story.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A necessary read

When I saw the title of this I thought, I don't blame you - I feel the same way... and I'm white. In Australia we are fast approaching "Australia Day" and for the first time we are having a real debate about the appropriateness that this date of celebration falls on, the day the British invaded. It is a day of mourning for our First Nations people and yet for the last 20 years White Australians have celebrated it as the day the Great Australian Way came about, by having fucking BBQs and getting pissed. I didn't have the words to explain how offensive it is hearing white people try to justify it, until now. I also wasn't sure how much I should be speaking up - because it's not my day of mourning. But I do have two amazing nieces whose future, as women of colour, I think about a great deal and hope the world will treat equally. So when I read this I felt it both gave me the vocabulary and the permission to stand up and call out white privilege when i see it. It is an important read for anyone who wants the future to be equal and especially those who can't quite articulate what they see. 2018 is the beginning of real change ✊🏽

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good Coversation...

I liked this book. It raised issues that I had been ignorant of. I liked the research history element of immigration of black people to the UK. I found it interesting, the relationship between the author and her mother. It is very well written. Keep the conversation going.

0 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Buretto
  • 08-03-2018

In truth, I don't have THAT particular privilege

What did you love best about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

I loved the author's power and passion about the subject. There is no doubt that she is sincere in her beliefs. I concur with nearly everything she presents here, save for a few flights of speculative fancy and the citing of some extremist views as mainstream. But as a white American male, I recognize that I am a guest in Ms. Eddo-Lodge's realm here, and respect the chance to hear ideas and learn from sources previously unknown to me.

I acknowledge the privilege I enjoy. My personal morality is based on that recognition and respecting that it is not universal. I have alienated family and friends with this worldview, and have done so without remorse. And I continue, at every chance, to chastise, scold, and occasionally, if I'm lucky, educate those who speak, hint or embolden racist ideas. Hence, the headline. It is my duty, and I accept it.

I don't write this to present myself as one of the "good ones", and to be honest, it doesn't overly concern me if Ms. Eddo-Lodge likes or respects me. I've taken my responsibility, and she's taken hers. I believe these are both positive steps, and I think she'd agree.

What other book might you compare Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race to and why?

I won't list them, but this is much better than many books of this type. She pulls no punches and makes her case. My only, cautious, exception is to the occasional supposition, perhaps unintentionally, of a monolithic black view. She acknowledges differences, primarily American and British, and even, ever so slightly, her own shortcomings. But it never descends to into victimhood.

Have you listened to any of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It's the only book on Audible by her, but I'd be more than willing to listen to anything else she may produce.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and, in fact, I did. It was refreshing to hear a reasoned, quite determined, presentation of views. All too often these kinds of discussions are grotesque shouting matches.

Any additional comments?

The author mentions the origins of the term "white skin privilege", but I thought it was useful to mention that term had started to gain momentum in 1999 and 2000, in the person of Bill Bradley, a presidential candidate (who lost the Democratic primary to Al Gore, who subsequently "lost" to George W. Bush in the general election). It seemed like a fair compromise which gave white people the opportunity to take a step back and see the big picture without immediately acknowledging complicity in active racism. It didn't seem to take, though.

Also, I'm curious whether the author didn't know, or didn't care, to give Public Enemy the credit for the name she gave to her worldview. It was a huge album back in '90.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Duane J.
  • 15-06-2017

Jesus took the wheel...

and chauffeured Ms. Eddo-Lodge through a dynamic thought-provoking yet humbling piece of work. This book challenges you to challenge the idea of what 'normal' is. Whether it relates to race, sex, or gender and the intersectionality of it all. Bravo!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith R. Smith
  • 15-12-2017

Great study and insight on racism

This books does an excellent job of showing the history and structures of racism that exist beyond the American struggle. A must read to learn about race in the UK

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-05-2018

awkwardnora

It helped me frame the ideas that I had into way that I could discuss with others. definitely recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin Gallagher
  • 09-03-2018

Extremely eye-opening, disheartening truth

As a white privileged male from America who is constantly wanting to learn about racial inequality, systemic and structural racism, and learning how to navigate my conversations with my friends of other races and ethnicities, I am so appreciative of this book! Not only did I expand my knowledge about the roots of racism, but also learned a great deal about racial inequity and inequality, cultural prejudices and gender inequality in the UK. Thank you Reni, you are a star.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Demetria
  • 07-03-2018

Race Relations in the UK

Would you listen to Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to this book again! I'm actually buying the physical book because there was so many great points in it. I've recommended this book to several colleagues who have an interest in diversity and inclusion.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

It is interesting hearing the history of race unfold in the UK around the same time as the US went through the Civil Rights Movement. There were many similarities, for better or worse.

Have you listened to any of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any of performance before.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several moments that moved me, that's why I'm buying the book. This is one book I'll read over and over again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-2017

Essential enlightening listening

Never have I come across a book that so succinctly lays out the context for racism in the UK.

will be giving this multiple listens. as this might as well be set as a taught text !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • xxx
  • 15-05-2018

ACCURATE

Finally! Someone has put into words how I feel. She is an AWESOME writer and narrator. Looking forward to more from her.

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  • Sam_p
  • 24-04-2018

What a read!

I didn't know what to expect going in but I was excited to find out!

My excitement paid off! She's so thoroughly researched and makes excellent points to the typical things you hear when discussing race. Even though I'm not British I still found this book useful in dissecting the attitudes and misconceptions surrounding this very controversial issue.

Go. Read. This. Now!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-04-2018

Highly recommend!

Any additional comments?

This book is incredible. Eddo-Lodge lays bear all the facts in a clear and linear way that makes it impossible to not understand how systemic racism today is supported by hundreds of years of colonialism, slavery, and legal racism. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone

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  • GadranDe56
  • 11-03-2018

It's certainly interesting...

Any additional comments?

What I can say is that this book was certainly interesting to listen to. Ms. Eddo-Lodge begins by detailing Britain's involvement in the black slavery of the past; a period that I have been meaning to learn more about, and she provides a good introduction that has convinced me to learn more. I was surprised, though, to find that the British blockade of western Africa was left out, which I thought was a shame. As the chapters continue, she covers such topics as police brutality and white privilege in occupations, education, and the law; topics which are also covered by writers such as Malcolm Gladwell in his book, "Blink". Unlike Malcolm Gladwell, however, she does not give any suggestion of potential solutions. There is only one reference to this, in the last chapter, where she claims that we are so far away from the solution that there is no point in discussing what could prove racism's final death... Personally, I look forward to names being removed from job and university applications, to account for any gender and race biases... I much prefer when a writer, who identifies a problem, will then suggest ways to rectify it. Ms. Eddo-Lodge does not do this, which unfortunately, is a little reminiscent of those who make there money by identifying these injustices; the permanent removal of which would not necessarily be in their best interests...Overall, the book was interesting, and her reading of it was easy to listen to, despite some intentional mispronunciations of words, which I didn't really understand the purpose of. It should keep your interest even if you do not agree with the things that she is saying, and I would certainly suggest it for anyone. As is suggested by the very title, it seems that Ms. Eddo-Lodge is under the impression that white people either won't or can't understand what it is to be black, and so it would be interesting to see her in a debate with individuals such as Candace Owens, Larry Elder, or Tommy Sotomayor. Appreciatively, they are Americans and so will have had different experiences, but still...

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-07-2017

Worth reading

Strong on black British history, thought provoking on structural racism. There's much that this white male found interesting, though several moments where the phone almost flew across the room too!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Donald
  • 04-07-2017

Absolutely brilliant!!!

Eddo-Lodge finally articulates the black british experience in a way that has never been done before. She perfectly encapsulates the difficulties of talking about race to white people that every person of colour immediately recognises. This is such an important book and gives us all the language to identify and break down structural racism. EVERYONE should read this book.

15 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • ThatPersonOverThere
  • 06-11-2017

Frighteningly eye-opening.

Frighteningly eye-opening. Everybody who has never particularly had to consider their race, or who believes, as I did, that the UK had sorted out the problems with race decades earlier than America should listen to this.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Danny
  • 02-04-2018

Good

This was so close to being a great book, but being only 250 pages it just lacked depth. Reni discussed many different areas, but some of them were rushed, with little explanation and statistical analysis (ie the tiny football / Rooney Rule section). Sometimes she made references as if we all knew what she meant, there were parts which were unclear because of a lack of definition and so on. But I did learn quite a bit, there were many parts of black history that I didn't know or think about, and this is the first book of its kind that I've read so I found it informative.

Maybe she was rushed, but I just wish she would revise and re-release it to add way more depth. 7/10.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ArmourKingN13
  • 27-06-2017

excellence in a audio form!

one of the most analytical books on black British culture out there. DEFINITELY on my recommended reading list

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-06-2017

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

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 15-06-2017

Empowering

In contradiction with the title, this book doesn't seek to abuse and degrade white people in their ignorance of their privilege. On the contrary it is deeply educational on the universality of white power and empowering in the belief that everyone, including white people can do something to end racism. Eddo-Lodge's style and delivery is direct, sincere, passionate and assertive and, unlike so much racial "discussion" in the media she aims to open up the discussion to everyone. I found this book eye-opening and profoundly moving.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Suswati
  • 02-07-2017

There's no justice, just us...

My reaction to this book was FINALLY someone is discussing the intersectionality between feminism, classism, and the British identity with race and racism. Absolutely current and relevant to society especially in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. I listened to this in one go, nodding and shouting in agreement throughout. Reni Eddo-Lodge writes coherently and extremely succinctly to make the language accessible, and the anecdotes slightly terrifying. An absolute must-read and listen. 

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • halla
  • 10-06-2017

Bold, Motivational and Thorough

Extremely timely and passionate where it needed to be. For so long I ached for a book like this. You get it! You capture the words and sentiment quite uniquely. This book launches so many other issues that we must continue to talk about. A must for our children. I really loved it! Thank you.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful