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Publisher's Summary

A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that listeners of all races 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 listeners 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 crystallize 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." A Harper's Bazaar pick of One of 10 Books to Read in 2018.

©2018 Ijeoma Oluo (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Bahni Turpin's impassioned voice clearly conveys the gravity of this book on race and racism.... Key points are repeated to help listeners absorb ideas and definitions, and Turpin engagingly reads real-life examples Oluo uses to illustrate complex concepts such as intersectionality and white privilege." (AudioFile)  

What members say

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  • Maggie
  • 13-04-2018

I'm really glad I took a chance on this book

If you could sum up So You Want to Talk About Race in three words, what would they be?

This book was insightful, challenging, and thoughtful.

Any additional comments?

I had never heard of the author before but I am so glad that I read this book because I do want to talk about race. It's a conversation that needs to keep going. In some places it's a conversation that hasn't even started.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • shiawase
  • 22-01-2018

Must Read

Everything I hoped it would be and more, easy to understand chock full of numbered points of advice on various topics, personal anecdotes that connect to the larger picture and the inspiration to have these conversations and also take action.

If you’ve read and loved and learned from Ijeoma Oluo’s words online or in social media, you’ll recognize her same understanding of the complexity of these conversations (especially those that white people should be having with one another) and also her passion for social justice.

If you’re not familiar with her incredibly important work, and you’re willing to listen openly about racism from someone with much lived experience woven beautifully into a larger picture where we can all have an impact - positive, if we choose - I’d highly recommend this book.

This book covers many of the basics as a reminder so some but also encourages deeper reflection within ourselves. There are parts that feel necessarily squirmy, but it’s clear that she remains focused entirely on helping us all have better conversations about race and take better actions to change a system that isn’t fair.

If you’re not sure that’s the case about our system that still oppresses people but are open to listen, this book is a great place to do that, quietly away from some internet fight and with time to pause and consider.

Please read this.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • AmazonCustomer
  • 05-02-2018

Excellent book, excellently narrated.

Ijeoma Oluo has a gift for delivering hard medicine with humor and sensitivity. If you are a white person who wants to do better, this is a perfect primer on how (and when) to have conversations about race without doing more harm than good.

And Bahni Turpin is an impeccable narrator. She reads with a clarity and conviction that makes the content feel completely fresh, like a conversation, rather than a reading. A perfect fit with Ijeoma Oluo's writing style, too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-08-2018

Brilliantly argued

Well-written and informative with useful guidelines to keep in your pocket for having conversations about race. I learnt a huge amount.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke Kelleher
  • 23-05-2018

Required reading

What an incredible work! I've never read anything that so clearly articulates what racism is and how it affects people's everyday life. Every chapter, every paragraph, every word of this book is absolutely necessary. Stop what you're doing right now and buy this book. Read it. Then buy copies for everyone in your family and have them read it. Especially your racist uncle. (Trust me, he really need it.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-04-2018

I get it now

I thought I knew how to talk about race until I read this book. Now I’m rethinking and reviewing and reflecting on everything! I’m thankful that Oluo wrote this book. It is a big gift! I appreciate especially her chapter directed to white people and the call to action in the last. Buying copies to share in print.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Fenna
  • 21-04-2018

Good Read For Anyone

This is a great read for anyone and can answer a lot of questions that often people are too scared to ask. It's well written, covers many topics, and has a great narrator. I especially loved hearing Ijeoma's personal stories which the narrator really brought to life in this recording. I read this as part of a book club and it overall had a very good reception within the group and facilitated some good conversations.

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  • Jocelyn
  • 05-03-2018

Required reading for all white people ASAP

Oluo does a fabulous job of breaking down all the most pertinent aspects of what’s needed to get some traction in our current movement for racial justice in the US. Bless her!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Juneous A. Pettijohn
  • 13-04-2018

Excellent Narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in having a conversation about race.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Chava Mirel
  • 30-01-2018

Read it twice in a row

And about to start the third. If you are concerned with systematic oppression of people of color, you must read this book. It is uncomfortable to discover that we are all perpetuating the white supremacist hierarchy, but brilliant social commentator Ijeoma Oluo provides concrete steps we can all take to dismantle it, with a message of accountability and hope.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-05-2018

Outstanding Genius! Articulates so much of what I have always been unable to say

This book is important and it is important that you get to the end . If only I had her way with words, I might be able to say how brilliant and inspiring this is. The type of book i want to cuddle up to at that so I can wake with hope.

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  • Suswati
  • 18-02-2018

Excellent, points are absolutely spot on

There has been a spate of incredible literature from African American writers, and this book in particular, stands out because of its instructional, informative guide on tackling racism as a topic.

From discussing how to approach the subject with others, to giving direct instructions for those who are willing to learn to change, there are few books out there that are as useful as Ijeoma Oluo's step by step process.

Most of all, the introduction of intersectionality, micro-aggressions and the myth of the model migrant is absolutely vital. It is one of the only books on racism I've seen in mainstream literature, that tackles issues faced by other races such as the East Asian and South Asian communities, bringing together a more diverse portrayal rather than just black, white and Hispanic.

Her own personal views are wonderful - the chapter on her 8-year-old son's choice to not pledge allegiance is utterly heartfelt, and yet she handles the situation very well. An absolute essential read.

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  • cesa
  • 03-02-2018

Brilliant!

Thank you, Ms Oluo. An absolute must-read. Right up there with R Gay & M Jerkins.