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So You Want to Talk About Race

Written by: Ijeoma Oluo
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 31.01
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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.

What the critics say

"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

Average Customer Ratings

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Important Read!

This book is very informative and everything is said possibly and direct with due urgency.

it's a must read!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • JR
  • 2018-05-23

A must listen

This book gives every reader a perspective they can connect to and learn from: a story, facts and data, tips and calls to action.

I loved it and learned from it and hope there is a second volume.

Reader was great!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Essential Reading

If you are interested in moving the needle on racial justice and equality for all, regardless of your country of origin, this book is a must-read. If you are a white person or pass as a white person, this is ESSENTIAL reading. Read it, and read it again.

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  • jam
  • 2018-12-04

A must-read for literally everybody.

this book deals with so many of the important Topix we all have to better understand and face with bravery and understanding, in order to better facilitate peace and justice. The author has clearly done a great deal of important research and self-reflection. Her efforts should be honored with careful consideration from her audience. Ideas of cultural appropriation, white fragility, racism in general, microaggressions and the like are all laid out in careful and considerate ways for minorities and especially non-minorities to understand, reflect on and most importantly, act on. Please check this out. it will make the world a better place for all of us.

The book starts off very strong. About three-quarters of the way through, it loses its potency. It finishes strong and is worth every second of your attention. at times, the audience she is addressing is not clear. Is she addressing white people who want to better understand the complexities of racism? Or, is she addressing minorities who need empathy and understanding? It doesn't really matter, but, it is a little bit confusing.

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White people need to read this!

Engaging, heartfelt, powerful, and informative. Read this book, especially if you're a white person in North America.

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A must read

As a white person you should read this, really anyone should read this book BUT if you want a great eye opening perspective this is it!!

I am married to a black man but grew up in a small plenty racist community.... so learning to better understand a different perspective and how those things impact him and our children was important and this book delivered!

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Solid Content and Excellent Narration

This book was thought-provoking and found a way to cover a lot of ground on a sensitive topic in a relatively short period of time. I particularly appreciated the explanations and/or history surrounding stereotypes or "myths" associated with race, as well as the author's bluntness around "what not to do". While I didn't buy this book completely oblivious to my biases, I found it fascinating there we so many arguments I hadn't even considered before. Very worthwhile read, and the narrator's phrasing and passion made it something I was excited to turn back on each time I got in my vehicle.
#Audible1

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A reminder, a re-awakening

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” The Tale of Two Cities.

For those of us who celebrated the election of Barrack Obama as the US President in 2008, it was the best of times. However, it was also the worst of times as it ended up making us all complacement. A complacency which allowed the rise of a hateful rethoric which was so well capitalized upon by Donald Trump.

Barrack Obama’s election made most of us feel that the race war was finally over and that we can finally sit back and relax in our struggle for equality, equity and solidarity among the races. However, the issues of race and institutional biases were not complacent. While we were not watching it sowed itself back into the mainstream with vengeance.

This book is a perfect introduction, re-introduction and manifesto to why the struggle for racial justice is just as important now as it was during the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s.

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Required listening

“Love” isn’t the only word to describe how I feel about this book, but it’s one word to describe it. “Respect” is another one. “Am grateful for,” works too. So You Want To Talk About Race? is such an important book and genuinely is required reading/listening. Oluo’s writing is intelligent, direct, accessible, warm, and welcoming. She’s done so much for all of humankind in putting these ideas, perspectives, and lessons on paper. Bahni Turpin also does a beautiful job of reading Ijeoma’s words - it felt like a frank, honest conversation with a friend whose life experience has been different than my own. If your goal, like mine, is to do better and do right by your fellow humans, reading/listening to this book is a small but effective step towards that goal. Thank you, Ijeoma. #SoYouWantToTalkAboutRace #Audible1

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Excellent book, great narrator.

Ijeoma Oluo firmly, honestly, but respectfully, provides helpful advice and facts for the white reader who is trying to do better (like me). The narrator is excellent

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AmazonCustomer
  • 2018-02-05

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Maggie
  • 2018-04-13

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • shiawase
  • 2018-01-22

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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • alibamba
  • oakland, ca
  • 2019-01-29

A Reminder to Read Books that Make You Uncomfortable

Yes, conversations about race are awkward to hard and even hurtful and I’m not thrilled to be categorized as a white supremacist simply because I am white but even with all that discomfort, confusion, eyebrow raises, and slack jawed moments I experienced while listening I have to say my world feels bigger after reading this. My perspective is changed. I didn’t understand or even recognize my own racism or white privilege. I have not had to confront racism and I have not seen the part in it that I have played or know what action I could take to change. I am asking questions of myself and assumptions I’ve made about a range of other issues because if I didn’t see this, what else am I not seeing? I feel very blessed to have come across Oluo’s book and will continue to follow her work. I also feel compelled to share that the narration is top notch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chava Mirel
  • Seattle, WA, US
  • 2018-01-30

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 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Space Shopper
  • 2018-01-24

But this book..

But this book. Unapologetic and chock full of stuff for doing better. Get ready.

Also, Bagni Turpin is an excellent narrator.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Juneous A. Pettijohn
  • 2018-04-13

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 6 people found this review helpful

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  • D.
  • 2018-02-07

Unfiltered Truth

Can you handle it? I hope so. America/Americans have been b**l sh***ing or this subject forever. Times up. Get real get honest, do something that's been LONG overdue. Put up or shut up & get out of the way.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-16

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 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara J. Henry
  • 2018-08-08

Thank you, thank you, thank you

I also bought a hard copy to flag pages. This book is a reference text for people who want to take action against racial oppression. The explanations are clear and concise. The action items range in size for people at different stages and time commitments. The recommendations are doable and accessible. If you care about the systemic racism that is crippling our country, READ. THIS. NOW. And then get a group together to read it with you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful