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  • Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

  • Written by: Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Narrated by: Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (273 ratings)

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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

What listeners say about Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Thank you, Reni. Now what?

I'm white, male, and hetero. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about race and gender issues. I look at my own prejudices and really try to be as critical of myself as possible.
This book lacks ideas.
The author spends nearly the whole book proving that racism exists in the UK, which is a good thing to do! Hearing the heart-wrenching experiences of people who I will never truly understand, is an incredibly awakening thing. Please, write ten more books on black history and colonialism! But please, include actionable suggestions. To be fair, the author does do this: in the form of a short list of vague ideas less than 3 minutes before we hear "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this production."

I am willing to sit quietly and introspectively while you tell me all of the ways that I am effortlessly benefiting from your suffering. More importantly, I want to put this knowledge into practice in my life. Yes, I can be creative and look for ways to do this on my own. Yes, I can find other books for exactly that. No, you cannot act surprised that I thought a book titled "Why I'm No Longer Talking to [You] About Race" would include things that I can do to help open up the conversation so that we (the novice and the expert) can have a real dialogue and affect real change.

Definitely worth a listen.

14 people found this helpful

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Worth a Listen

While I will not say this is my new favourite book, I do think this is well worth a listen. This book has been talked about in so many forms, I think it is important to get your own opinion - and hopefully learn something.

#Audible1 #Audible #AudibleCanada #Book #Books #ListenOrRead #BookWorm #AudioBooks #AudibleApp

5 people found this helpful

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Don't judge a book by its cover

Don't judge a book by its cover- or in this case its title.

Remi Eddo-Lodge covers a number of topics related to how systemic racism has thrived in England. Don't let it being based on her British nationality and experiences cause you to write it off if you're not from or living in the United Kingdom though. Many of the points and experiences are unfortunately very similar on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean as well - including mixed race issues, policing of black lives, housing, class, intersectional feminism and more.

The title is more of a way to draw people in than anything else. Remi has likely spoken to more white people since the blog post that she wrote in 2014 which inspired the book was published.

My favourite section was definitely "Chapter 5 - The Feminism Question" and acknowledging that the different intersections don't had a place in white feminist agendas.

Near the end of the book on p. 215 Remi answers the question of "what can white people do to help end racism" which I thought was very clear and helpful. Whether white people who say they are burdened by racial injustice actually do those things is another story. While reading that, one person who came to mind is the American Actor Matt McGorry (How to Get Away With Murder) who has shared many books he's reading on the racial injustice and also shares the marches and rally he attends in support of the black lives matter movement. It also made me think of the white people in my own circles who have remained silent on the injustices facing black and brown people of colour- myself included.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Important

This is an important book for everyone, especially white people to read. Learn about the systems that white people benefit from and start to dismantle them. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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We have to change the narrative

I had to stop and consider Reni’s statements several times because I needed to reckon with my compliance with the white dominant norm. I needed this. White antiracist people need this to dismantle the bred-in lies and stereotypes.

2 people found this helpful

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A MUST READ

So eloquent, I recommended it to everyone around me. Read it a second time now. It’s definitely up in my favorite books of all time, and its message will definitely get passed on everywhere I go.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AR
  • 2020-05-16

Required reading

Where ever you are in your anti-racism work as a white person, the author generously offers research and lived experience to help you on your journey. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Questioning my reality

I'm a Canadian of East Indian/Guyanese descent. So I'm brown, not black. Born and raised in Montreal-Ottawa, and now living in Toronto, I've never experienced overt racism. Maybe I have been the victim of covert racism, I have no idea. I've never felt it. I do know racism exists everywhere. Black people in Toronto are carded and stopped for minor or non-violations all the time, at rates much higher than other races, and are discriminated against in a myriad of ways over the course of their lifetime. It happens everywhere and it is absolutely wrong. We hear about it all the time. But this book shocked me. It is really British-centric. Murders of black people simply because they're black. Rampant, overt, public discrimination supported by those in positions of power and so openly discussed on public and political platforms that it seems the entire population feels approval to be racist. It's like something out of a horrible American movie x10. It seems people of colour just walk around fearing for their safety all the time.And while the author focuses on the black population, it affects all visible minorities in Britain. I don't know if the author is exaggerating. I don't think she is. She made me wonder what the heck I was missing as I do not see this public extreme racism here in Canada. We've had a few instances in the news, but these perps are few in number and subject to outrage by the majority. Maybe our racism in Canada is more extreme towards the Indigenous population. Maybe it is just more insidious. I don't know. I finished this book feeling disgust towards how backwards and ignorant Britain is, extremely grateful to live where I live and also confused - wondering if I am so naive, blind and sheltered in Canada. The book is extreme and I hope it does not represent the world. I really don't think it does and hope others don't think it does.

1 person found this helpful

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Race from a British Perspective - 5 Star Read

Eye opening. Thought provoking. Very challenging. I thought I knew a fair bit about recent British events (eg going back to Windrush etc) but I was deluding myself.

Clearly I have been benefitting from a structural racist system all my life, while I am coming to recognise this this book is eseential reading (IMO) as Reni Eddo-Lodge give a lot of clarity to a morass of thoughts. And chapter 5 on Race and Feminism, I listened to that chapter twice. I hope I live up to her call to do anti racist work in a sustainable way (with hope and fighting despondancy). As she said “The mess we are living in is a deliberate one. If it was created by people, it can be dismantled by people, and it can be rebuilt in a way that serves all, rather than a selfish, hoarding few.”


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Good if you know nothing about race

This is like an introduction book to racism and slavery. If you're black or latino there's nothing in here you don't already know. The vook leans liberal and thats ok.

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  • Buretto
  • 2018-03-08

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.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Duane J.
  • 2017-06-15

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!

15 people found this helpful

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  • Justin
  • 2018-03-06

well read, but nothing new here.

boilerplate race conflict theory. backed up with conjecture and cherry picked history. Reni is a very good writer and narrator though. I think she took an honest attempt at an incredibly difficult and nebulous topic. worth a read our listen

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-06-02

Clear, comprehensive, British

Well researched with clear guidance, simply written and easily understood, free from activist jargon and therefore wonderfully accessible. Utterly thought provoking. A must read. Particularly poignant if you grew up in Britain during the 80’s as I did. I can’t recommend this book enough.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-12-15

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

7 people found this helpful

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  • Nora
  • 2018-05-16

awkwardnora

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-05-15

ACCURATE

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

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-10-10

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 !

5 people found this helpful

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  • Landon Taylor
  • 2020-12-27

Thumbs Up from a White American

I finished listening to the Audible recording moments ago, and now I’m ordering a hardcopy so I can interact with the text, delve into the numerous quotable quotes and sit with the zingers. It’s that good.

I thought the book might not resonate with me since the first chapter is about the *British* history of racial injustice, and I’m an American. But as I listened, I found a disturbingly similar story to the one I’m familiar with. The current parallels between our countries are also undeniable, as the rest of the book shows.

The author illuminates modern inequality with precision and heart, using her own experience as well as data to paint a picture that is invisible to so many people.

Read or listen, and become part of the solution.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-13

Interesting, but aggressive.

It was very engaging to hear about racism in another country and how many parallels we share. I did find many of the author's statements true, but aggressively conveyed. However, some points were just pandering over-generalizations about majority populations. Those are what made it hard for me to fully embrace this novel. A valuable expose of a shared experience, nonetheless.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Raj
  • 2020-10-06

Incredible read

Disclaimer : This book is much more than my piece of opinion.

Mrs Eddo-Lodge has captured in words a lot of the anger minorities feel when race is put up for debate in the west. How our opinions are discounted or discredited when trying to jostle the status quo. For the first time I realise that the frustration I felt when debating race is not new and I'm not the only one who felt it.

Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-25

Very insightful

Very insightful book that definitely opened up my eyes to the history of black people I was never exposed to. This book also made me realise that it is up to me a white person to go find and spread this information, it is our duty.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-13

Wonderfully shocking

I was not prepared for much of the information given in this amazing book. This makes it very clear that I have not been educated about this part of the history of the human race and in particular about the different experiences white and non-white people have. I look forward to educate myself even more & would highly suggest this book!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-15

Vision très instructive et rafraîchissante

A travers son expérience dans le contexte du Royaume-Uni, l'auteure offre dans ce livre une vision très instructive et rafraîchissante d'un problème plus répandu qu'on ne le croit et dont il est parfois difficile de se rendre compte de l'ampleur. Les voix de celles et ceux qui subissent le racisme dans toutes les étapes de leur vie, si elles sont souvent entendues, ne sont que trop rarement vraiment écoutées. Je conseille vivement la lecture de ce livre qui vous fera, à n'en pas douter, repenser de nombreux aspects de votre vie et vous encouragera peut-être à faire passer le mot.

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  • Pelletier
  • 2019-05-31

Excellent

Très informatif, intéressant et qui force à interroger son rôle et sa responsabilité en tant que personne blanche. Agréable à écouter : le livre est lu par l’autrice et on sent qu’elle est à l’aise avec son propre texte. Je recommande !

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  • Romanos Kristell
  • 2019-05-15

MUST BE READ

it's urgent for everyone to hear this. perfect. I have no words. thanks, will pass on the message.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-13

Great!

Factual, highly interesting and documented reflexion on racism and how it works, how it is translated into policies, politics etc. I enjoyed it. I felt empowered by the fact that a fellow WOC (woman of colour) had lived similar struggles to mine. A good read. Her voice is steady and calm. Her perspective is also interesting because she is British and not American, as we hear less often from the experiences of Black British people on racism. Everyone should read it, especially white people who refuse to see themselves as such - or are tense when the topic of race comes on the table.