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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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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...

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Donald
  • Glasgow, Scotland United Kingdom
  • 04-07-17

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.

17 of 26 people found this review helpful

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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.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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excellence in a audio form!

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

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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 13 people found this review helpful

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Absolute must read

An incredible piece of work. It is both compelling and absorbing. I will be recommending widely. Thank you.

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A must-have book...

This book was nothing short of AMAZING! Great, clear narration. I would definitely recommend this to all.

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this is such a good book

read it if you find a subject matter important to you.
however coming from a female perspective there is a lot I did not know. I was quite interested in hearing the complexities of what black women go through in this country

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  • Duane J.
  • 15-06-17

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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Buretto
  • 08-03-18

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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  • Keith R. Smith
  • 15-12-17

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
  • 16-05-18

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
  • 09-03-18

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
  • 07-03-18

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
  • 10-10-17

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-07-18

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.

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  • T. Mitchell
  • 02-07-18

Detailed narrative about English Black struggle

Great read@ I learned, as a organizer in the movement for Black Lives Matter, that although we have different cultural and historical experiences, our experiences with white privilege, police brutality, structural and systemic racism are almost the same.

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  • Erin
  • 23-06-18

I am white and I loved it

Extremely eye opening. Every person can benefit from this book. Thank you Renni for doing the work and giving us your honest perspective on what the struggles actually look like. You make us question the way we see the world. As a white suburban girl in the U.S., only about 7% of my school is black, and there isn't a single black teacher. I truly don't know any black people on a deep level, and this book has prompted me to ask myself why that is.