Review – So You Want To Talk About Race

Posted January 16, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma OluoSo You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo

This is a short primer to various concepts that inevitably come up when you want to sit down and talk about race: how race affects people, your relationship to it, privilege, cross-sectionality, microaggressions… If you’ve been wondering what some of those concepts or buzzwords mean and you need a little more detail, this book has your back. It’s very readable, and well-organised into chapters that develop and build up an overall understanding of some of the major issues you’re likely to encounter.

I fear that if you’re not willing to go into it with an open mind, you won’t get anything out of it. The author asks the reader to sit with some pretty uncomfortable concepts, and goes to some pains to try and make that palatable, to try and convince the reader to open up to it. She’s very aware that people find it difficult to let go of their own preconceptions and their own view of themselves and dig into whether they might be contributing to racism in some way (or benefitting from it, or all unwittingly helping it along)… so if you’re already affected by racial issues, you might find that aspect a bit frustrating. She does mention it being for everybody, but it’s pitched at people who are largely unaffected by race.

I found it useful, though sometimes not very in-depth. Certainly a starting point, though.

Rating: 4/5

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