So you want to talk about race

Ijeoma Oluo

Book - 2018

"A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers 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 movem...ent, 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 readers 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 crystalize 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.""--

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Seal Press 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
v, 248 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781580056779
1580056776
Main Author
Ijeoma Oluo (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

In her first book, writer and activist Oluo offers direct advice on how to have a conversation about race. She analyzes topics that may lead to contentious conversations, such as cultural appropriation, affirmative action, police brutality, the N-word, microaggressions, and the model minority myth. In doing so, Oluo provides background information on each topic and talking points to allow for having more constructive conversations. With a clever approach that uses anecdotes, facts, and a little humor, the author challenges all readers to assess their own beliefs and perceptions while clearly looking at polarizing issues. She encourages us to overcome the idea of debating someone else without the ability to listen to other perspectives. Most relevant is a sobering and enlightening chapter on checking and recognizing one's privilege. VERDICT A timely and engaging book that offers an entry point and a hopeful approach toward more productive dialog around tough topics. Highly recommended for those interested in race, ethnicity, and social commentary, and anyone wishing to have more insightful conversations.—Tiffeni Fontno, Boston Coll. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Oluo, an editor at large at the Establishment, assesses the racial landscape of contemporary America in thoughtful essays geared toward facilitating difficult conversations about race. Drawing on her perspective as a black woman raised by a white mother, she shows how race is so interwoven into America's social, political, and economic systems that it is hard for most people, even Oluo's well-intentioned mother, to see when they are being oblivious to racism. Oluo gives readers general advice for better dialogue, such as not getting defensive, stating their intentions, and staying on topic. She addresses a range of tough issues—police brutality, the n word, affirmative action, microaggressions—and offers ways to discuss them while acknowledging that they're a problem. For example, Oluo writes that the common phrase "check your privilege" is an ineffective weapon for winning an argument, as few people really understand the concept of privilege, which is integral to many of the issues of race in America. She concludes by urging people of all colors to fear unexamined racism, instead of fearing the person "who bring that oppression to light." She's insightful and trenchant but not preachy, and her advice is valid. For some it may be eye-opening. It's a topical book in a time when racial tensions are on the rise. (Jan.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

"You are going to screw this up royally. More than once," notes writer and editor Oluo in this slim but potent guide to discussing race. Nevertheless, she urges readers to push past their discomfort; to do otherwise is to accept a society entrenched in systemic racism. The author knows all too well the consequences of ignorance about race. A black queer woman, she not only experiences prejudice but also endures the additional burden of educating those who are skeptical about her oppression. Precise, poignant, and edifying, this primer gives readers much-needed tools, explaining academic concepts such as privilege and intersectionality, debunking harmful myths, and offering concrete ways to confront racism. Blending personal accounts and meticulously cited research, Oluo demonstrates how racism permeates every aspect of society, from education to the police force. She writes with empathy for her readers yet laudably refuses to let those who haven't grappled with their white privilege off the hook—"Don't force people to acknowledge your good intentions," she advises those who have inadvertently offended a person of color. VERDICT Profound yet deeply accessible, this is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand and combat institutional racism.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

"You are going to screw this up royally. More than once," notes writer and editor Oluo in this slim but potent guide to discussing race. Nevertheless, she urges readers to push past their discomfort; to do otherwise is to accept a society entrenched in systemic racism. The author knows all too well the consequences of ignorance about race. A black queer woman, she not only experiences prejudice but also endures the additional burden of educating those who are skeptical about her oppression. Precise, poignant, and edifying, this primer gives readers much-needed tools, explaining academic concepts such as privilege and intersectionality, debunking harmful myths, and offering concrete ways to confront racism. Blending personal accounts and meticulously cited research, Oluo demonstrates how racism permeates every aspect of society, from education to the police force. She writes with empathy for her readers yet laudably refuses to let those who haven't grappled with their white privilege off the hook—"Don't force people to acknowledge your good intentions," she advises those who have inadvertently offended a person of color. VERDICT Profound yet deeply accessible, this is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand and combat institutional racism.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Largeof 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 readers 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 crystalize 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.""--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Examines the sensitive, hyper-charged racial landscape in current America, discussing the issues of privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Seattle-based writer, editor and speaker tackles the sensitive, hyper-charged racial landscape in current America, discussing the issues of privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. 10,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a revelatory examination of race in AmericaProtests against racial injustice and white supremacy have galvanized millions around the world. The stakes for transformative conversations about race could not be higher. Still, the task ahead seems daunting, and it’s hard to know where to start. How do you tell your boss her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law hang up on you when you had questions about police reform? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from police brutality and cultural appropriation to the model minority myth in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race, and about how racism infects every aspect of American life."Simply put: Ijeoma Oluo is a necessary voice and intellectual for these times, and any time, truth be told." ―Phoebe Robinson, New York Times bestselling author of You Can't Touch My Hair