Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Published by Bloomsbury, 2017
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
This offers a seamless blend of history, case studies, research, and personal reflection that lays bare just how deep-rooted racism is within the UK, at a structural, education, social, and cultural level. Detailed yet digestible, the book is written with clear-eyed passion, while every argument is backed up by quantifiable facts and specific examples; from Britain’s early involvement in the slave trade right up to current everyday discrimination.
It’s worth pointing out that those already of the firm belief that racism and systematic white privilege are considerable problems in the UK are unlikely to find any viewpoints that feel particularly revolutionary here. That said, this would certainly serve as a great starting point or refresher for anyone feeling galvanised by current world events, or those who are keen to dip their toe into critical race theory that doesn’t feel too academic.
I was pleased to see some intersectionality come into play, with chapters that focus on the correlation between race and feminism, and between race and class. Perhaps this could have gone even further (queer Black people face a very specific kind of prejudice, for example, and this wasn’t addressed in any depth), but then this never set out to be an entirely comprehensive text, and what it covers it covers well.
As it is, Eddo-Lodge presents an excellent overview of how and why racist attitudes in the UK have continued to simmer beneath the surface of supposed equality. This is an eloquent, well-researched, intelligent response to anyone who may suggest that “racism isn’t as bad in the UK” or that “all lives matter” when confronted with the realities of the Black Lives Matter movement. If you’re looking to pick up some non-fiction on the issue, you could do a lot worse than starting here.
You can pick up a copy of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by clicking here.