Talking about racism in the UK

 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge was born from a blog post made in frustration. A frustration at the inherently racist system that British society runs and the way in which white people are complicit. This blog post sparked something, and grew further. In the end, clearly, Reni published this book. It’s clear why I read this, or it should be. I am white, and I have not been doing enough. So here I am, educating myself about white supremacy and the struggle of Black Britons to be seen as equal.

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This non-fiction work is written in a manner which makes it easier than many other books of the genre, this is a book that you can read without too much effort. I don’t know if this was a purposeful move by Reni or not, but it does allow her message to be more easily shared. It also packs a big punch, but not in the same way as The Hate U Give or other similar works of fiction. Instead this is a slow build, as you realise (at least this was my experience reading it as a white British female) how much privilege you’ve had throughout your life and how much others have had to struggle to even reach the block you started from. This book is incredibly well researched, with references for further reading at the back of the book, as well as including anecdotal evidence and her own personal life experiences which really helps to personify the situation and make it hit home even harder.

Eddo-Lodge talks about the racism prevalent throughout feminism, classism, the prison system, education, the work force and more in chapters dedicated to each area. She also talks about the history of racism in the UK. As a Brit I really appreciated the British focus of this book, so many anti-racism/pro Black works are written by Americans (understandably, and these are incredibly important books too), so seeing a point of view from someone from my own country and learning more about our particular history rather than that of another country made this book stand out even more for me.

I highly recommend this book, no matter what country you’re from. The breakdown of issues is one that can resonate with anyone. I do insist, however, that you read this if you are white and in the UK. It will make you take a step back and notice that which was “hiding” in plain sight.

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