Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
|Subjects||Race, racism, feminism|
|Published||June 1, 2017|
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The book explores the links between gender, class and race in Britain and other countries.
The book begins with a summary of the experience of Black and Asian people in the UK, including the Atlantic slave trade, Indian soldiers in World War I, the Bristol Bus Boycott, the 1981 riots and Labour Party Black Sections.
The book also covers institutional racism in British society, White feminism, and definitions of class which only include White people.
Trevor Phillips reviewed the work for The Times. In The Times Literary Supplement, Bernardine Evaristo described the book's title as "gloriously provocative", noting that it was "marketing gold" in the climate surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. Evaristo described the work as "timely and accessible", "comprehensive and journalistic" as well as "resolutely unacademic", comparing it to the work of African-American writer Roxane Gay, whose 2014 anthology Bad Feminist "treads some of the same ground". However, she critiques Eddo-Lodge for not engaging in enough "rigorous research, particularly into the past" and for the fact that she "completely overlooks" the work of Black British feminist writers like Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe. Evaristo also noted that the book leaves open further questions, such as "What is the responsibility of black people in creating change for ourselves? Without also taking responsibility, we are dependent and powerless. What about the numerous positive developments since Windrush?"
Arifa Akbar reviewed the work for the Financial Times, noting that Eddo-Lodge "builds on a critical tradition drawn from black American writers" like W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, and bell hooks. Akbar notes that "Not everyone will find the answer to racial inequality in Eddo-Lodge's reliance on White consciousness-raising, but it is an important shift that undermines the idea that racism is the BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) community's burden to carry. The liberation that this book offers is in the reversal of responsibilities."
Writing for The Guardian, Colin Grant places the book within a wider tradition of "angry warnings to an ignorant white readership", the majority of which have been produced by African-American rather than Black British writers. Grant opined that "Eddo-Lodge accurately takes the temperature of racial discussions in the UK" but that several sections, such as its discussion of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, are too brief, stating that "this kind of book is not designed to delve beyond the headlines in order to draw lessons from the past". The book was chosen as number one in a public poll of the "Top Ten Books by Women that Changed the World" in 2018, as part of the Bookseller's Association of the UK and Ireland's Academic Book Week.
Reviewing the work for NPR, the journalist Silvia Viñas stated that the work's "boldness" and "straight talk" is what makes it "memorable", also noting that while focusing "on events in Britain, it's still accessible to readers of black American history."
On the cover, the text "to White People" appears in white text on the white background, making it invisible from a distance. The rest of the text is black.
- Eddo-Lodge, Reni. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Grant, Colin (3 June 2017). "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge review – 'racism is a white problem'". The Guardian.
- Eddo-Lodge, Reni (2 September 2017). "I stopped talking to white people about race. Here's what I learned". The Globe and Mail.
- Philips, Trevor (18 June 2017). "Books: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge". The Times. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (4 July 2017). "Check Your Privilege". Times Literary Supplement.
- Akbar, Arifa (26 May 2017). "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge — review". Financial Times.
- "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge review – 'racism is a white problem'". the Guardian. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
- "Booksellers Association - Ac Book Week: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race wins poll". The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
- Viñas, Silvia (14 November 2017). "'Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race' Is A Call To Action". NPR.
- Flood, Allison (16 June 2020). "Reni Eddo-Lodge becomes first black British author to top UK book charts". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2021.