Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Reni Eddo-Lodge’s first book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has a compelling front page that only reveals itself when taking a closer look. What seems to be Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race turns out to be Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race when seeing White People written in white on the white front page. The book and its name got started from a 2014 blog post by Eddo-Lodge. In the blog post, she writes NOT about the erasure of white people from the conversation regarding race, but rather about her own frustration. She states that race and racism do not discriminate against white people, but they and their emotions about the matter take up most of the space and discussions about it. She continues that white people hold greater power, therefore making the conversation never equal between a white person and a person of color. She concludes her post by stating that she herself does not have the power to change the institutions, but she does have the power to create boundaries. Hence, she is no longer talking to white people about race.
Eddo-Lodge’s blog post went viral and received a bunch of positive feedback. People of colour and Black people thanked her for speaking the truth and highlighting a bigger issue. White people also shared their thoughts on guilt and misuse of privilege and asked her not to end the conversation here but to further enlighten and educate people. Ironically enough, in 2017 Eddo-Lodge published her book with the same name as her blog post to continue the conversation and to clear up some misunderstandings that came about with her blog post.
In her book she features seven essays about the history of racism, how is it systematically implemented, what white privilege is, feminism and class to mention a few topics. The different topics, situations and interactions described in the book is something probably many racialized individuals can relate to, additionally, white individuals can reflect upon and learn how to act and how not to act. Eddo-Lodge is definitely not scared to say things how they are, call out injustice and be blunt about the truth.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race has been critically acclaimed and won various awards, like the 2018 British Book Award 2018 Jhalak Prize, the 2018 Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, and a 2018 British Book Award for Narrative Non-Fiction. Additionally, in a 2018 public poll by Academic Book Week Eddo-Lodge’s book was voted as the most influential book written by a woman, is a Sunday Times Bestseller and was selected by Emma Watson as an “Our Shared Shelf” book club read. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race has also received nominations from many prominent awards and earned a spot as both longlisted and shortlisted.
Reni Eddo-Lodge is an award-winning journalist, author and podcaster. At a young age, she was introduced to feminist activism, which helped her build her political persona, which she still finds useful today. She is born and raised in London, where she still lives. If you want to hear her podcast “About Race” or read her blog check out her own webpage.
“This is a book that was begging to be written. This is the kind of book that demands a future where we’ll no longer need such a book. Essential” – Marlon James, author of Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings
“An incisive and uncompromising commentator on the iniquities of oppression … Comprehensive and journalistic, the book leaves a devastating trail of case histories, statistical and anecdotal evidence, personal stories and opinion about the manifestation of overt and covert racism … Eddo-Lodge is a gifted writer, with a talent for bringing together debates around race, gender and class in a timely and accessible way” – Times Literary Supplement
“Daring, interrogatory, illuminating. A forensic dissection of race in the UK from one of the country’s most critical young thinkers. Reni’s penetrative voice is like a punch to the jugular. Read it, then tell everyone you know” – Irenosen Okojie, author of ‘Butterfly Fish‘
“A wake-up call to a nation in denial about the structural and institutional racisms occurring in our homes, offices and communities” – Observer
“It’s that boldness, that straight talk which makes this book memorable. Eddo-Lodge pushes readers to recognize that racism is a systemic problem that needs to be tackled by those who run the system”-Silvia Viñas, a journalist and editor for NPR’s Spanish-language podcast Radio Ambulante.