Imatge de l'autor

Ijeoma Oluo

Autor/a de So You Want to Talk About Race

10+ obres 3,138 Membres 109 Ressenyes 3 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Ijeoma Oluo is a writer and speaker whose work on race has been featured in the New York Times. Washington Post. Elle, the Guardian, and more. She has twice been named to The Root 100 and received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award from the American Humanist Society.

Inclou el nom: Ijeoma Oluo

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Nom normalitzat
Oluo, Ijeoma
Data de naixement
País (per posar en el mapa)
Lloc de naixement
Denton, Texas, USA
Llocs de residència
Seattle, Washington, USA
Western Washington University
West, Lindy (sister-in-law)
Premis i honors
winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society



This is an excellent and concise book about so many aspects of race we may encounter in our lives. There wasn't much new here after having read a lot of other antiracist literature, but I think this would be a great starting point for someone interested in the topic. It certainly doesn't hurt to read this even if you are familiar, as it takes a while for some of these things to sink in and become second nature. I liked the recommendation to add the systemic implication of racist remarks to your rebuttal, so the reason a remark like "so and so group of people are always late" is harmful is very clear to the person saying it (it perpetuates a stereotype of lateness leading to fewer job offers and responsibilities, etc.).… (més)
KallieGrace | Hi ha 84 ressenyes més | Nov 29, 2023 |
I recommend this book to every white person I know. They need to read it. GIVE IT TO YOUR RACIST FAMILY MEMBERS.
personalbookreviews | Hi ha 84 ressenyes més | Sep 19, 2023 |
Wow, this was my best read of 2020 so far. The book is well-written and organized, very readable. Learned a lot. Wish there were more books like this.
matsuko | Hi ha 84 ressenyes més | Aug 17, 2023 |
This is a tough one for me to rate.

Parts of it just left me with my eyebrow up and my mouth slightly open: I guess there are (white) people who, in 2018, still ask to touch a black person's hair? Or haven't accepted that "the N-word" isn't okay? I suppose this might be because (a) apropos this very book, I'm white, and (b) I don't interact with people who have lived under a rock for the last... 20...? 30...? years. Maybe I should have just skipped those chapters. (And maybe this is a point for a digression into a lengthy and specific critique, but not for here.)

Other parts were incredibly well done: persuasive, heartfelt, strong. I've had some epic fails talking about race. I've struggled in dissecting those discussions and had some of the same thoughts brought up here (e.g., when is it time to bail because more harm than good is being done, when was I too concerned with my point and not enough with listening and understanding.) But it was also encouraging, and I think a message that everyone needs to take to heart, that these are not and will not be simple topics and easy conversations, which is why there will be epic fails. That's okay, learn and move on, apologize if that is a (good) option, be better, go forward; rinse and repeat.

In the chapter on affirmative action, which I've always kind-of lukewarmly supported, I heard for the first time someone describe how I feel: yeah, it doesn't work that great, especially not to the high hopes that people once, 50 years ago, might have held. But it does work kind-of, and that is something when there isn't much else on offer.

But it was also on this chapter that I had my first (of several, many) creeping disagreements. It's also where I first noticed the recurring move that is throughout this book. E.g. if you don't like affirmative action, if you feel for instance that you lost a spot in school because of it, then it is because you feel that black people (or POC more generally) are undeserving. I think it is possible to define this as the case if you restrict 'affirmative action' to e.g. outreach, targetting recruitment, increased funding for retention, etc. (Which maybe Ms Oluo does... kind of.) But if you mean something more than that, as is often the real-life case, you can't make that (leaping) connection. I think this sticks out to me because the author does such a good job elsewhere of acknowledging the complexity and multisidedness of experience.

I think we need to do a better job of dealing with conflicting ideals (a la Isaiah Berlin) rather than trying to ignore them, trying to label the one concern "bad" in some way, or add two events together and have one negated and one declared valid. It is unfair if a privileged student isn't admitted to a university "because" a "less qualified", less privileged student was admitted. It is also unfair if a less privileged, say black, student who has pushed their way up through more adversity to slightly less than performance-equality in qualification is not admitted. Those are both true at the same time, and we chose to use affirmative action because of the larger goals, the larger justice, being aimed at. But that doesn't make the specific student's outcome less "unfair."

My disagreements and questions grow from there. Ms. Oluo ends the book by, amongst other things, telling white readers that, where they find themselves disagreeing with POC on issues, they should (to put it in a nutshell) keep it to themselves or find somewhere else in the movement they can be useful. It is at this point, toward the last few pages, that I have a real rupture. Issues of and around everything from cultural appropriation to affirmative action to "free speech" vs free speech vs inclusivity, etc. all touch deeply on the entire social, political and cultural fabric. Issues of responsibility, accountability, etc. especially between groups and members of a group, especially choiceless or powerless or unwilling members, have been central to ethical discussions of religion and philosophy going back millennia.

If its too much an ask that people not have a say in these things, if I can't quite get past these deep, timeless ethical uncertainties then... what? As said a few times, the answer seems to be one or more of: "the book is not for them", or I'm merely continuing White Supremacy, or that they actively think black, brown, LGBQT* are undeserving, or less than.

Maybe that is all more advanced discussion, more advanced reading, and it was decided it didn't belong in a "Race 101" book. But since some of those things (sit down or move on; your either with us or against us) are discussed fairly directly, some discussion seems justified (other than, "because White Supremacy.") In which case I think that was a mistake.

So 4 stars, or 3? Despite that last bit, the majority of my review, I'm bouncing between those ratings (rather than the 2 stars you might expect, if you've read this far.) It's hard. This book moved me. But it doesn't address *any* objections people might have, not even one, that aren't based on those people just being "uncomfortable" or "wrong" or "bad". And because some of the stuff seemed *so* remedial, 3 stars.


EDIT: Coming back to this 10 months later, I feel this book has lost what little luster it had for me. I admit one reason I gave 3 stars what that I simply feel uncomfortable giving 2 stars to a book about racism that is ostensibly, supposedly, target at "white people." And that is a shitty reason. My review was 2 stars, I even copped to that in my final paragraph. So 2 stars it is.
… (més)
dcunning11235 | Hi ha 84 ressenyes més | Aug 12, 2023 |



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