84 Following

"So it goes."

Ella Mc's book blog. Brand new 2018 - Only books read after 1st January 2018

Currently reading

The Witches of Eastwick
John Updike
Progress: 100/307 pages

A reference book of a new and helpful kind

So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo

Starting off light and moving carefully and purposefully through deeper topics, Ijeoma Oluo walks us through the vocabulary of race, questions and issues of race, and commonly-held beliefs. She is patient but firm. She allows for complete failure and even encourages readers to expect it, but she doesn't have time for excuses. She wants us to do the work, and she's laid out a fairly compelling program for doing so.

In addition to race, there is information on intersectionality, LGBTQ, gender and other issues.

If you've done a fair amount of work on race issues, this book may have a lot of retread and feel remedial at times. There are few funny stories to lighten the load (though, I personally found her phone call with her mother who had recently had an "epiphany" about race pretty humorous, in the grim "yeah, been there" sort of way.) It's actually a self-help book, complete with lists and prescriptions.

Even if the explanations are remedial, I wholeheartedly recommend the end of every chapter where she skillfully applies things to do or say in tense situations, from all sides of the equation. If you are black, try X. If you are white, try Y. If you are straight, try thinking Z, etc. There are ways to think about things, lists, very helpful phrases to memorize, and loads of information.

It is probably worth having this book handy for those who care about or encounter racial or other situations of bias. It's a reference book of a new and helpful kind.