Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race was an engrossing, informative, necessary read that explores race/racism in the UK. In 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote a blog post with the same title, detailing her experiences talking to white people about race. This book is a more detailed version of that blog post.
Throughout the book, Reni Eddo-Lodge explores the history of structural racism in Britain, including the systems that still support this structure in the present day. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race opens with a powerful preface, introducing us to Eddo-Lodge’s engaging voice. The rest of the book is split into seven sections, including the history of racism in the UK, the system, white privilege, fear of a black planet, the feminism question, race and class.
I appreciated the inclusion and importance of intersectionality discussed throughout the book, specifically on the intersections between race, gender and class. I found the chapter “The Feminism Question” to be especially insightful and highly recommend any person who calls themselves a feminist to really engage with this chapter.
Whilst Eddo-Lodge focuses on racism in Britain, I can certainly draw parallels to racism in the US and Australia, as well. Some of the quotes and discussions about structural racism, positive discrimination and language around immigration felt like I was reading straight from an Australian news comment section. In saying that, Eddo-Lodge makes a very valid and important point at the beginning of the book, discussing how globalised the US struggle against racism has become & how it eclipses the black British story so much that we convince ourselves Britain hasn’t ever had a race problem.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (both the blog post and the book) have started many great conversations about race and racism. The systems that uphold racism not just in the UK but also other countries cannot and will not be dismantled overnight, but educating ourselves on the problem is the first step in fixing the problem. For this reason, I very highly recommend this book to everyone (though especially white people).