Review: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Well, more scattered thoughts than a review: this is one of those cases where, as a white woman, I’m not particularly comfortable advancing an argument. There are lots of reviews of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Black reviewers out there: Colin Grant’s piece in the Guardian or Bernardine Evaristo’s in the Times Literary Supplement are two good places to start.

Personally, I found the section on Black British history useful and enlightening: it’s a topic that’s almost entirely absent from school curricula and popular culture in a way Black history in America isn’t. For instance, it had never quite occurred to me (although in retrospect it’s obvious) that many Black British people are the descendants of slaves brought here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The interview with Nick Griffin of the BNP is also fascinating and depressing by turns.

I do think that it’s probably preaching to the half-converted: as a white person, if you’ve picked up this book then you are most likely already aware of some of the issues and open to being made at least a little uncomfortable. Still, I found it an accessible text covering some important ground and asking some hard questions of its white readers.

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