Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
by Reni Eddo-Lodge
My favourite of the anti-racist books I have read so far (though they’re all good), this is an extension of Eddo-Lodge’s 2014 essay of the same title that pushed her to the forefront of British journalists asked to comment on issues around race and racism. Which isn’t quite as ironic as it sounds; the essay was after all a public statement about racism. She was (justifiably) tired of having the same conversations with white people who refuse to acknowledge racism; tired of racism being deemed a problem for black and brown people to solve; tired of racism and talking about it taking up so much of her time and emotions. She was giving herself permission to take a break, walk away, self-preserve.
This book expands on that essay by detailing the many ways in which racism exists in the UK that white people tend not to notice. From police bigotry to the language people use; from the largely erased history of black people in the UK to the systems and processes throughout our society that are racist, Eddo-Lodge lays it bare. She devotes a chapter to untangling arguments that confound race and class in Britain (“It’s really a class problem” is a common defence against the existence of racism here).