Elaine Thomas reflects on this challenging book.
‘In 2014 Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote a blog which she titled Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, explaining that when she did speak on this matter white people became defensive often talking over her “because they need to let you know that you have got it wrong” and they stop listening. No longer talking to white people on the matter was a form of self-defence. The blog went viral. The positive responses from BAME and white people came as a surprise and led to her writing this book in order as she says to “continue the conversation.”
This is an accessible book which will, for some, be a difficult read. I came to it as a white, middle class, comfortably off woman of pensionable age, wanting to be more informed with regard to a black view of racism, with what I thought an Open mind. How wrong could I be? Reading the blog and the first chapter my hackles rose and I began defending white people. I closed the book, put it back on the shelf and did what Remi complains about; I STOPPED LISTENING. A few months later I did come back to it and when I finished, immediately sent copies to friends of mine.
I see this book as a springboard to a further understanding of this complex issue, which will help me to question my own attitudes, the systemic racism in this country and find ways in which I can be part of changing this narrative. Any suggestions for further reading matter to help me will be gratefully received.’
Read Faye Clinch on the pain of not being listened to here