Is It Really About Race?

Book Cover of So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Seal Press, January 1, 2018

Talking about race is not easy. But talking about race is the first step in dismantling systemic racism, argues Ijeoma Oluo in her impactful new book, So You Want to Talk About Race. In 17 chapters with questions as their titles, Oluo directly answers the questions she is most often asked. For example, "Is it really about race?" (if it disproportionally affects people of color, yes), and "What if I talk about race wrong?" (it's ok, talking about race is uncomfortable and necessary). Oluo's explanation of privilege is particularly nuanced, covering any and all advantages that one has and others do not. Another way of thinking about privilege, she says, is to ask yourself, "who doesn’t have this same freedom or opportunity that I’m enjoying now?" In chapter 13, "Why are our students so angry?", Oluo says that students are angry because they see inequality in the systems in which they and their families live. Further, she states, "Our kids have seen that, no matter what individual progress we make, the system remains." In Oluo's view, the call to actively engage students in race talk at school is clarion.

Submitted By: Jessica Flaxman, Nashoba Brooks School, Concord, MA

Leave a comment

KlingensteinCenter Teachers College Columbia University

Contact Us
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027

Have a question or want more information about our programs?

Fill out our contact form and a member of our team will respond promptly.