So you want to talk about race
Published: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Seal Press
“But as I got older, as the successes I had reached for slowly became a reality, something inside me began to shift. I would try to make my voice quieter in meetings and I couldn’t. I would try to laugh off the racist jokes and I couldn’t. I would try to accept my boss’s reasons for why I could have my promotion but not raise, and I couldn’t. And I started talking.
I started to question, I started to resist, I started to demand. I wanted to know why it was considered a bad thing that I was “opinionated,” I wanted to know what exactly it was about my hair that was “unprofessional,” I wanted to know what exactly it was about that joke that people found funny.”
If I were an amen choir, then I would have yelled a resounding, throaty YES! at that statement. In fact, I DO want to know. I think most black women in America, in the world, want to know why everything we do seems to be interpreted as wrong to other people, sometimes even other black people. And that is how I spent the entirety of the book. So many quotes resonated with me that instead of my usual review I’m going to share a few of those amazing quotes. I won’t share them all, because my recommendation is that you purchase this book immediately.
“What keeps a poor child in Appalachia poor is not what keeps a poor child in Chicago poor— even if from a distance, the outcomes look the same. And what keeps an able-bodied black woman poor is not what keeps a disabled white man poor, even if the outcomes look the same.”
“Disadvantaged white people are not erased by discussion of disadvantages facing people of color, just as brain cancer is not erased by talking about breast cancer. They are two different issues with two different treatments, and they require two different conversations.”
“If I call a white person a cracker, the worst I can do is ruin their day. If a white person thinks I’m a nigger, the worst they can do is get me fired, arrested, or even killed in a system that thinks the same — and has the resources to act on it.”
READ THIS BOOK.