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In the spirit of We Should All Be Feminists and How to Be an Antiracist, a poignant and sensible guide to questioning the meaning of whiteness and creating an antiracist world from the acclaimed historian and author of Twisted. Vital and empowering What White People Can Do Next teaches each of us how to be agents of change in the fight against racism and the establishment o In the spirit of We Should All Be Feminists and How to Be an Antiracist, a poignant and sensible guide to questioning the meaning of whiteness and creating an antiracist world from the acclaimed historian and author of Twisted. Vital and empowering What White People Can Do Next teaches each of us how to be agents of change in the fight against racism and the establishment of a more just and equitable world. In this affecting and inspiring collection of essays, Emma Dabiri draws on both academic discipline and lived experience to probe the ways many of us are complacent and complicit—and can therefore combat—white supremacy. She outlines the actions we must take, including: Stop the Denial Interrogate Whiteness Abandon Guilt Redistribute Resources Realize this shit is killing you too . . .  To move forward, we must begin to evaluate our prejudices, our social systems, and the ways in which white supremacy harms us all. Illuminating and practical, What White People Can Do Next is essential for everyone who wants to go beyond their current understanding and affect real—and lasting—change.


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In the spirit of We Should All Be Feminists and How to Be an Antiracist, a poignant and sensible guide to questioning the meaning of whiteness and creating an antiracist world from the acclaimed historian and author of Twisted. Vital and empowering What White People Can Do Next teaches each of us how to be agents of change in the fight against racism and the establishment o In the spirit of We Should All Be Feminists and How to Be an Antiracist, a poignant and sensible guide to questioning the meaning of whiteness and creating an antiracist world from the acclaimed historian and author of Twisted. Vital and empowering What White People Can Do Next teaches each of us how to be agents of change in the fight against racism and the establishment of a more just and equitable world. In this affecting and inspiring collection of essays, Emma Dabiri draws on both academic discipline and lived experience to probe the ways many of us are complacent and complicit—and can therefore combat—white supremacy. She outlines the actions we must take, including: Stop the Denial Interrogate Whiteness Abandon Guilt Redistribute Resources Realize this shit is killing you too . . .  To move forward, we must begin to evaluate our prejudices, our social systems, and the ways in which white supremacy harms us all. Illuminating and practical, What White People Can Do Next is essential for everyone who wants to go beyond their current understanding and affect real—and lasting—change.

30 review for What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Artisan Geek

    23/2/2021 I have read bits and pieces of Dabiri's work previously and am very interested in giving this book a go. Racism is a complex and often very tricky topic to talk about and so I am happy to have this book as a conversation starter in the future. You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Website | The Storygraph 23/2/2021 I have read bits and pieces of Dabiri's work previously and am very interested in giving this book a go. Racism is a complex and often very tricky topic to talk about and so I am happy to have this book as a conversation starter in the future. You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Website | The Storygraph

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie (awonderfulbook)

    ARC provided by the publisher, Penguin, via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Emma Dabiri’s first book, Don’t Touch My Hair was an insightful, readable exploration of ‘black’ culture and racism through the lens of black hair. This second, shorter, book, is a more practical exploration of racism born out of responses to the killing of George Floyd and the reckoning with race that followed in the summer of 2020. Equally readable, distilling academic thought through Dabiri’s engaging, conversation ARC provided by the publisher, Penguin, via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Emma Dabiri’s first book, Don’t Touch My Hair was an insightful, readable exploration of ‘black’ culture and racism through the lens of black hair. This second, shorter, book, is a more practical exploration of racism born out of responses to the killing of George Floyd and the reckoning with race that followed in the summer of 2020. Equally readable, distilling academic thought through Dabiri’s engaging, conversational style, this book is a game changer for me in how to approach the questions of race, racism, and ‘whiteness’, and should provide food for thought for all who read it. Beginning with the question of ‘allyship’ and what ‘white’ people can do in response to racial injustice, Dabiri questions the entire framing of the debate in a way other work on this subject I have read has not done. She questions the legitimacy of online activism, which she views as hollow and performative anyway, and sees allyship as just another way for ‘white’ people to see ‘black’ people as inferior and needing our help. In other words, it replicates the racism that it supposedly seeks to dismantle. Dabiri argues that this is because allyship is a product of both the construction of ‘whiteness’ (hence my use of inverted commas throughout) and capitalism, both of which combine to create a world that is inherently unequal. Dabiri challenges ‘white’ people to interrogate our ‘whiteness’, showing that our perception of our skin colour is just as much a construction as centuries of racist rhetoric about ‘blackness’ is a construction. Somehow, those of us who have been trying to educate ourselves about racial injustice have come to understand this second construction, but, often (and certainly in my case), not that ‘whiteness’ is also a construction, created to divide the people of the earth by their skin tone. ‘Whiteness’, Dabiri reminds us, is not homogeneous. I think we ‘white’ people think it is, or there has been a failure to explore this idea for whatever reason. I know that I have encountered ideas of constructs of race before, but, somehow, I never included my ‘whiteness’ in that understanding. And Dabiri’s statements make total sense: I am not white skinned, but a combination of cream and pink, and other ‘white’ people have varying skin tones too that aren’t white. This little book is a game changer in that it tackles head on, and in simple, but unequivocal, language, the fact that the debate we are having about race is flawed because we fail to recognise the fact that race itself is a construct, on all sides of the equation. When we begin to understand this, Dabiri suggests, we can move towards coalition instead of allyship, working in groups that are different, but have similar goals, to improve things that are bad for everyone. Instead of the rhetoric of division, which the language of ‘allyship’ perpetuates, Dabiri challenges us to think outside the box about how we might work together collectively for the greater good. There’s a lot to say about this book. It is so nicely written in how it brings in ‘black’ cultural thought, history, and contemporary ideas, and distils all of this into such a short book in so concise and readable a way. Dabiri is effortlessly able to slip between academic language and a more conversational style, bringing important ideas to the masses in ways that purely academic texts are not always able to do. I also really appreciate her focus on the Irish context, and her reminder that racism in other countries doesn’t look the same way it does in the US, where most of the focus has been centred. I find the ideas in this book so freeing in terms of the weight of ‘whiteness’ I have carried. I’m sitting with that going forward, and rethinking how I engage with racial injustice, even as I more carefully question and try to dismantle the myth of race itself. I hope other ‘white’ people will read this too. Rating: 10/10 - so readable and insightful, and easy to follow. Dabiri packs so much into a short page count. Can't wait for my physical copy to come so I can annotate it properly. Blog: awonderfulbook.com | Instagram: katiemotenbooks | Twitter: katiemotenbooks

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    This was an intelligent, thought-provoking and educating essay. It looks at what white people need to actually do to create change in relation to racial justice. This book is unlike any other racial justice books or essays I have read. Emma Dabiri takes a different stance on anti-racism compared to what I have commonly seen, especially during 2020. A focus is put on shared goals, interests, and interrogating capitalism, rather than focusing on privilege. Dabiri argues that no change, or little c This was an intelligent, thought-provoking and educating essay. It looks at what white people need to actually do to create change in relation to racial justice. This book is unlike any other racial justice books or essays I have read. Emma Dabiri takes a different stance on anti-racism compared to what I have commonly seen, especially during 2020. A focus is put on shared goals, interests, and interrogating capitalism, rather than focusing on privilege. Dabiri argues that no change, or little change can occur without coalition. Her discussions on the biological terms/labels of ‘white’ and ‘black’ and how she believes they should be erased, due to them only reinforcing racism and the exploitation of one group of people, opened my eyes. She disputes allyship and privilege, focusing rather on forming kinships that defy the divisions that were intended to weaken. I think this book was very well written and researched. It made me think about how I can get to the root of the problem to do better and it enforced how mutuality is so important. Mutuality rather than charity that is so often performed. I would recommend this book as it offers clear points that cause you to question your behaviour and provides you with new ways of thinking without conforming to the terms and advice of online discourse surrounding anti-racism. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Press UK for sending me an arc to review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    El

    This is a great book that pulls the threads of things I’ve slowly come to realise over the past five-ish years all together in like 150 pages. It argues (successfully and in a v engaging way) that a) race is a social construct that has no biological basis and was created to divide working classes in order to perpetuate capitalism b) racism and white supremacy cannot be successfully fought without the acknowledgment of this c) capitalism is inextricably intertwined with racism d) we need to stop This is a great book that pulls the threads of things I’ve slowly come to realise over the past five-ish years all together in like 150 pages. It argues (successfully and in a v engaging way) that a) race is a social construct that has no biological basis and was created to divide working classes in order to perpetuate capitalism b) racism and white supremacy cannot be successfully fought without the acknowledgment of this c) capitalism is inextricably intertwined with racism d) we need to stop with online identity politics and squabbling over terminology to organise for just systems that will benefit us all. A good few other points as well but I’m not going to spoil the whole book for you because you should definitely pick it up! It was fab, I would really recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Samina

    A book that everyone should read. Eye-opening and of the utmost importance to every being who wants a better world.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Terence Eden

    This was a refreshing and necessary book to read. Refreshing because so much of the discourse on race is driven by the USA’s cultural hegemony – whereas this book is rooted firmly in Ireland and the UK. While it does cover some of the US experience, it isn’t exclusively focussed there. And necessary because *gestures widely* The book is written in an intriguing style. It effortlessly blends casual and formal language. It isn’t as dense as some scholarly works of race that I’ve read recently, and t This was a refreshing and necessary book to read. Refreshing because so much of the discourse on race is driven by the USA’s cultural hegemony – whereas this book is rooted firmly in Ireland and the UK. While it does cover some of the US experience, it isn’t exclusively focussed there. And necessary because *gestures widely* The book is written in an intriguing style. It effortlessly blends casual and formal language. It isn’t as dense as some scholarly works of race that I’ve read recently, and that’s a good thing. It is a good mix of history, background, and practical discussion. It also contains some – rightful – rages against the current state of “activism”: "The nature of social media is such that the performance of saying something often trumps doing anything, the tendency to police language, to shame and to say the right thing, often outweighs more substantive efforts. " Yes! While it may feel great to rant and rave on Twitter – it has almost zero impact. You need to actually go out and do something. Whether that’s lobbying a company, speaking to your elected representatives, or giving to charity. What we can’t do is weaponise class differences – telling people that they have white privilege isn’t sufficient to cause change: "We might abhor it, but if a tenuous and fragile feeling of superiority over black people or other minoritized people is all Donny has, why is he going to give that up? What is being offered in return?" I wrote something similar a while ago. As the book makes clear, we have to realise that racism hurts all of us. It isn’t just about those who it targets – it is a poison which corrupts everything. One of the most startling revelations, for me was the notion of how “European style ‘formal’ education, have all imposed the ‘white gaze’.” It’s quite a concept that our society doesn’t exist in a philosophical “neutral zone”. Just like how the male gaze defines how movies are made and laws are passed, it is fascinating to understand that we have created systems which don’t reflect reality, only a subset of it. I recommend reading “Philosophy of Race: An Introduction” by Naomi Zack for more. I think the only real flaw is that it doesn’t quite contain enough practical steps. In order to build a treehouse, it isn’t enough to say “buy some wood and assemble”. As the author acknowledges: "Frankly, there’s a huge gap in terms of what comes next. While we need to identify what to do, it’s important not to fixate on an endpoint or a final destination; such thinking is part of the problem. Rather we have to understand our lives as a dynamic flowing of positions. " The chapter headings are a great précis of the internal steps white people need to take – what do you need to realise about your behaviour? – but stops a little short of concrete actions. It’s a short, but thoroughly interesting book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tedmarriott

    Yes. I rate this. I’m just gonna write a mini-essay here lol if u want to read it but in short I thought this was good. I think the genre of instructing white people on how to act and behave when it comes to racism is short-sighted and needs to go and hopefully this book can start this conversation. This has captured the problems I have with allyship and anti-racist discourse and how patronising it can be, and how it’s devoid of the collation building thinkers like Fred Hampton and Audre Lorde m Yes. I rate this. I’m just gonna write a mini-essay here lol if u want to read it but in short I thought this was good. I think the genre of instructing white people on how to act and behave when it comes to racism is short-sighted and needs to go and hopefully this book can start this conversation. This has captured the problems I have with allyship and anti-racist discourse and how patronising it can be, and how it’s devoid of the collation building thinkers like Fred Hampton and Audre Lorde mobilised behind some 50 years ago. It looks like another ‘how to’ or ‘we need to talk about’ race book, but I think it’s marketed that way to then dismantle the problems that exist within the genre. It’s rooted in class and anti-colonialism analysis and how it has withstood and adapted throughout history. Particularly enjoyed it coming from the perspective of a Nigerian-Irish author which gave some refreshing perspectives on how changeable ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ is geographically. It packs a lot in in a short space; it’s a bit like manifesto. What this has shifted in my thinking as well, is seeing racism as a thing that is working. Not just as domination of one group of people over another group of people or as a contemporary structural issue. But as a historical project designed to conquer and divide people against their best interests. I’ve seen a lot of criticism of modern, liberal identity politics and online activism that digs up a lot of points I agree with. But it’s often co-opted to delegitimise the violence and discrimination people of colour (and minority and indigenous people in general) face, and how they can be cut off from resources and communities of care, whilst taking and truncating the most ‘cringe’ parts of ‘identity politics’ into the totality of people’s goals for change. Appropriating MLK Jr’s vision of colour-blindness whilst downplaying the scale of racism and exculpating external institutions and forces (whether it’s a carceral system or every day racism) of blame and responsibility. Criticising identity politics has also become a bit of an infantile, bad faith industry of its own. I think this book was able to challenge and hold both accountable, which we need more of. I know there were a few bits I wasn’t 100% sold on, or could have been beefed up a bit, and there’ll be things I’ll pick up on when I re-read it, but I hope this can be a silver-bullet to some of the limited ideas we’ve inherited from social media, anti-racist reading lists and the prism of privilege we assess things through. Yeah, big up Emma Dabiri.

  8. 5 out of 5

    seren✨ starrybooker

    In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, scores of lists did the rounds on Twitter of books that were largely labelled as ‘anti-racism’ texts. Some are amazing (works by Audre Lorde and Angela Davis spring to mind), but some more closely resembled neoliberal self-help manuals, treating racism as an individual failing to ‘overcome’ rather than an ideology underpinning our whole society. Emma Dabiri’s What White People Can Do Next explicitly takes on these texts and pushes back In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, scores of lists did the rounds on Twitter of books that were largely labelled as ‘anti-racism’ texts. Some are amazing (works by Audre Lorde and Angela Davis spring to mind), but some more closely resembled neoliberal self-help manuals, treating racism as an individual failing to ‘overcome’ rather than an ideology underpinning our whole society. Emma Dabiri’s What White People Can Do Next explicitly takes on these texts and pushes back on the failings of the current anti-racist movement that focuses on the individual rather than the systemic. In particular, she skewers the notion of white ‘allyship’, calling it patronising, unequal and reliant on the idea of the ‘white saviour’. Instead, Dabiri argues that focus should be placed on ideas of coalition, of working together against a capitalist, imperialist system of oppression. For such a short book it contains a remarkable amount of research and depth, building a historical backbone to her arguments about the present. I really liked her comparison of 18th and 19th century slave abolitionists to contemporary white allies in that their efforts were largely patronising actions of ‘charity’ rather than attempts at equality (when a lot of them didn’t actually believe that black people were their equals, just that they shouldn’t suffer as badly). Dabiri pinpoints a lot of the things I find uncomfortable about online activism in general, not just with anti-racism movements but in feminist and queer spaces as well. The emphasis always seems to be on notions of shame and guilt, and that people should ‘show’ their activism in online performance, even though a lot of this amounts to empty words and infographs. And this isn’t me being judgey (god knows I’ve shared enough artsy inforgraphics over the past year to keep the Instagram algorithm turning), but it’s important to differentiate between meaningless chat and actual action. As white people benefiting from the hierarchy of white supremacy, it’s vital for us not to fall into the trap of self-indulgence when it comes to anti-racist activism. Guilt without action is a useless emotion, and passivity isn’t doing anyone any good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hena Bryan

    Hello Bookish Babies, I recently read 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘋𝘰 𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 by @emmadabiri and felt inspired to share my main takeaways from this insightful, radical essay. Emma’s interrogation of whiteness explores how racism (and other subsequent results of isolative measures including colourism, featurism and texturism) is deeply rooted in capitalist agendas aimed at wealth creation and retention. Dating back to imperial Britain’s US settlement and slave trade efforts during the 16th century, 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 Hello Bookish Babies, I recently read 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘋𝘰 𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 by @emmadabiri and felt inspired to share my main takeaways from this insightful, radical essay. Emma’s interrogation of whiteness explores how racism (and other subsequent results of isolative measures including colourism, featurism and texturism) is deeply rooted in capitalist agendas aimed at wealth creation and retention. Dating back to imperial Britain’s US settlement and slave trade efforts during the 16th century, 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘋𝘰 𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 speaks on racism being a carefully crafted tool that helped, and still aids, capitalism. Emma writes “… in many ways race and capitalism are siblings,” a statement that I understand but don’t necessarily agree with; the extent of my disagreement being found in the closeness of the familial relationship. Whilst capitalism as an economic system thrives on the exploitation of one group of people for the material gain of another – a definition that once lent itself entirely to racism – racism is now the bitter ex-wife that is separate to capitalism, but is still healing from the trauma of being wed. 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘋𝘰 𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 is a thought-provoking look at white allyship and racial coalition that confronts whiteness (supremacy, denial, guilt and saviourism) by telling white people to accept that colonisation, imperialism and racism is at the root of their current privilege. By examining the attitudes of poorer white people during 16th century US settlement, we find that capitalism was created to uphold the elite. This led to poorer white people developing feelings of animosity and resentment towards the British Empire as capitalism byway of colonialism highlighted the class difference between the rich and the poor. It wasn't until the elite passed laws that segregated poorer white people from slaves – by weaponising whiteness and attaching it to superiority and privilege – that racism was birthed in a bid to settle white on white tension. ~ I really enjoyed Emma’s exploration and believe that this is a necessary text. @penguinukbooks Be sure to follow my Instagram for more bookish updates: @Henajbryan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Holly O’Doherty

    An informative and generous book that sets in place markers for real societal change. Dabiri’s writing is phenomenal with a historically grounded analysis of anti-racism and a changing approach to social media discourse. It is up to date, following on from the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and the upsurge in allyship and useful infographics on social media. This extended essay packs a punch, with every paragraph set to reframe last year’s efforts towards shared goals. My only complaint is An informative and generous book that sets in place markers for real societal change. Dabiri’s writing is phenomenal with a historically grounded analysis of anti-racism and a changing approach to social media discourse. It is up to date, following on from the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and the upsurge in allyship and useful infographics on social media. This extended essay packs a punch, with every paragraph set to reframe last year’s efforts towards shared goals. My only complaint is that I didn’t have a physical copy of the book to highlight and look back on in a week or so – but no worries I’ll be picking up a copy as soon as bookshops open up again in NI! Allyship is addressed brilliantly in this book. It underlines the role of white saviourism within allyship today – how appealing to the overwhelming good in people still pulls on dynamics based on a superiority of race. It questions the reader: what movement has ever been successful by asking people to ‘demote’ themselves? Dabiri urges for the energy that has been created over the past year to be funnelled into long term change rather than short term gratification. So, whilst calling out micro aggressions and racist language is really important to do, these actions should be secondary to our efforts for systemic change that decreases the powers of a small elite. Similarly, focusing on the radio silence of a celebrity figure may implicitly be a distraction from real fundamental change. This call for common ground and a shared goal permeates through all chapters in this book. It recognises the power of a mutual understanding across trenches (dug as a result of infinitely more exclusive groups), rather than a sense of charity that stems from guilt. And perhaps the best part of all, Dabiri reminds us that “a revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having” – wishing for us to constantly evolve our ways of thinking and to no longer double down on efforts that simply reinstate racial lines that separate us further apart.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I wanted to read this for my EDI group that I’m part of at work. Despite being a short book it took longer to read than I’d been expecting due to the fact that I took three pages of notes and quotations. I learnt a lot about the history of race being used a social construct, by the wealthy elite, as a way to stop poor indentured white workers from collaborating with black slaves who wanted to get better working conditions. There were many points in this book where I felt pleased to read somethin I wanted to read this for my EDI group that I’m part of at work. Despite being a short book it took longer to read than I’d been expecting due to the fact that I took three pages of notes and quotations. I learnt a lot about the history of race being used a social construct, by the wealthy elite, as a way to stop poor indentured white workers from collaborating with black slaves who wanted to get better working conditions. There were many points in this book where I felt pleased to read something that reflected many of my own views. For example, I’ve found the idea of allyship to be problematic as it does make me feel like I’m trying to be some type of white saviour or that I may be viewed as such, rather than someone equally working with others to progress equality. I loved the history around black and white groups collaborating to try and progress things for everyone that has a shared interest whilst not also detracting from the fact that racism is an issue that needs addressing. There was also some very interesting commentary around people on social media, saying the right things and being easily offended by anyone that has a slightly different perspective from them and that extremes of perspectives can generate more comments and likes, and therefore influence but for all the ‘talk’ and ‘likes’ this doesn’t practically change or improve anything, whilst working together can. I highly recommend this read to everyone, as I think there are some really important ideas and lessons from history that we can learn from this work. I’d like to thank the publisher for gifting me an ebook copy of the book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Céline Nyssens

    I remember sitting in a lecture hall in my final year of uni and having my head completely blown apart by my tutor’s lecture on the imperialist myths of nation. What actually IS a country? ‘Countries’ do not exist, unless we believe they do - they’re just lines on a map. Who drew the map? Aha! The closer we look, the more we realise how thoroughly our world-view is shaped by imperialist (and, by extension, white supremacist) thought. Here again, is one of those experiences where I felt preconcei I remember sitting in a lecture hall in my final year of uni and having my head completely blown apart by my tutor’s lecture on the imperialist myths of nation. What actually IS a country? ‘Countries’ do not exist, unless we believe they do - they’re just lines on a map. Who drew the map? Aha! The closer we look, the more we realise how thoroughly our world-view is shaped by imperialist (and, by extension, white supremacist) thought. Here again, is one of those experiences where I felt preconceived notions - the very definitions of what ‘whiteness’ and ‘blackness’ are, for instance - being ripped up and rearranged before my very eyes. This book, though short, brings to light some essential history that helps the reader understand how our society has come to construct our notions of ‘race’, as well as interrogating performative methods of tackling racism that rely on pernickety word-policing and ultimately fail to attack the systems of injustice that have led us to where we are. The writing is masterfully concise and informative, as well as being speckled with humour that lightens the tone without ever losing focus or sincerity. Dabiri possesses a formidable intellect, and she unleashes it here in full force, with not a word wasted. I normally don’t rate books, but I feel the need to give this one five stars to counteract the (so far, two) people who have given it a two-star review on here without leaving a note about their thoughts (I, for one, would love to hear them.) This book is so, so interesting, and I would (and will) recommend this book to anyone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    It may be brief, but this is a powerful, phenomenal text where not a single word is wasted in its purpose to not only educate us what to do next, but why we should do what we should do next. Yes it does help if you have previous insight/knowledge regarding theory or some of the historical events/concepts that this book covers but honestly this book is not complicated at all and considering how short it is, absolutely anyone can understand it. Even saying that, Emma Dabiri does actually provide so It may be brief, but this is a powerful, phenomenal text where not a single word is wasted in its purpose to not only educate us what to do next, but why we should do what we should do next. Yes it does help if you have previous insight/knowledge regarding theory or some of the historical events/concepts that this book covers but honestly this book is not complicated at all and considering how short it is, absolutely anyone can understand it. Even saying that, Emma Dabiri does actually provide some brief history or explanations where necessary to bolster her arguments without turning this into a longer, more technical 300/400 words or so, text. Considering how concise, well-written this text is and how much it covers in so many less pages than normal and the times that we are living in now, there really is no excuse for people not to read this text as part of their education into how we’ve gotten to where we are now, and what we should do next - put all those performative black boxes on instagram, colourful infographics stating your intentions to be part of a better future, all those retweeted hashtags into real, effective meaningful work and change. Brilliant book by Dabiri not only in terms of technical writing skill, but also her personal narration is wonderfully charismatic and made me really like her as a person and what she brought to the argument. Won’t take much of your time, but the time that it does is well worth it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morgan M. Page

    Emma Dabiri wades into the anti-racist handbook industrial complex with this short but surprisingly radical text. While most of the other anti-racist guides aimed at well-meaning white people on the market tend to focus on micro-aggressions, unpacking privilege, and individual ways of being less problematic, Dabiri pushes us to reject the increasingly neoliberal trend of inclusivity and join together in a truly coalitional politics that may actually be able to address institutional racism. The de Emma Dabiri wades into the anti-racist handbook industrial complex with this short but surprisingly radical text. While most of the other anti-racist guides aimed at well-meaning white people on the market tend to focus on micro-aggressions, unpacking privilege, and individual ways of being less problematic, Dabiri pushes us to reject the increasingly neoliberal trend of inclusivity and join together in a truly coalitional politics that may actually be able to address institutional racism. The demands are straight forward: understand coalition; stop the denial; stop the false equivalences; interrogate whiteness; interrogate capitalism; denounce the white saviour; abandon guilt; pull people up on racism; stop reducing black people to one dimension; read, read, read — and dance; redistribute resources; recognize this shit is killing you, too; and post-activism. Each is expanded upon in brief chapters, making an overarching argument towards an anti-capitalist and ecological-centric coalition to end whiteness as a system and ensure the future for all life on earth. This book is really worth your time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Blythe Stockdale

    I read this after hearing Emma Dabiri discussing it on The Blindboy Podcast- very glad I did (the podcast is free on spotify for anyone who wants to get a taste of the book). The book is £7.99 and a pretty quick read-so it's fairly accessible. I highly recommend this. Too many years spent on social media discourse (further intensified by the past year where so much social interaction has moved online) has left me feeling pretty lost and immobilized when it comes to actually changing anything or I read this after hearing Emma Dabiri discussing it on The Blindboy Podcast- very glad I did (the podcast is free on spotify for anyone who wants to get a taste of the book). The book is £7.99 and a pretty quick read-so it's fairly accessible. I highly recommend this. Too many years spent on social media discourse (further intensified by the past year where so much social interaction has moved online) has left me feeling pretty lost and immobilized when it comes to actually changing anything or seeing the potential for social and economic change. Emma has hit the nail on the head; not just in terms of racism but in terms of all forms of exploitation and inequality which have their roots in the capitalist system we've been stuck in for hundreds of years, and which is leading us towards climate catastrophe. These problems are inseparable from the exploitation which capitalism necessarily relies on; nothing will improve if we focus exclusively on racial microaggressions and brand inclusivity without fighting the root of it all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This book was really refreshing and eye-opening, one I will certainly find myself going back to. In just 150 pages Dabiri cracks open the origins of racism and connects it to capitalism, imperialism, and other structures of oppression and also offers avenues of further reading on all of these critical questions. She argues that instead of white saviourism, guilt, and individual privilege discourses it is time to recognise that this common structure of oppression affects all of us (in different w This book was really refreshing and eye-opening, one I will certainly find myself going back to. In just 150 pages Dabiri cracks open the origins of racism and connects it to capitalism, imperialism, and other structures of oppression and also offers avenues of further reading on all of these critical questions. She argues that instead of white saviourism, guilt, and individual privilege discourses it is time to recognise that this common structure of oppression affects all of us (in different ways!!) and will fuck up everything from the environment, to how we relate to knowledge, and of course the lives and deaths of people - and that we must take true radical action against it. I would really recommend this book to anyone but of course in particular white people who feel overwhelmed or confused by the state of online anti-racist discourse. It filled me with a sense of hope for what a new world could look like.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    I haven't read all of this author's first book "Don't touch my hair" apart from several excerpts. She comes accross as incredibly angry about her appearance. I have also read interviews and she seems to have identity issues. She complains a lot, almost incessantly, about her hair. She also seems to hate the Irish yet hasn't lived there for decades. I don't know if I'll read this book apart from an excerpt like a taster...if it's as negative as her first book then I'll pass. I'm curious to know what I haven't read all of this author's first book "Don't touch my hair" apart from several excerpts. She comes accross as incredibly angry about her appearance. I have also read interviews and she seems to have identity issues. She complains a lot, almost incessantly, about her hair. She also seems to hate the Irish yet hasn't lived there for decades. I don't know if I'll read this book apart from an excerpt like a taster...if it's as negative as her first book then I'll pass. I'm curious to know what most of Europe makes of books like these in the "Dear White People" genre. Most European countries didn't have colonies anywhere especially in Africa or Asia, didn't have slaves, didn't transport slaves accross the Atlantic, didn't invade anywhere. Just exactly what guilt are they supposed to feel?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah May

    More of a 4.5/5 really but I'm bumping it up because my quibble is very minor. This is a really well written and interesting read. Emma Dabiri makes a lot of arguments that I hadn't really read much of before and has really given me something to think about. This book is really small and I'm still processing it so it's kind of hard to review but I do think this was obviously well thought out and introduces a lot of new ideas that aren't in the mainstream. My only qualm is that I think some of the More of a 4.5/5 really but I'm bumping it up because my quibble is very minor. This is a really well written and interesting read. Emma Dabiri makes a lot of arguments that I hadn't really read much of before and has really given me something to think about. This book is really small and I'm still processing it so it's kind of hard to review but I do think this was obviously well thought out and introduces a lot of new ideas that aren't in the mainstream. My only qualm is that I think some of the language in it is a bit complex and maybe a little overwhelming for someone just beginning to do the learning and new to more educational texts. Otherwise I thought this was great and I'll probably be reading it again while I digest everything in it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a sharply written, critical analysis of whether allyship is the right way to tackle racism. There are some excellent points made about why coalition, not allyship, is the way forward. There will be people who are put off by the book’s title and who will make assumptions about the content without reading it. Dabari explains in the first chapter that the title is intentionally provocative because ‘we have to set whiteness up...in order to disassemble it’ which leads into a persuasive argum This is a sharply written, critical analysis of whether allyship is the right way to tackle racism. There are some excellent points made about why coalition, not allyship, is the way forward. There will be people who are put off by the book’s title and who will make assumptions about the content without reading it. Dabari explains in the first chapter that the title is intentionally provocative because ‘we have to set whiteness up...in order to disassemble it’ which leads into a persuasive argument that race is a social construct. An informative read for anyone, of any background but especially for those wondering what they can do to be an ally and what is appropriate action to take to tackle racism.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ruairi Hegarty

    Do not be put off by this book's title. Thought provoking like her previous book, Emma Dabiri's What White People Can Do Next deconstructs race, activism and capitalism as we know it in 2021. A breeze to get through, this book is a manifesto for how we can all better relate to each other and the world around us, regardless of the colour of our skin. The short chapters make the book perfect to read in one siting or to dip in and out of over a few days. Dabiri brings the right amounts of humour an Do not be put off by this book's title. Thought provoking like her previous book, Emma Dabiri's What White People Can Do Next deconstructs race, activism and capitalism as we know it in 2021. A breeze to get through, this book is a manifesto for how we can all better relate to each other and the world around us, regardless of the colour of our skin. The short chapters make the book perfect to read in one siting or to dip in and out of over a few days. Dabiri brings the right amounts of humour and seriousness to keep readers engaged a topic that many will feel has been discussed ad nauseum for the last year. The excellent writing combined with the importance of the content make this book a must-read and a must-read-again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Stephenson

    This book feels like a breath of fresh air. The writing is well researched, clear and concise, using lessons and examples from history to strengthen her arguments and draw parallels between past and present. Dabiri is so reasonable and balanced in her views and this book fills me with hope for the future. A must read. The title is misleading, this is a book for anyone who feels an unease with the sometimes erratic, compressed and incendiary discourse around race and racism on social media, the t This book feels like a breath of fresh air. The writing is well researched, clear and concise, using lessons and examples from history to strengthen her arguments and draw parallels between past and present. Dabiri is so reasonable and balanced in her views and this book fills me with hope for the future. A must read. The title is misleading, this is a book for anyone who feels an unease with the sometimes erratic, compressed and incendiary discourse around race and racism on social media, the title seems to be sort of tongue in cheek in that regard. I will be buying her other book and following her work for a long time I suspect

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Mansell

    Try to find perspectives that aren't so outwardly your own and read the stories that people have to tell without reducing so many voices to their experiences of intolerance, prejudice, and racism. It's not that hard to think about How to challenge the inequality that the structures of our society continue to build Because 'facts' can be twisted to present a truth most convenient to those in power Stop hiding your guilt, it's been hurting too many people for far too long. Try to find perspectives that aren't so outwardly your own and read the stories that people have to tell without reducing so many voices to their experiences of intolerance, prejudice, and racism. It's not that hard to think about How to challenge the inequality that the structures of our society continue to build Because 'facts' can be twisted to present a truth most convenient to those in power Stop hiding your guilt, it's been hurting too many people for far too long.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lianne

    Short, powerful book in which Emma Dabiri links allyship with white savourism. She makes a powerful case that the only way to implement real change is to move away from allyship and towards a coalition of shared interests and provides historical examples to illustrate how this can be done. I feel I have a lot to unpack after reading this, and expect I'll come back to it again and again. Recommended. Short, powerful book in which Emma Dabiri links allyship with white savourism. She makes a powerful case that the only way to implement real change is to move away from allyship and towards a coalition of shared interests and provides historical examples to illustrate how this can be done. I feel I have a lot to unpack after reading this, and expect I'll come back to it again and again. Recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    SO GOOD. I knew it would be good bc Emma Dabiri is brilliant but it was even better. I wish I could think and write as clearly and elegantly. Loved it all but especially the reminder that race isn’t real and not to inadvertently legitimise it while trying to work against it, and the inadequacy of social media ‘activism’ to tackle structural issues. Also the reminder that we all deserve better than the current capitalist hellhole. And the econ burns 🔥 BUY THIS BOOK AND ALSO READ IT

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    Dabiri debunks the notion of ‘black’ and ‘white’ races, and argues that anti-racism isn’t about tweeting your allyship but, rather, working towards economic equality for all. At first it felt a bit like reading something for a college course (she is an academic, after all) but I soon got used to the style and in the end it was reasonably easy to read, easy to understand and hard to argue with.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sian Davies

    This was my first foray into learning more . Waterstones staff recommended it . I’ve learnt so much from such a small book . I would give this ten stars for value of information. I’m hoping this is the start of a journey of education that I can pass on to my children . I plan to read a lot more books on this subject . If the last year can’t make the world change for the better and for all , then I simply can’t imagine what could be a better catalyst for change .

  27. 5 out of 5

    Seher

    This book is an important reminder that speaking truth to power means nothing unless we can back it up by actually doing something. That feeling bad and guilty doesn't help anyone. Dabiri focuses on shared goals and interrogating capitalism, rather than focusing on just privilege, because what can you do when all you do is talk about privilege and redistributing it, without actually changing the system that enables all the racism. Thank you NetGalley for a chance to read and review this! This book is an important reminder that speaking truth to power means nothing unless we can back it up by actually doing something. That feeling bad and guilty doesn't help anyone. Dabiri focuses on shared goals and interrogating capitalism, rather than focusing on just privilege, because what can you do when all you do is talk about privilege and redistributing it, without actually changing the system that enables all the racism. Thank you NetGalley for a chance to read and review this!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maj

    “However, race as the framework through which we understand all of this is not the only option. It was one that was decided for us many generations before we were born....because it is a remarkably powerful way of...maintaining a poisonous status quo.” Emma Dabiri is incredible and this book left me speechless, it was amazing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aine

    A beautifully crafted but seemingly light book that focuses attention on capitalism, explains the history of why and how “whiteness” was invented, prioritises political responses that could actually have a chance of success, and convinces more people to read James Baldwin? Why yes, yes I would recommend this book to a pretty much anyone I bump into.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy Shergold

    Excellent!! Examines the links of capitalism and whiteness in all types of oppression. Challenges the superiority and white saviour aspects of being an ally. Promotes the ideas of collective activism compared to individual actions that can be white centred and driven by guilt. Brilliant book that everyone should read, its short and accessible to read!

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