As part of Black History Month at Southlands College, we’re beginning a series of book reviews from the college community. Here, Southlands College Student President Matt Gnanakumar comments on Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
“Reni Eddo-Lodge is a London-based, award-winning journalist. She has written for the New York Times, the Voice, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Stylist, the Pool, Dazed and Confused and the New Humanist. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race is her first book. It was chosen as Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year and Blackwell’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year, longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Non-Fiction.” (1)
“The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today. In 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge posted an impassioned piece online about her frustration with the way discussions of racism were being shut down by those who weren’t affected by it. The post went viral, and responses from those desperate to speak up about their own experiences flooded in. Galvanised, Eddo-Lodge decided to dive into the source of these feelings; the result is a searing exploration of what it means to be a person of colour in Britain today. From eradicated history to white privilege, the fallacy of ‘meritocracy’ to white-washed feminism, and the inextricable link between class and race, this is an essential book by a vital new voice.” (2)
The title is not the easiest to digest for some readers, but with the current situation more and more individuals like you and I will understand the struggles that a BAME individual goes through in the UK. Eddo-Lodge talks about the struggles that a lot of ethnic minorities across the UK face and the book is a place where we all can change. The author gives a pathway of change; this is to bring a better quality of life, treat others fairly and have no barriers for those who are from a different race.
Matt Gnanakumar is Student President of Southlands College, University of Roehampton