Belonging Book Club

Why I’m No Longer Talk to White People About Race: Reni Eddo-Lodge

In June, we are reading Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Below, Rich has prepared some talking points to think about as you read and prepare for the meeting in July.

If you would like to buy any of the books on our list, you can do so here.

Reflecting in Reni’s experience with learning about Black history, I wonder if you can reflect a bit on your own education, how did you learn about Black history? Or did you even!? If you did was it integrated as part of the British curriculum or was it a special segregated module? Does teaching Black history as “Black” history and not as part of “British” history influence the way we think about it?

Again in this book, we see the idea of individual level racist activities contrasted with systemic level racism, I want to think and discuss a bit around how these invisible systems move in our own lives, when we might come into contact with them.

Most people will at some point in their lives feel “othered” in some way, if you have I wonder if you can reflect on it and if you feel comfortable talk about your experience, I’m keen to dwell on the idea of how we put the burden of this feeling onto the person feeling it, to “prove” that something was wrong.

I want to resist talking about how we might be able to influence and change systems at this point, I want to dwell for a few more books on really understanding and seeing the invisible systems in our society.

In Chapter 3 Reni reflects a bit on starting to see white privilege. What age did you realise race existed? What do you think of when you hear the words “white privilege” ? Do you feel this as a personal attack or can you distance yourself a bit from the words?

In Chapter 4 Reni talks about how the far right have weaponised fear of immigration and the potential for changing demographics, I wonder if we can explore how we have come to link certain ideas to certain skins, what I mean is the idea that democracy or liberal ideas are somehow western/white, maybe we discuss how race is framed as a key component of crimes when they are perpetuated by non-white people, but not somehow when white people do the same crimes.

Reni covers a ton of ideas in the feminism chapter and I do want to discuss them, but there are a few other books devoted to the whole topic that we will read so I am keen to maybe combine the feminism and class sections at the time and maybe talk a bit about what an intersectional approach might be.

I want to dwell a bit on how we each define ourselves, and on our journey in reading these books, I want to see if people are feeling guilt or tension due to these books and discuss how we might move past that phase, I’m keen to talk about how these ideas can shake our world view, and some strategies for dealing with that and dwelling in this place of uncertainty.

Thanks!! Can’t wait to see y’all!!

Previous Book Club Events

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

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