I got this book following the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others.
, I said that as a white man who has lived in a bubble of privilege for the last four-and-a-half decades, I couldn’t even imagine the pain and suffering and prejudice our black community members and their families face on a day-to-day basis.
I also said that I didn’t know where to begin as I contemplated how to best address the crisis our nation is facing—which, of course, points to precisely where I need to begin: by getting a deeper understanding of the systemic racism and inequality that plagues our country and our world.
I committed to deepening my understanding of the issues and asked for book recommendations. This was one of the most recommended books. I immediately went to get it. And, I wasn’t alone in ordering it. In fact, it was out of stock and took weeks for Amazon to deliver it.
Robin DiAngelo is an academic, educator, and author working in the fields of critical discourse analysis and whiteness studies. She served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University and a lecturer at the University of Washington, where she twice received the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year from the School of Social Work.
Robin has been a consultant and trainer for more than twenty years on issues of racial and social justice. In this book, she distills her decades of experience into a powerful message to her fellow white progressives: We’re too fragile when it comes to discussing racism (and our role in it) and, critically, that fragility and unwillingness to engage in uncomfortable discussions along with equally uncomfortable self- and cultural-analysis is exacerbating the problem.
The solution? As she says many times throughout the book: We need to build our racial stamina. Recognizing our fragility is the first step.
As you’d expect, the book is a deliberately confronting read. If you’re a white person looking to get a deeper understanding of racism and what we can do about it, I HIGHLY recommend you step into your discomfort and read this book. (Get a copy of the book .)
Note: If you’re like me, you will have resistance to reading the book even as you commit to doing something about the challenges we face. That’s White Fragility at work. Let’s remember that our infinite potential exists on the OTHER side of our comfort zone as we step into that discomfort and get a little Wiser and more Courageous so we can do something to confront the crisis facing our nation (and world) as we strive to support people of color. Together. TODAY.