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White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

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Amy Landon

6 Hours 21 Minutes

Beacon Press

June 2018

Audio Book Summary

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

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Reviews

  • Toni N.

    DiAngelo gives language to help articulate things that have been on my mind. The time is ripe for these thoughts. Society has progressed to a point where discussion of whiteness can be held with civility and with an open mind.

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