So You Want to Talk About Race

This book targets people of all races who want to engage in more informed conversations about race and racism in the United States. The writing is straightforward, sometimes biting, and very insightful. The author grew up in the Pacific Northwest attending schools where she was often the only Black person. For those interested in taking a next step in advocating for social justice, So You Want to Talk About Race is a powerful and informative resource.

272 pages. ©2019.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted February 20, 2023


This book raised many questions in my mind and it honestly hurt to read it. It addresses a deep evaluation of the discrimination so prominent, still to this day!, in the US. It made me think hard about what I can do to help eliminate this horror in our country. An excellent, but heart-wrenching read.


Review posted February 2, 2023


Very powerful book. Gives concrete examples of situations.


Review posted January 25, 2023


This book should be required readigg by for everyone. I’ve now gifted it to multiple family members and read parts to my kids. I follow the author on social media and it is a great book to support our anti racist learning.

[email protected]

Review posted January 9, 2023


A fantastic book about structural injustice. Read it, reflect and take action.

Doug Walker

Review posted December 24, 2022


Worth reading--useful, but a bit dull

RG Rotary Inspire

Review posted November 30, 2022


Our Rotary reading group has been looking for good books that will allow us to be more sensitive to discrimination. This book was enlightening and helpful. It was a reminder that there are many inadvertent behaviors that amount to discrimination. One example that has had a big influence on my thoughts relates to the segment on cultural appropriation. Whether in music or appearance, as we borrow and also have the advantage of easy acceptance for what we do, we are more accurately stealing from cultures of origin.

Kristine BrittonDills

Review posted November 3, 2022


I really liked this book. I read it along with a book group and we did a few chapters each time. I had read similar books before but appreciated with way this one was organized and the examples of lived experience offered by the author. I ended up listening to the audio version as well because I discovered that Bahni Turpin, a favorite voice actor of mine, was the narrator. Both formats are recommended.


Review posted September 30, 2022


Her work and second book are powerful tools against racism, bias and oppression.


Review posted September 23, 2022


This is a primer on a lot of terms and concepts that get thrown around when talking about race, such as microaggressions, intersectionality, school to prison pipeline, etc. It's a great book for people who would like to understand these concepts as an introduction. Oluo's writing is straightforward and easy to understand.


Review posted August 30, 2022


Of all of the books I’ve read toward becoming anti-racist, this one has been especially straightforward. For anyone truly trying to open mind, eyes, ears, and heart to the work to be done both as an individual and in the spaces we occupy, reading this book is essential.


Review posted August 23, 2022


Good concept and written well! Used it for a book club at work.


Review posted July 27, 2022


This book provided better insight into race.


Review posted May 26, 2022


Insightful book to support both self-reflection and gain from other's perspectives. Candid and open discussion and accessible examples answering questions about race with guidance on how to work through courageous conversations about race. Helpful discussion guide included.


Review posted May 5, 2022


This was a fantastic read. It really opens up conversations and a guide to navigating through them. It allowed insight into the reality of race conversations/communication in America.


Review posted April 28, 2022


This book is both easy to read in its conversational style, but also heavy at the same time, making it best to digest in smaller chunks. I found it easy to apply the information to my own life. I am grateful for the author for writing this book.


Review posted April 27, 2022


This has given me much to think about and reflect on and have the ability to start and have more honest and real conversation about so many topics.


Review posted April 19, 2022


Taught me a ton!


Review posted April 11, 2022


It’s a good book no matter where you are on your DEI training - it provides information in a factual and non confrontational way.


Review posted April 1, 2022


Its really difficult to have a conversation due to the feel of being condemned for what you might say. This book helped me to be able to have the conversations to educate my students in a noncritical perspective.

Karen Burkhart

Review posted March 8, 2022


Having moved to the South during segregated schools and everything, I found Ijeoma Oluo's book to really explain just how strong racism continues in our country. That ignoring the problem doesn't make it disappear. I found each chapter in the book full of information needed to be read by all races.


Review posted February 24, 2022


Gives an easy to understand explanation of complex topics. Is a helpful book to guide conversations about racism when starting the conversation is uncomfortable. Gives a great starting place.


Review posted February 14, 2022


"So You Want to Talk About Race" is a book that affirmed while it challenged me to be inter-reflective. I work in Diversity Equity and Inclusion work. This book provided critical elements that various audiences questioned. It also includes inclusiveness around all races. I saw things within this book that had me either do self-reflection or cause me to think about how to move forward more consciously in my DEI work.


Review posted February 12, 2022


This wasn't an easy read but was enlightening. We have to talk race equity and inclusion no matter how hard. This book will help me with my team at work. I need starting points with matter to help me educate myself and team. Good read just painful how we need to get busy & change the history moving forward for future generations.

Justin Chin

Review posted January 28, 2022


Powerful and engaging dive into navigating conversations on race. For Oregonians, we are born and raised with a sense of "Oregon Nice," in which we skirt crucial conversation - in short promote a sense of congenial passive aggressiveness. Oluo's "So You Want to Talk About Race," is a practical guide for those invested into change to reflect on how they how their silence perpetuates systemic racism.


Review posted January 5, 2022


This was a very informative book.


Review posted December 27, 2021


So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo I have read ten books in the last two years on racism. If I was to recommend just one book this would be the one. Each chapter explains an issue concerning racism such as What is racism? What are Microaggressions? and What is the school-to-prison pipeline? It is clearly written and includes all the different aspects to this issue with examples in everyday life. This book is written for white and people of color, but the most to gain wisdom from this book would be white people. There is a lot here to reflect on in our lives.


Review posted December 15, 2021


My mom suggested this book and I am so glad she did. I think everyone should read this book because it's not something we learn in school and we really need to educate ourselves on the history of racism in this country and how deeply rooted it is but at the same time hidden in a way, or at least until more recent years. I liked how this book was broken down and it really got me to think about my views and the views/actions of those around me.


Review posted December 14, 2021


amazing read. learn so much about how to be better


Review posted November 16, 2021


Ijeoma Oluo writes a very real, honest depiction of race in America and how one can have a conversation in a way that works for everyone. I really appreciate how she is able to capture the truth of what is going on in America, and at the same time help readers understand it in a way that is non-threatening, all the while offering solutions. I think a lot of books about race do not go heavily enough into solutions. They will tell you what is wrong, but they never really tell you what you can do about it. This book is different, and Oluo attempts to do that. In addition, she speaks about a wide range of issues affecting our society today, rather than hyper-focusing on just one or two. In doing this, she is able to paint a very vivid picture of race in America. She also acknowledges how difficult these conversations are, but also the importance of having them. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about racial relations and how to talk to people about them.


Review posted November 2, 2021


I really appreciated how Oluo developed each chapter in the form of a question and then took time to explore the question at a personal and community or societal level. I also appreciated the research and data she included to help develop a deeper understanding of the issue. She was honest and vulnerable about her own challenges and encouraged readers to think more deeply about so many issues around race. The chapter on 'Checking my Privilege" really gave me pause, especially around things designed to serve the dominant culture, i.e. built environment, schools, documentation status, etc. I was aware of many of the privileges I hold, but that section was a powerful and sobering reminder of so many things I don't always account for.


Review posted October 18, 2021


The insight was great and helped explain it simple terms that we need to not look at race but at each other as people.


Review posted October 16, 2021


Made me stop and really think about how I was not aware of the many subtle types of racism that exist - that I may even be unaware I practice myself


Review posted October 14, 2021


Well written, excellent addition to a book study, or curriculum, in conjunction with some of Oluo's contemporaries. The chapter exercises make it a very appropriate book for driving action items for a board/team.


Review posted October 5, 2021


Insightful and thought provoking


Review posted September 18, 2021


This is the type of book you could never read just once. It is a page turner, as Oluo's writing style is fluid and conversational; however, the information must be considered, observed and reflected upon. Whether you are new or feel comfortable addressing race, racial inequity, or (possibly most importantly) if you feel that you, nor anyone you know is racist, or affected by race this boo--which provides a lot of insight while shedding light on areas that one could easily overlook--is a must read.


Review posted September 14, 2021


This is a very good book sharing concepts and vocabulary along with excellent storytelling to aid people in talking about racism, privilege, and importantly, ideas for actions that can be taken to battle systemic racism.


Review posted September 13, 2021


Very interesting and eye opening. Prompted much introspection.


Review posted September 4, 2021


This is a great book for people who want to learn more about antiracism and how racism is built into the structure of this country. Simple language, complex themes. The chapters address various topics: police brutality, micro-aggressions, workplace racism, etc. I have the audiobook but I'm going to purchase a paper copy to use as a reference in my classroom.


Review posted August 21, 2021


The advice that Ijeamo gives is critical to helping people understand race. I still have much to learn but this book was incredibly helpful and insightful.

Rachel Nelson

Review posted August 17, 2021


This was a well written and concise book about how to start having the conversations about race. It was written in a way that was conversational and not academic, weaving personal experiences with data and information. I would recommend this book to folks looking to begin having conversations.


Review posted August 8, 2021


Smart, easy to understand, and to the point. Ijeoma provides powerful and clarifying examples of the terms and concepts she addresses in the book, including her own real life experiences as a mixed race Black woman. Her tone is engaging and never patronizing.


Review posted August 7, 2021


A kind of "FAQ" guide to talking about racism, Oluo's book is accessible, engaging, and applicable to people of all walks of life and wherever they are on the anti-racist journey. The author starts with addressing some basic concerns and hurdles people are likely to face when they start speaking out and starting conversations about racism, and continues on to define important terms and explain some complex myths, concepts, and historical realities in an easy to understand manner even for people who are brand new to the topic. Despite the heavy topic, Oluo is reflective on her weaknesses and disarms with humor, making for a relatively easy read in more than ways than one. What is not easy, however, is that it will be difficult for anyone to put this book down and go about their life how they did before. Every open-minded reader will find some action items that will be relevant for they are, even if daily progress in anti-racism is made one small conversation at a time. In my opinion, if you are considering which book people should start with if they are beginning on their anti-racist journey, this book should be right towards the top of the list.


Review posted August 5, 2021


As a person who identifies as white, Ijeoma Oluo’s writing helps me deepen my emotional engagement with racism, white supremacy and my complicity in systems of power and privilege. The stories she shares are highly relatable - in them I feel the frustration, the awkwardness, the aha moments, and most of all building my own lifelong stamina for learning, critical reflection and accountability, personal, organizational, community and ultimately systems change. Highly recommended.


Review posted July 27, 2021


Ijeoma Oluo writes very clearly and directly about systemic racial oppression in the US. Here are my personal takeaways from the book. Talking about race is uncomfortable and will continue to be. It’s about race if a person of color says it is. Pay attention to Intersectionality Do not force people of color into discussions of race. It is not their job to educate me, that is my responsibility. Cultural appropriation is complicated. I should tune in and pay attention. What tone policing is. And the harm it magnifies. Talking is the start but action should be the result. The book has re-enforced and sharpened my work on local elections and local electeds.

[email protected]

Review posted July 22, 2021


This author pulls no punches. Breathe deeply and prepare for self examination. Brutally honest and forthright, the author examines (through her own history and that of her family) the realities of being black in America. Thought provoking and full of suggestions for how to handle the prejudice that we are all guilty of.

Micah Walker

Review posted July 17, 2021


A well researched piece that allows you to feel the author’s experience first hand. Great overview, insight and definitions of key racial terms. Is in lay person friendly language with the tedious data to back it up. Her passion, and purpose shine through!


Review posted June 21, 2021


I am involved in so many conversations about racism through my work and most people that I talk with are not comfortable with the conversations. This book breaks down so many things about racism and why it is ok or not ok to say something. Such a simple read and thought provoking at the same time. OK - not a simple read, but breaking down tough topics in an easy to understand manner. I am recommending this book to everyone I know!!


Review posted June 10, 2021


Very grateful to have been introduced to Ijeoma's work! This book was easy to digest, but offered a lot of great insight. There is a lot of information I can use in my everyday life, and I'm excited to grow with more of her work.


Review posted June 3, 2021


Impressive book with great content. Used this for a book group and had meaningful conversations after every chapter. Well written and digestible.


Review posted May 31, 2021


This book opens the door for a much-needed discussion. It welcomes people from all backgrounds, experiences, and education levels into this necessary conversation with realness, humor, and thought-provoking questions. The book shifts perspectives, makes you think, and challenges your assumptions. It tackles the big questions, the ones about the structural and systematic injustices in our society, in a way that is digestible for all readers. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to dive into this topic (and anyone who needs a bit more education or perspective, which is probably most of us!).

m theolass

Review posted May 30, 2021


Ijeoma Oluo's book is filled with personal insight regarding all these hard conversations. She gives examples of what to do and what not to do when engaging with people, these examples have already helped me. The way she lays things out welcomes people to engage rather than making people feel defensive as we step out of our comfort zones. I am very appreciative of her writing and her courage. Everyone should read this book.


Review posted May 28, 2021


This book is a great primer on the how’s and why’s of discussing race, particularly with friends, family and colleagues. The book is definitely filtered through the author’s own experience, but that for many people may be helpful in understanding the emotional context of some of these interactions.


Review posted May 27, 2021


Pretty good read. I don't think I got what I was expecting from the book, but did prompt some new thoughts that I hadn't had before. My 11 year old son picked it up and read it. He had some questions and said some parts were sad, but he said he enjoyed it and would like to read more like it.


Review posted May 12, 2021


Excellent book on how to navigate/learn while having necessary and difficult conversations about race and privilege.


Review posted May 12, 2021


This is a great book to gain better understanding of racism and how it operates within society. It is a helpful tool for people to begin to learn about systemic oppression and how prevalent racism is in our every day interactions. Being aware of this is a necessary step towards taking action against racism.


Review posted May 10, 2021


I thought this book was well done


Review posted April 21, 2021


I’ve read a number of books over the past year about race. This one has an easy format, addresses questions that many with privilege wouldn’t think to ask, and is able to keep the reader engaged even when discussing the difficult stuff. It’s a good place to start!


Review posted April 14, 2021


Straightforward book that's easy to understand. A good start for white allies.


Review posted April 10, 2021


I have been teaching the subject matter of this book since the mid-1990s. I think that this book is not only valuable for someone like me, but someone who is curious and is exploring the idea of racial inequality for the first time. Probably what I appreciate the most about the book is that the author writes in a very straight-forward, no nonsense style. The book doesn't get bogged down in scholarly jargon. It was very much worth my time to read this book.


Review posted April 9, 2021


This book is easy to read and gives some good points for a white person to consider if they want to open their mind or have conversations around race with others.

Ceciliee Gomez

Review posted April 7, 2021


Great read and great quality book


Review posted April 1, 2021


Reading "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo is a fantastic way to gain a basic and sometimes deeper understanding of the many aspects of white supremacy. It is an easy read as Oulo expertly and intelligently takes the reader through the complexities of racism. Additionally, she effortlessly injects a little humor into this very serious topic. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to be an anti-racist ally. It should be required reading for those who do not!

Joanne Gordon

Review posted March 31, 2021


Helpful book about a pertinent topic.


Review posted March 30, 2021


I like it a lot. It is real for me all the situations.


Review posted March 29, 2021


This should be required reading for every high schooler and adult. We can't have productive conversations about anything if we are not able to talk about race. We can't do that part if marginalized communities keep educating people in the dominant culture and the lessons don't sink in.


Review posted March 23, 2021


I love this book! For my final MSW project I am implementing equity work into my organization and this book really made me feel confident in having conversations. I love the Discussion Guide in the back.


Review posted March 18, 2021


It took me a while to finish this book because there were so many times I stopped to consider how I had participated in or seen happen some experience she described. I now understand better that is not the responsibility of any one black person to be asked to speak for all...and that I must become comfortable with being uncomfortable when my own assumptions and actions are called into question. I now realize what a lost opportunity is was for me, having grown up just north of the Mason-Dixon line with a father who was VERY involved in social action activities, that he did not share the struggles he endured and the awareness he gained with his 4 children.


Review posted March 13, 2021


This writer eloquently describes the challenges with race relations. It is imperative that more people understand white privilege - without that we can not make progress.

Lindsey Swan

Review posted February 25, 2021


This book should be required reading. Ijeoma is no nonsense but in a loving way. She won’t hold your hand but she will show you the door. It answered questions that I have had for a long time. Highly recommend!

Autumn R Mosley

Review posted February 20, 2021


This is a wonderfully valuable work. Ijeoma Oluo brings awareness to those of us coming from privilege. A fantastic deep dive into racism. I feel better prepared and more educated to be an ally to the black community. I hope this book reaches people of all ethnicities.


Review posted February 18, 2021


It's a beautifully written and well researched book addressing the issues of privilege , racism, and biased discrimination against minority groups. It helps the reader understand the underlying forces of current sociopolitical movements such as Black Lives Matter, and even makes you ponder over the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and those who spearheaded anti-racism policies and social norms. It's a good read.


Review posted February 12, 2021


Easy to read; a great starting point for asking yourself tough questions.


Review posted February 9, 2021


Great book for anyone who believes in equality and respect. Great resource for people wanting to have racial conversations without taking things personal.


Review posted February 8, 2021


I ordered this book on CD so I could listen to it while driving. It was very enlightening and I did learn some new perspectives. The best part of having this playing was that my teenager started asking questions and starting conversations with me about race. This led to full-on family discussions about diversity and respect for all. It has been a beautiful experience.


Review posted February 5, 2021


Easy to read. Great book with very applicable information.


Review posted February 2, 2021


Oluo's book is packed with information for anyone who wants to understand how to talk about race with grace. There are tons of mistakes us white people make all the time and Oluo doesn't hold back with honesty and explanation. Her own experiences support analysis of white supremacy and its impact on race relations. The language is direct and clear, understandable and accessible.


Review posted January 21, 2021


Excellent book as a whole or by the chapter to guide conversations. Provides clear discussion topics. I appreciated the author's honesty and clarity in her writing and will look for more of her work. Recommended reading!


Review posted January 21, 2021


Ijeoma addresses race and racism by providing perspective and insight into the systemic problems she faced throughout her life. She provides many areas of discussion to help educate and further the discussion on social discussion issues. This is a fantastic book to help begin your journey on learning and advocating for social justice.


Review posted January 17, 2021


Very informative read.


Review posted January 12, 2021


This is a fabulous introduction to JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) work and is something that everyone should read regardless of where you are at in your own understanding of white supremacy and racism in the United States. As the Equity and Inclusion co-chair at my agency I plan on recommending the purchase to add to our JEDI library.


Review posted January 7, 2021


Very insightful book. Some parts are difficult to read. I am a 67 year old white male. I grew up in a 'mixed' neighborhood with black friends. I always thought that I was not racist. The fact is, our society suffers from systemic racism. As a result, I am racist; I am privileged and often take my privilege for granted. I think everyone has he same 'privilege' opportunities that I do. I am wrong. This book can help with explaining systemic racism in our society, cause and effect, along with a healthy manner to open discussion which can lead to healing and mutually respectful communication. I recommend this book.


Review posted January 4, 2021


This book is a must-read for everyone. As someone who works for a community development non-profit, I especially recommend this to folks who work in this field or are considering working with BIPOC folks. This book will help you rewire your brain to deal with your internalized racism and more. I hope to get my copy into the hands of others.


Review posted January 4, 2021


This book is so necessary in understanding systematic racism and what we can do to acknowledge and combat it. Very enlightening and fascinating read.


Review posted January 3, 2021


A wide ranging primer on anti-racist topics. Oluo writes plainly and simply. The book mainly focuses on how to engage in conversations, but also includes historical and social information, like the school-to-prison pipeline and how society compares MLK to Malcom X. This is less academic than some other popular books on the topic, and is easy. to understand. I would recommend this book to someone just wading into the subject for the first time, and to anybody who simply wants to learn more about race and how to talk about it in a healthy and honest way.

Julia Marie

Review posted January 2, 2021


I learned a lot from this audio book. I certainly learned that racism is rampant worldwide and not an easy fix. A lot of the information that the author shares can really only be known by a person of color or marginalized group. A person of privilege, which I mostly am, though a woman in my 70’s, I have gone through my life abhorring blatant racism. This reading helped me to realize the many subtle ways our white culture shows up as racist and how I gave little thought to some of my deep, almost hidden feelings of being superior. This author brought up many new things to be aware of and to share with others.


Review posted January 2, 2021


It's difficult for an old white guy, who went to a segregated school in Louisiana in the 1950s, to shed what he knows to be wrong. This book helps, a lot.


Review posted January 1, 2021


I found this book very helpful in thinking about race. There were concepts and viewpoints that were new to me. I have recommended the book to several people, and loaned it out.


Review posted December 28, 2020


So You Want to Talk About Race is a fantastic read that covers a wide breadth of topics introducing readers to conversations about race. True to the title, if you want to talk about race in America, this book is a must read; even more essential if you want to be inspired to begin your path to real action. Ijeoma Oluo’s style is easy to read and understand, her relatable anecdotes provide great examples to further understanding, and the flow of the chapters builds in a way that is engaging and aids in understanding the nuances of some more complicated topics. I am so thankful for Ijeoma Oluo’s work compiling this information, sharing her own experiences, and inspiring me on my path!

Judith K. Martin

Review posted December 19, 2020


I was surprised by the statistics on the drop out rates and the various comparison's to other races suffering from White Supremacy. As a white woman I have shared in some discussions about race issues but never more so than with the Black Lives Matter movement that until the killings on video have been seen. This reality never was so real until then. Seeing our laws shaped to allow no action against racism was shocking and undeniable. Change must come. Income equality, housing and education must all be changed before America is the home of the free. My thanks to the author for her dedication to reform for people of all color and none.


Review posted December 17, 2020


Excellent book. Well written, clear and concrete steps you can take immediately to have difficult conversations. Would recommend to anyone.


Review posted December 10, 2020


I enjoyed reading this group for a book group in my community. Even though I think it's hard for one person to share every negative experience a person of color can have, I appreciate the author sharing their experience. As a brown skinned girl I didn't agree with everything the author said, but there are definitely great talking points.


Review posted December 7, 2020


I found this book to be easy to read, clearly laid out, and relevant. I really appreciated the addition of the discussion guide. it is easy to navigate reference tool for conversations that can be hard to start and necessary to have. Thanks!

[email protected]

Review posted December 4, 2020


I really enjoyed this book though I did not read it straight through, I gave each section some time to sink in before coming back to it. Much better written than other anti-racist contemporary nonfiction, both easy narrative and easily digestible bullet points for take-aways. A few takeaways, (1) "These conversations will always be hard, because they will always be about the pain of real people." And (2) "we must be willing to hold our darkness to the light, we must be willing to shatter our veneer of 'goodness'" Lots of tools to help set intentions aside and see impact in real life moments, decisions and actions. A nice critical eye toward the racism in person vs online/ social media, and a recognition of how racism nests into the culture of the Pacific Northwest. I do recommend this book, even for someone who's attended the trainings and read some of the literature, this is one to read with post it notes and a highlighter for reference later.

[email protected]

Review posted November 30, 2020


This is an excellent book, explaining issues of systemic racism in clear, understandable ways. I learned so much from reading this book, I want to share it with everyone I know. And yet, at the same time, I know these issues are complex, and that I will want to refer back to this book again and again. Not only do I feel I have a much better understanding of what systemic racism is and how to talk about it, I now have specific ideas of things I can do in my own community to fight against it.


Review posted November 24, 2020


Appropriate book to introduce race into conversation. Very well thought out. Would highly recommend.


Review posted November 24, 2020


This book is so easy to read and the information is very much needed, especially during this time we are in. It deals with difficult topics in a straight forward way and helps people who want to address their racism to move forward.


Review posted November 19, 2020


While I found a lot to learn from this book, I also found it to be somewhat "preachy". I was disappointed that it did not go into more details of all kinds of bias, that even African Americans have towards other African Americans. The author touched on this at the picnic "encounter" but no depth. Bottomline - there are some good lessons to learn from reading this but recommend reading others views as well to broaden your horizons.

Terri 001

Review posted November 17, 2020


There are many terms that I hear- tone policing, white privilege etc that the author was very adept at defining and giving examples. The book was very readable


Review posted November 15, 2020


"So You Want to Talk About Race" is an informative look at race. It aims to help readers better have conversations about race. I enjoyed Oluo's writing style. Her arguments are simultaneously effective, well thought, and easy to digest. She often uses her personal experiences to illustrate common issues. The chapter on tone policing is especially well done.


Review posted November 15, 2020


Engaging, thought provoking, makes you step back to think about how you came to your beliefs.


Review posted November 11, 2020


This is an extremely important book for those who are seeking to learn about systemic racism, the ways each of us contribute to that racism, and what we can do to better address it. It is approachable and easy to read, while not shying away from many important topics, like privilege, intersectionality, cultural appropriation, etc.


Review posted November 10, 2020


This book is thought-provoking and provides explanations of various aspects of race for the reader. It also gives suggestions of things you can do to help in each chapter. Although the topic of race is serious and heavy, I enjoyed that the author weaves humor into her writing of this book.


Review posted November 9, 2020


This is a book that I think everyone needs to read. It begins the conversation you should have with yourself about race and encourages you to have this conversation with others. This book breaks down the meaning of race and racism, and how race relates to privilege, inequality, microaggressions, cultural appropriation, and other factors surrounding race. This book is a call to action. Ijeoma Oluo puts a spotlight on racism and gives readers guidelines on how to combat it in a racist society. This book will speak to you, challenge you, and encourage you to reevaluate your preconceived thoughts. A must-read to become an ally to POC, and fight structural injustice.

Stefanie Hui

Review posted November 7, 2020


Great book that really dives into the issues facing this country and what has become our current societal norm.


Review posted November 4, 2020


I am ready to talk about race now. I will practice with white friends, but I am ready to listen to people of color with respect for the subtle and not so subtle discrimination they have had to endure for the history of this country. Thank you for this book. I am a better person for having read it, I hope.


Review posted November 2, 2020


Eye opener!!!


Review posted November 2, 2020


Such an eye opener around the subject of race in America


Review posted October 30, 2020


Highly recommend this book! Oluo does a fantastic job of presenting complex information about history, class, law, and race in a way that is understandable to all.


Review posted October 27, 2020


ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want To Talk About Race, is perfect for individuals, and most usefully, for groups of white people who want to learn about people of other colors and the issues they face. It’s honest, direct, has multiple personal examples of her suggestions, and reads as interestingly as a novel. It’s for people who in good faith want to know how to be allies for POC without being condescending or taking over. Oluo says we can do that by helping to remove obstacles faced by POC of which white people are barely aware.


Review posted October 23, 2020


I learned a lot reading this book. I found the information very accessible and relatable to current racial issues and it really helped with questions about what to do and what not to do to support people of color. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the struggles of marginalized people and what can be done to be part of the solution.

Sherrill Kirchhoff

Review posted October 19, 2020


Everything You Wanted to Know About Race But Were Afraid to Ask So You Want To Talk About Race by Ljeoma Oluo is a 255-page (including a handy-dandy, chapter-by-chapter Discussion Guide) paperback that is so straight-forward as to be scary! The author, previously a journalist at The Stranger, a Seattle, WA alternative newspaper state that her goal isn't "to call out the 'bad' white people and console the 'good' ones, but to raise the bar for all of us committed to equality and justice." She further states that her moral imperative is "Writing commentary on social issues that could be of use." Oluo wants to bring journalism and writing in general back from the "abyss of click bait and outrage porn." A further goal is "to give readers the fundamentals of how race understand race better, and how to talk about race more effectively, and with more kindness...a tool they can hold in their hands and turn back different issues regarding race came up in their lives." In addition to some Basic Rules about Race which, she reminds us, "is a social construct--it has no bearing in science", the author has this take-away: "White Supremacy is this nation's oldest pyramid scheme. You will get more because they exist to get less." None of this is easy reading, but it does give the majority a chance to walk in shoes less comfortable and perhaps think about a different perspective.


Review posted October 16, 2020


I really enjoyed reading this book. As someone who has read a lot of books on race, I appreciated this perspective. The author presented the topic of race and racism through an easy to digest format. Each chapter was a different topic about race (i.e., microaggressions, racial slurs, police brutality, etc.) and made me feel better prepared to have these discussions in real life. I highly recommend this read!


Review posted October 8, 2020


A great, accessible introduction to anti-racism. Highly recommend!


Review posted October 5, 2020


This book's message stayed on with me even after I finished reading it. Each chapter was powerful, and deserves to be read and reread. Each chapter was a heartfelt conversation about provocative topics on race, and each chapter left one with a greater understanding and a way to move forward. We should talk about race, and through this book we get the inspiration, the courage, and the concrete ways to do so.


Review posted September 25, 2020


Crucial for all educators. Great guide for talking about hard topics.


Review posted September 24, 2020


Very excited to read this book!


Review posted September 18, 2020


Being that this book is one of the most relevant books written in this century it has been reviewed a lot. Every time a Black person is killed by a police officer this book flies off the shelf. The Author, Ijeoma Oluo, has commented on the experience of profiting and being able to continue her livelihood off money generated from so much pain. This is her first book, she will soon release her next book Mediocre. I have no doubt that this book will also bring important discussions and tools to the forefront of the movement we are in for the lives of BIPOC. To say this book is relevant is an understatement. It is a well laid out how-to-manual for dealing with race in the 21st Century. It is written from a place of love and experience. It is practical and easy to reference. The author is very clear right up front who this book is for. It is for people dedicated to anti-racism no matter where they fall in the spectrum of life. If you want to work towards better communication with your fellow humans in regards to the very real and lived experiences of people of color than this is the book for you. So You Want To Talk About Race is above all things a narrative of a life lived, the narrative frames and informs a straightforward practical guide to communicating about a difficult topic. This book will make you laugh and cry like all great narratives do but it will also leave you with tools. Real, solid, well laid out tools on how to deal with conversations around race with everyone from a coworker to a loved one. Oluo is matter of fact about when to engage and when to back away. Oluo never lets us think that putting down the fight is an option but she is very gracious with helping us live with our discomfort and providing tools for when we are ready for the next round. Her prose style and love for people make this book one of the most beautiful pieces of work written on race. Black people stay fighting for their lives and it is well past time the rest of us do our part to fight with them. To fight with compassion but also with effective tools that ensure solutions and forward momentum. Oluo has given a gift to those of us dedicated to anti-racism and the more people that read it, the more people that are given the tools, the better America and its people will be.


Review posted September 16, 2020


This belongs on every bookshelf that supports diversity and understanding inclusion.