What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy

img_2128.jpgI joined a book group at work because I heard Robin DiAngelo speak recently at a conference and I liked what she had to say. The book group was arranged around DiAngelo’s book, What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy. The book, while somewhat hard to read (not because of the writing, but because of the content) is a must-read for anyone struggling to figure out what is happening in the US right now and why racism is so perplexing and systemic. I “pen-in-handed” the text and have so many sticky-notes throughout the book that it would be impossible for anyone else to pick it up and read it. That’s how good and thought-provoking it is. It’s a must-read in my opinion.

Here are some favorites (but you really need to read the whole book to “get it”)…

“Racism is a system of unequal social, cultural, and institutional power – not individual acts of prejudice.”

“We need to build the capacity to sit with the discomfort and pain of the story rather than…sweep it away with denial, minimalism, and invalidation.”

“…the best antidote to guilt is accountability and corrective action.”

“Anti-racist education seeks to interrupt relations of racial inequality by enabling people to identify, name, and challenge the norms, patterns, structures, and traditions that keep racism and white supremacy in place.”


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