What Does It Mean to Be White?

What Does It Mean to Be White?

Developing White Racial Literacy

Book - 2012
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What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? In the face of pervasive racial inequality and segregation, most whites cannot answer that question. Robin DiAngelo argues that a number of factors make this question difficult for whites miseducation about what racism is; ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness; defensiveness; and a need to protect (rather than expand) our worldviews. These factors contribute to what she terms white racial illiteracy. Speaking as a white person to other white people, Dr. DiAngelo clearly and compellingly takes readers through an analysis of white socialization. She describes how race shapes the lives of white people, explains what makes racism so hard for whites to see, identifies common white racial patterns, and speaks back to popular white narratives that work to deny racism. Written as an accessible introduction to white identity from an anti-racist framework, What Does It Mean To Be White? is an invaluable resource for members of diversity and anti-racism programs and study groups and students of sociology, psychology, education, and other disciplines.
Publisher: New York : Peter Lang, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781433111167
Branch Call Number: 305.809 D542W 2012
Characteristics: xxi, 318 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Apr 24, 2018

This is an amazing book. Reading it took me from “well-meaning but clueless” to “fledgling woke” about how whiteness works in America.
Robin DiAngelo is a very good teacher. Her book is set up as though you’re taking one of her courses. It’s well organized and clearly written. She uses many examples from over a century of the Women’s Rights movement to help white people understand deeply-embedded racial issues in America. This approach really helped me “get it” without feeling guilty, judged, or picked on as a white person.
If you’re interested in learning how whiteness can color your perceptions of how race works in America, this book is a very effective place to start.


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