A guest post by our student author Claire:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo is a powerful book that uses Oluo’s personal experiences as a woman of color to cover topics of race- including police brutality, white privilege, and cultural appropriation, among others in a blunt, straightforward tone. Since it is a relatively short book, and one that doesn’t obscure its meaning behind formal language (but instead presents itself very clearly, so there’s no twisting its words), one would expect it to be a quick read. However, the book challenges every ignorant stance the reader might have (even ones they weren’t even aware they had) in a way that makes it powerful- even heartbreaking- to read. And for many, Oluo’s experiences may resonate with the reader’s own life. It was intended to do both these things. Oluo wrote the book with the goal to look upon the face of ignorance and directly oppose it, to use her own trauma to represent many others’ in the most accurate way possible. There’s no comfort in the pages. Instead, there’s a fundamental truth. It’s for this reason that I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing the world from another perspective, or seeing their own perspective validated by another person.
Personally, I read this book as a part of a club at Valley High School I’m a part of: Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). We read it as a book club that included members of the faculty, and we discussed a couple of chapters every week. By discussing, we each contributed our own perspectives when reading the book to create a bigger picture which further added meaning to So You Want to Talk About Race. This book was an excellent choice for a book club, and I hope others find it just as thought-provoking as we did!
Posted on December 14, 2020