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What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy (Counterpoints) First printing Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1433111150
ISBN-10: 1433111152
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  • What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy (Counterpoints)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

«Rarely will one find an analysis of whiteness (and the problems associated with it) that is as comprehensive as this one. From incisive and wide-ranging critiques of how white folks deflect, deny, and evade the topic of racism, and the implications of our own racial identity and position, to an absolutely on-point interrogation of how racism and whiteness influence white teachers-in-training, and thus, the larger educational process, Robin DiAngelo demonstrates the kind of clarity of thought so needed on this important subject.» (Tim Wise, Author of ‘White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son’ and ‘ Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority’)
«This book goes well beyond Diversity Training 101. It is filled with comprehensive knowledge and useful tools for understanding racism and white people’s role in it. An invaluable resource for every educator, student, practitioner, and concerned citizen; you will be better prepared to address all forms of oppression after reading this book.» (Eddie Moore, Founder of The White Privilege Conference)
«With directness, sensitivity, and clarity, Robin DiAngelo leads the reader through a series of challenging and revelatory discussions that have profound implications for teaching and learning in today's classrooms. Her question, ‘What does it mean to be white?’, underscores the pressing need for honest dialogue, particularly among white educators, about this tremendously important topic. I hope every teacher has the opportunity to read this book. Both they, and the students they teach, will be the better for it.» (Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, School of Education, University of Massachusetts and Author of‘The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities’)

About the Author

Robin DiAngelo is a faculty member in the Department of Education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Her research is in whiteness studies and discourse analysis. She is concerned with the challenges of an increasingly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student population. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, and Equity & Excellence in Education. She has twice been honored with the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year. She has provided diversity and anti-racism training for a wide range of organizations, including the City of Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Series: Counterpoints (Book 398)
  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.; First printing edition (May 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433111152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433111150
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Erickson on July 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been studying and reading about race and racism for about 5 years now, but Dr. DiAngelo's book was a profound read. It "connects the dots" between all the concepts I had been learning and helped me see how they fit together. Dr. DiAngelo builds a foundation of understanding from the bottom up and really helps the reader to build a framework for racial literacy. Some of the great contributions in the book are: 1) the idea of a racial binary (racist=bad/non-racist=good) which prevents white people from approaching and grappling with the issues of race. 2) The clear and deep analysis of the role of socialization in our mostly subconscious attitudes about race.3) The difference between individual racial prejudice and systemic racism. 4) The unfortunate outcomes of white socialization which include: a) internalized racial superiority in white people and internalized racial inferiority in people of color, b) White Racial Frames or ways of seeing the world and c) White Fragility, or the inability of white people to tolerate conversations about racism 5) The analysis of how prevalent ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness deny social inequities and deny the identities of people of color. Dr. DiAngelo has given a great gift to white people who want to begin or continue to overcome their racist socialization in order to break white silence on this topic.
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This is an amazing book on the manifestation of perpetuation of White Privilege in America. Ms. DiAngelo has written a treasure. Everyone who cares about race in America but most importantly, everyone who cares about the United States of America, period, should read this book. It is particularly refreshing coming from a white woman, for a myriad of reasons. Her concept of White Fragility is fascinating! If you are a white person who really wants to understand racial tension or racism or white privilege in yourself and in America; and if you'd like to do something about it, please read this book. People of color should read it also because it illuminates a perspective that you may not have thought of previously. I have already recommended this book to friends and I have bought additional copies to give away as gifts. It's that important! Robin DiAngelo has written a masterwork! Bravo!
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One of the most important books on societal racial integration and segregation that I have read in about 20 years. Wonderfully insight and essential for those who wish to understand why there is still racism and division between different cultures.
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The author that I reviewed who wrote the book "Faith-based Guide to Ending Racism and Racial Tension" available on Kindle needs to read this book. Then apologize for writing a chapter on being color-blind as a good thing. I would suggest watching Robin DiAngelo on Ytube, talk a little about this book first before you buy, she is a good speaker.
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I recommend this book for everyone. It's a look at race and racism as most people have probably never understood it before. Certainly not myself prior to this. I didn't have to get very far into this book to realize the impact of it was going to be immeasurable. Buy it, read it and then read it again. There is so much valuable information in here.
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I highly recommend this book to anyone doing Social Justice education work, and to any white person who wants to do more thinking about their racial identity, the impact it has, and ways to work toward being anti-racist. (It also has great information for folks of color – but it’s written by a white woman, speaking in particular to a white audience).

I got this book for a Christmas present this year, and just finished reading it cover to cover. As someone who has been working in Social Justice Education for the past decade, I have read a number of books about race and whiteness, both for my personal growth, and for my teaching and curriculum design for race dialogues and courses, and I was incredibly impressed with this work. I got a great deal out of all of it, and I particularly loved how the book started with examples of identities other than race when presenting definitions and conceptual foundations to help increase understanding. I also thought the “Remember” boxes placed throughout the chapters were just brilliant. They always seemed to be perfectly placed at the point where I would anticipate confusion or defensiveness from students. I also loved the way DiAngelo defined terms throughout the chapters, as well as the thread of the student narratives at the beginning of each chapter, and how they were brought together at the end.

I am really grateful that I had I the chance to read this great work, and it gave me a lot to grapple with, both with my own personal work as I strive to be antiracist, my professional work teaching students about this topic, and for my analysis for dissertation. I plan on recommending it to everyone I know – both personally and professionally.
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