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White Fragility

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Written by: Robin DiAngelo
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.  

Anger. Fear. Guilt. Denial. Silence. 

These are the ways in which ordinary white people react when it is pointed out to them that they have done or said something that has - unintentionally - caused racial offence or hurt. After, all, a racist is the worst thing a person can be, right? But these reactions only serve to silence people of colour, who cannot give honest feedback to 'liberal' white people lest they provoke a dangerous emotional reaction.   

Robin DiAngelo coined the term 'White Fragility' in 2011 to describe this process and is here to show us how it serves to uphold the system of white supremacy. Using knowledge and insight gained over decades of running racial awareness workshops and working on this idea as a Professor of Whiteness Studies, she shows us how we can start having more honest conversations, listen to each other better and react to feedback with grace and humility. It is not enough to simply hold abstract progressive views and condemn the obvious racists on social media - change starts with us all at a practical, granular level, and it is time for all white people to take responsibility for relinquishing their own racial supremacy.  

©2019 Robin DiAngelo (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"With clarity and compassion, DiAngelo allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people'. In doing so, she moves our national discussions forward. This is a necessary book for all people invested in societal change." (Claudia Rankine)

"By turns mordant and then inspirational, an argument that powerful forces and tragic histories stack the deck fully against racial justice alongside one that we need only to be clearer, try harder, and do better." (David Roediger, Los Angeles Review of Books)

"The value in White Fragility lies in its methodical, irrefutable exposure of racism in thought and action, and its call for humility and vigilance." (Katy Waldman, New Yorker

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  • Joshua Marcus
  • 21-07-19

Important read, but reader is robotic

White Fragility is an important read for every white person. Robin DiAngelo details why it is so hard for us to talk about racism without automatically going on the offensive. Particularly poignant is her discussion on how we view racism as good vs bad. Because we equate racism with bad people, any indication of racism feels like a huge moral failing on our part. Unfortunately, towards the end of the book, she becomes quite preachy and assumes a tone of judgement of people who react to white fragility, which is a little off-putting.

The reader is supposedly a person but sounds like a robot. Most of the time she is understandable, but when she gets to long sentences – especially those with complex sentence structure and parenthesis like this one – the lack of appropriate expression is problematic. I recommend reading in 1.25x speed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-06-19

An awesome understanding of white fragility!

The book gave me as a person of color outside the USA, in a country where aparthied continues to linger, a good perspective and understanding of white fragility. A good read for all, the hopefully is much more than a good read for those who do.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-04-19

A must read for all

A challenging yet encouraging articulation of the work to be done by us all !

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  • NRN D.
  • 10-07-19

What a relief

This has been a very educational, and enlightening look at race, I can relate to many of the things which are said in regard to having to tackle racism in a way that does not make the racist feel uncomfortable and have recommended this book to one or two people who are at the moment trying to engage with me in regard to me making them feel good about their racism I hope they learn from this book and move forward.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tich
  • 12-04-19

White Fragility - Paradigm Shift

This book is so important! It has given me a better understanding of how and why we are where we are when dealing with and discussing the impact of racism and white supremacy.

As an African man working in corporate settings that are predominantly white, I feel more equipped to discuss race-related topics with friends, colleagues and clients of all races.

The learning has just begun and I have a long and hard road ahead of me but at least books like this can act as a compass to help guide the way and promote continual learning.

3 people found this helpful

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  • gingerbreadmun
  • 28-02-19

If you are white and are not racist then read this book.

This book has clearly and compassionately highlighted ways that we as white people who are not racist can dismantle racism. It may not be in the way you expect but she is talking to you and in ways that can be transformative if you want to dismantle white supremacy.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Debi
  • 27-02-20

Fantastic content, awful narration

I found this book to be challenging and interesting. I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to examine their own racism and how to "do better". However, I found the narration to be tedious, monotone and made me want to frequently give up. I pushed through (I'm glad I did), but not without effort.

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  • Natasha Crowther
  • 07-02-20

Essential reading

This book succinctly explains why we white people get so defensive when talking about racism. It offers practical guidance on how we can change. If every white person read White Fragility and enacted on its recommendations we would see a dramatic reduction in racism and inequality

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  • ben
  • 01-02-20

enlightening

this is a vital book for western cultures as we are coming in to the new decade. its important to note these properties that whote people have that prevent change and protect them from discomfort, that we all thought were ok. quite dry, i suppose it's an academic read, so i understand why the performance was quite robotic so to get through the subject matter, which isnt to my taste, but that's not a reason to snub this book.

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  • Monte
  • 27-01-20

A must read for anyone

this is probably the most challenging book I've read in a long time. brilliantly stretching

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  • JP08
  • 26-11-19

Eye opening

I thought this book was an excellent account of how racism manifests itself in white supremace society. Thoroughly Eye opening and provokes great self reflection.
You get used to the narrator after a couple of chapters 😉

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  • M L.
  • 30-10-19

Wow!

I could not stop listening. This book punctuated every slight, every angst I’ve been subjected to. I plan to gently share this book with my colleagues in the hope that they would be open to dialogue. I wish I could hire this author to come and speak to the firm I work for. Thank you.

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  • j
  • 21-10-19

Enlightened

As a black person listening I felt indulged and that it was about time a perspective which was personal was allowed to be a feature throughout this book and not get trapped in tropes or history. Just facts and scenarios. Robin did a good job

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  • Lizzay
  • 21-05-19

This is exactly what I needed to read

I rarely give reviews but this book hit me so hard I just needed to. I HIGHLY recommend ALL white people read this book, it's comfronting and eye-opening!! A must read!

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  • Mrs R Sheward
  • 29-01-20

narrator very poor

a very important piece of writing an opportunity to exam my own part of white race.
unfortunately it sounded like a Google text to speech was reading it. very it too hard to listen to the tone and rythem of narrator for very long.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-12-19

White people must read this.

Powerful. Challenging. An incredible reality check. This is a brilliant book for any white person but I strongly encourage anyone who think they're "woke" or that they're "an ally" can use this as a growth opportunity

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-04-19

Very enlightening!

It was quite confronting even as a person of colour but explains racism in a comprehensive way with good examples to show it in action in terms of why it's such a difficult thing to tackle. It's made me reevaluate my own way of living in my role to racism and reframe it as well in order to make sense of it. really good read - highly recommend!