Beacon Press, 192 pages
When 2020 arrived, no one imagined the year unfolding as it did with a global pandemic and a social uprising demanding racial justice. Robin DiAngelo, a white woman, has been teaching antiracist seminars for over 20 years. She wrote this book two years prior to the murder of George Floyd specifically to help teach white people how to address the dominance of white supremacy. Within a week after the murder, the book was completely sold out from most bookstores — and for good reason. White people generally got the message: It’s way past time to educate themselves about the white supremacy that is inextricably woven into American life.
DiAngelo is explicit: “The racial status quo is comfortable for white people, and we will not move forward in race relations if we remain comfortable.” That comfort level may be different now after the social uprising. This means the work is all the more important for white Christians to educate ourselves about the origins of whiteness as a theological and social construct. DiAngelo’s book is a necessary primer. She reminds us that “the key to moving forward is what we do with our discomfort.” This book explains the (now) commonplace term “white fragility,” but more importantly it explores the complex dimensions of white supremacy.
Many are asking where they should begin. When it comes to action: Love your neighbor. Practice mercy. Do justice. Walk humbly with God. When it comes books, the list is very long. This is a good place to start.