How to Be Less Stupid about Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

How to Be Less Stupid about Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

by Crystal Marie Fleming


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A unique and irreverent take on everything that's wrong with our “national conversation about race”—and what to do about it

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance—and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change.

Searing, sobering, and urgently needed, How to Be Less Stupid About Race is a truth bomb and call to action for everyone who wants to challenge white supremacy and intersectional oppression. If you like Issa Rae, Justin Simien, Angela Davis, and Morgan Jerkins, then this deeply relevant, bold, and incisive book is for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807050774
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 70,038
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Crystal M. Fleming, PhD, is a writer and sociologist who researches racism in the United States and abroad. She earned degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University and is associate professor of sociology and Africana studies at Stony Brook University. Fleming writes about race, sexuality, and politics for publications including The Root, Black Agenda Report, Vox, and Everyday Feminism, and she has tens of thousands of followers on social media. She is the author of Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France.

Table of Contents

The Origins of Racial Stupidity

The Idiot’s Guide to Critical Race Theory

Listen to Black Women

On Racial Stupidity in the Obama Era

Trump Country

Fake Racial News

Interracial Love 101

Becoming Racially Literate


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How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
alyssama121 More than 1 year ago
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* This is a book that we NEED right now. It’s a no-nonsense look at where we are and how we’re inundated with denial and misunderstandings about what white supremacy is and how it works. For those struggling to understand why things are the way they are and why people seem so brazen about their racism now, this is the book for you! Fleming shows just how deeply entrenched white supremacy is in our culture and explains that things aren’t really any different than they used to be–people are just now being more honest about how things are. I really appreciated the personal touch this book has; Fleming gives us lessons about race by walking us through her own journey to being someone who actively studies, educates, and tries to dismantle the ignorance we live in about race. This is really what makes the book special–it’s super informational, but also a memoir of one amazing woman’s growth and journey to being who she is. What I love most about this book is that Fleming does not take a holier-than-thou approach. She fully admits to her own biases and prejudices, examining them and using them as examples to give a more personal look at exactly what she’s talking about. For those just delving into learning more about critical race theory and interested in challenging your own complicity in holding up the current power structure, be prepared! It’s a rough journey but one that is so worth it. Fleming is compassionate in her approach to calling us out and cheering us on to do and be better. She also gives some great resources as an addition that can help you learn more about yourself, your biases, and what work you can accomplish to be less ignorant about race. Definitely give this a read! I’m going to be buying this for my friends and family, regardless of whether or not they think they need to read this. Also, give Crystal Marie Fleming a follow on Twitter–her tweets are amazing!
Amy_Helmericks 3 months ago
Super-engaging voice. Made it easier to keep going, even when (tho I expected it would) the content made me uncomfortable. It's the kind of uncomfortable that needs to happen to all white folx, and the Get-it-Done of each chapter topic seemed to circle inevitably back around to the title/thesis. This isn't going to "fix" anything, and it isn't going to leave you deeply informed. That, I believe is beyond the scope of a single book (in my mind that's the point of *deeply* - time, variety, intensity, volume). This work wasn't designed to do that, just to leave the reader "less stupid" than when they started. I think that's what happened with me. Thanks for writing this, Dr. Flemming. My thanks also to Net Galley and the publisher for making this book available digitally for my review.