The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
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About the Author
Robin DiAngelo is an academic, lecturer, and author and has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice for more than twenty years. She formerly served as a tenured professor of multicultural education at Westfield State University.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Michael Eric Dyson
Introduction: We Can’t Get There from Here
1. The Challenges of Talking to White People About Racism
2. Racism and White Supremacy
3. Racism After the Civil Rights Movement
4. How Does Race Shape the Lives of White People?
5. The Good/Bad Binary
7. Racial Triggers for White People
8. The Result: White Fragility
9. White Fragility in Action
10. White Fragility and the Rules of Engagement
11. White Women’s Tears
12. Where Do We Go from Here?
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