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White Fragility, NYT bestseller promoting meaningful cross-racial dialogue

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

When Color Line Roundtable participant, Tracy Lunquist first e-mailed me expressing her interest in leading a group discussion about Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility (2018), I welcomed her enthusiasm for filling in the gap in our discussion series with a fresh, white woman's perspective. But I had NOT heard of DiAngelo, her book or her Whiteness Studies sociological approach. This past week I listened to White Fragility on

Audiobooks and I enthusiastically recommend it!

I am confident that you too will be grateful for DiAngelo's clear and concise sociological analysis (which obliterates the false intentionally “good/bad”, “nonracist/racist” dichotomy) along with insights from her own white woman's and diversity trainer's experiences of finding the best way to disrupt the unconscious and unintended patterns of thinking about race for both herself and those she has been hired to train.

When Tracy suggested this book, I was skeptical that I could learn anything new given my lifetime of prior reading and experiencing in this area. If you feel the same, I especially urge you to invest the relatively short, 6 hours of listening to at least confirm but more likely to clarify and enhance your prior knowledge and experience.

If you are relatively new to this area, reading this book is a perfect way to rocket yourself to a mature level of understanding that it might otherwise take years of thoughtful cross-racial conversation and relationship to reach.

I didn't bother to read anything about the author until I finished the book because I didn't want her personal background to bias my assessment of her scholarship. But for those who cannot resist the urge, the following is what I think would be useful to know about her background before you read: Personal: “I grew up poor and white. While my class oppression has been relatively visible to me, my race privilege has not. In my efforts to uncover how race has shaped my life, I have gained deeper insight by placing race in the center of my analysis and asking how each of my other group locations have socialized me to collude with racism. In so doing, I have been able to address in greater depth my multiple locations and how they function together to hold racism in place. I now make the distinction that I grew up poor and white, for my experience of poverty would have been different had I not been white” (DiAngelo, 2006).

Contact DEI Facilitation & Consulting (386 473 1033) to discuss how Mr. Small can utilize White Fragility as a framework for facilitating honest dialogue, mutual understanding and a basis for true collaboration between stakeholders in your organization.

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