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Just us by Claudia Rankine
Bookseller Review by Kath:
‘Jamaican-born, American academic Rankine gives plenty to reflect upon: white male privilege, ‘ethical loneliness’, ‘the afterlife of slavery’, education and its inherent racial bias, how to stay true in inter-racial friendships, the value of hair lightening, how to start the conversation about race with white Americans. These conversations and inner ruminations make the book so very readable. Nearly every page blossoms with fact checks to corroborate her findings from her many conversations. She wills us to see racism loud and clear in the USA. To read it, is to open us all up to a conversation with ourselves and with each other, wherever we reside. Important. Whiteness, what it really means, and how it affects us all.’
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At home and in government, contemporary America finds itself riven by a culture war in which aggression and defensiveness alike are on the rise. It is not alone. In such partisan conditions, how can humans best approach one another across our differences? Taking the study of whiteness and white supremacy as a guiding light, Claudia Rankine explores a series of real encounters with friends and strangers – each disrupting the false comfort of spaces where our public and private lives intersect, like the airport, the theatre, the dinner party and the voting booth – and urges us to enter into the conversations which could offer the only humane pathways through this moment of division.