Recommended by Deepa Bhandaru
So You Want to Talk About Race—the breakout book by Seattle-based writer, speaker, and emerging social media icon, Ijeoma Oluo—offers a fresh, compassionate, often witty approach to helping us have productive conversations about race and navigate these turbulent times. Drawing from a well of personal experience as a black woman with deep and intimate ties to the white world, Oluo distinguishes herself as a relatable yet nuanced commentator on a subject that so many others have tried less successfully to take on. It’s evident that she knows her theory, but she doesn’t get mired in the academic debates, instead offering vivid anecdotes from life on the front lines as well as practical advice that both longtime students of race in America as well as newcomers to the field will find useful. Because in an era when the public sphere can so quickly explode into anger, even violence, the way we talk matters. People’s life chances hang in the balance of our political discourse, and Oluo’s book shows us how we might swing that balance toward justice—one conversation at a time.