White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility

Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequalityReferring 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 equili...

Details White Fragility

TitleWhite Fragility
Release DateJun 26th, 2018
PublisherBeacon Press
GenreNonfiction, Race, Social Movements, Social Justice, Politics, Sociology, Psychology

Reviews White Fragility

  • Aaron Akbar
    The book raises striking and specific points about how as whites we have biases toward race while pretending we are colorblind. She states specific examples, and outlays practical way forward. Most of the lower star ratings of this book seem to be exhibiting the exact fragility she outlines, and really only prove to drive her point home further.Even more, they seem to ignore the very clear outlining in the book of difference between personal and ...
  • Trish
    The provocative title of this book is a draw. What are we doing, saying, thinking that is unconscious and yet still brings out some kind of anger or fear response in us when challenged? I am constantly learning how much I don’t know about race in America and much more there is to know. DiAngelo is also white, by the way. She, too, makes racist mistakes, though more rarely now, even years after immersing herself in how it manifests. We can’t e...
  • Andre
    Robin DiAngelo comes hard in this one and takes no prisoners. There are going to be many hurt feelings for those willing and courageous enough to delve into this examination of White Fragility. “This book is unapologetically rooted in identity politics. I am white and am addressing a common white dynamic. I am mainly writing to a white audience; when I use the terms us and we, I am referring to the white collective.”White Fragility is concep...
  • Lois
    This book is written by a white person for other whites.Most of what she writes is common sense but no doubt useful for white folks struggling to not feel attacked when racism is discussed.I was annoyed at remark about 25% in where she points out that she isn't a fan of black history month or black firsts. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Her opinion on what black folks create for themselves is irrelevant, racially insensitive and out of pocket. I agree with he...
  • Scott Freeman
    This should be mandatory reading for all white people. Truly important.
  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    This short, focused book was a really fantastic learning experience for me! I appreciated how Diangelo integrated academic concepts while still keeping the book very accessible for non-academics. I recognized a lot of my own reactions and those of other whites in discussions of race and racism in what Diangelo names "white fragility." Particularly salient pieces for me where her discussion of confusing safety with discomfort; the influence of the...
  • Misha
    This is a powerful, essential book that encapsulates much of what DiAngelo has been cogently laying out in other articles and speeches. I appreciated having the thinking I have heard her articulate at events I have attended in one place. I am honored to host DiAngelo at my library for the release of this book.Some incomplete notes from the end of the book (I should have been marking passages all along, but know I will read this again)."White equi...
  • Jack Heller
    This book will cut you, white person, no slack. If you think you're progressive about race--and most white people think they are--you will be confronted by this book. It's not aimed at Klansmembers. It's aimed at the people who don't recognize where they fall short. That's me. It's probably you too.
  • Adam Shields
    Short Review: I have been reading widely about racial issues and history over the past several years. There are so many essential books about racial history or memoirs of minorities. The path to learning about the impact of racism is long, but fairly clear. It is hard not to find a good book about different aspects of slavery, jim crow, immigration bias, discrimination in the economy or education or the justice system, etc.What I have found less ...
  • Mehrsa
    This book is excellent. I read waking up white and really liked that one and the books have similar content, but this one is much more instructive about how to handle white fragility. I wish for every person--white and non-white to read this book
  • Courtney
    I nearly returned this book. I had purchased the audiobook from Audible, and I found the tone to be dry, dull, and schoolmarmish. If I was to picture Robin DiAngelo, it would be my middle school librarian, wagging her finger at me. I had this reaction despite knowing what tone policing is. Despite consciously being aware that it is a common response for whites to focus on the method of information delivery over the actual information being delive...
  • Holly
    I read this book hungrily but haltingly because it was both nourishing and painful to read. According to Diangelo, discomfort is key to our growth and awareness, so I proceeded and tried to stay with the discomfort. I had to read and reread passages to absorb the magnitude of what she claimed. It is not a matter of if but when we perpetrate racism on people of color, and how will we respond? Her stories of white people reacting in anger and disbe...
  • Laura
    Racism is a system where the burdens and benefits of life are distributed, in part, based on race. Racism is currently perpetuating itself, in part, through a common delusion that it is, instead, just a personal moral failing of certain people. When there is a suggestion that we are benefiting from or participating in this system of racism, many (most?) white people respond with outrage because that suggestion is tantamount to an accusation of wi...
  • Paula W
    I’m not giving this a low rating for the reason you think I am. Seven or eight years ago, I read an essay about white fragility in a professional journal. It was only 17 pages long (3 of those pages were reference pages), but it opened my eyes to things I’ve never thought about. It was an amazing essay that explained why and how even non-racist white people continue to unknowingly perpetuate race issues. And how, when a discussion about it co...
  • Molly
    I think I could have easily read this book in record time, but I intentionally slowed my process several times so that I could fully take in everything presented. It's a rather slim book yet tightly edited to waste no time getting its point across:this country is racist.And it's not just the hateful people, not just the ones who openly despise other races and nationalities, not just the white supremacy groups. Sadly, it's the culture itself and, ...
  • Bob
    Summary: Explains white fragility, its sources, expressions, the challenge it poses to conversations about race, and a different way to engage.You've been there. A conversation about race begins and quickly, tension settles in the room. You don't need a person of color to be present. The defensiveness is palpable and takes a variety of forms. For some the best defense is a good offense. In a conversation about the significance of the Black Lives ...
  • MEH
    If you're white, read this book. If you're white and don't think you need to read this book, read it twice. If you're a person of color, tell all your white friends to read this book. If you're a person of color who has no white friends, make some, and then tell them to read this book.
  • Megan
    This is one of the best books on whiteness I have read to date. I rather wish I could get copies for all the white people I know and we could have perpetual bookclub about it. Really good learning and reflection for me.
  • Donald Powell
    Compelling and transformative. This book is short but very meaty. The argument is irrefutable. The message is challenging, strident, internally consistent and intellectually honest. This is an organized and concise presentation of racism that anyone can read, track and understand. It is a book everyone should read, especially old white men, like me. I do not know if the author realizes it but many of the concepts, such as self inspection, making ...
  • Heather
    White friends? This book is a good book for us. As Erika notes in her review, it's a little weird getting advice on race from a white person, and this is not the kind of book you can read separately or instead of anti-racist literature written by activists of color. Nonetheless, I found it both interesting and instructive to see how one white diversity educator confronts racism in her own life and behavior, especially because there is no situatio...
  • Stewart Tame
    Full disclosure : I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. White fragility is an issue that's been much in the news of late. This is one of those cases where everything you need to know about the book is right there on the front cover.The good news is that DiAngelo’s prose is clear, concise, and readable. Books that aim to teach so often lapse into jargon and overly complex language. It’s a positive pleasure to read one that do...
  • Jose
    American whites need to read this. Right. Now.If you got offended by NFL players kneeling at the National Anthem. If you think white people in the US are victims, then you need to read this book. It will be a tough pill to swallow, it will make you very uncomfortable, but if you value harsh truths over comforting lies then you gotta read it. If you are white, you will probably get mad, but you are not really that fragile, are you? You can get ove...
  • Gloria
    This will be a difficult read for many Caucasian people to read because none of us are racists, right? Written by a Caucasian woman (former professor and now consultant), this works to help white people understand the systems that are in place that promote and retain racism, and how ordinary individuals unwittingly participate in them. Would imagine that many African American readers would breathe a sigh of relief that a white person has stated w...
  • Benni
    Everyone should read this, as everyone would benefit from this. Even if somehow you're perfectly woke, it's helpful to understand why some people get defensive about being called out for racist behavior. There were a few weaker sections, and this book is not as in-depth as it could be, but it's a good overview and starting point. As controversial-sounding as the title may come across (and I experienced defensiveness already just having told peopl...
  • Bookworm
    "I have a black friend!" "I don't see race." "Oh, these racists will die out eventually and things will get better." Sound familiar? These common refrains are often brought up in regards to discussing racism, particularly as defenses brought up by white people (although people of color may certainly use these excuses too!). Author DiAngelo takes the reader through an exploration of the concept of "white fragility", which is apparently a phrase sh...
  • Lance Eaton
    DiAngelo breaks down how white people become invested in their whiteness in many covert and overt ways. The result of this deeply composed but rarely addressed element to their identity is to resist and deny how much whiteness plays a role in their day-to-day lives and how they understand the world. Much like Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, this book helps to unpack how rac...
  • Andrew
    Excellent and very enlightening.
  • Pamela
    Not an easy read — both because it is written in an academic style and because of the serious self-analysis it requires of the reader — but well worth it. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to understand the racial dynamics structurally embedded in the political and social systems of the U.S. Be prepared to start the book feeling defensive and guilty and perhaps end with greater understanding. *Note: I led a discussion group of this book ...
  • Bonnie
    This is an urgent and necessary read if you are a white person, and particularly more so if you are an ally to marginalized communities. Robin DiAngelo writes an intricate and incisive analysis of racism as a systematic structure of oppression that is built to favor white individuals and to suppress people of color. She talks particularly about the phenomenon of white fragility and what happens when white equilibrium is disturbed. DiAngelo is fra...