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 inequalityAntiracist educator Robin DiAngelo first coined the term "white fragility" in 2011, and since then it's been invoked by critics from Samantha Bee to Charles Blow. "White fragility" refers to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. These include emoti...

Details White Fragility

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

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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Scott Freeman
    This should be mandatory reading for all white people. Truly important.
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Megan
    Will Wake You UpIt's amazing how wrong one can be about their own sense of themselves. Racism isn't about being nice of mean - It's a constant daily deluge of unfair social interactions and a system of oppression we (white people) can't even acknowledge to ourselves.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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, ...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Erikka
    This is a tough one to review. I'm going to revert to a pros and cons list:Pros:Very insightfulAuthor has a lot of experience and knows what she's talking aboutLots of good adviceMade me see things in a different lightMade me question my own white fragilityCons:Way too longVery dryCould have been more approachableStill not comfortable being told about race by a white person. I realize she's super qualified and that, honestly, it's the job of whit...
  • Elaine
    I am recommending this to every white person I know, and I wish this were a high school textbook for a course on how to confront our own white bias. My 13-year-old will be reading this next and I will buy a copy to loan to others. I wish I had this book 20 years ago. I am just starting to really confront my biases and work to build better trust with people of different races, but at least this tells me I'm not doing as horribly as I thought. Stil...
  • Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
    I won my copy of this book free through a Goodreads giveaway.My cats always seem entertained when I read a book like this because I tend to debate the book outloud as I read. If only I got in the habit of taking notes on paper about my criticisms! But, thankfully, this was not a book I was critiquing for a class. That said, I found this book less than convincing, and its brash, arrogant tone seems calculated for shock value rather than for actual...
  • Sherri
    Having recently finished When They Call You a Terrorist about the black lives matter movement, White Fragility is a great follow-up. But even if you haven’t read the other, this is a necessary read for white people in the U.S.Race relations are in a tough spot, especially with the current political climate. Many of us white people may have thought racism and discrimination were a thing of the past, but it is vital that we understand these thing...
  • Chris Hill
    A stunning work that should be read by anyone who considers themselves a critical thinker.
  • Christian
    I am in absolute awe as to how succinct the analysis of white fragility is. Diangelo defines her terms, convincingly lays her groundwork in how many white people are socialized and systematically exposes the social and psychological defenses that are used in white fragility. I wish I could make every white person read this!
  • Leigh Ann
    This book is a must-read for everyone. The one-star reviewers didn't even leave their thoughts, which is precisely why DiAngelo asked for open-mindedness; these people obviously shut down and rejected what they read (if they read it at all!). DiAngelo approaches the topic from an academic perspective and backs up all of her facts, lending credibility to her research and book. Not to mention it has made me evaluate myself and my own actions, as we...
  • Andy
    I’m conflicted about this rating. This book has a lot of very important things to say. Things that white people need to hear. Things like: Racism is not only present when intentional, or something that bad people are. Nice people can have racist beliefs, even ones they’re not aware of. White liberals can be the hardest to discuss racism with because they shut the conversation down in a number of ways. The system is racist, and it’s obvious ...
  • Martydamnit
    My understanding of the author's conclusions are:1. There is deep-seated, historically evident, and institutionally based racism in the United States;2. Those who are considered white are the beneficiaries and (conscious or not) participants and perpetrators of the system; and3. White people should just shut up and listen for a minute. It's a challenging read in that it directly address the most common and widespread attitudes about what racism i...
  • Zach Terrell
    A necessary, incisive, and helpful text for those looking to interrogate their place in a society that claims to be postracial while remaining deeply separated and unequal by race. DiAngelo does a fantastic job in making visible the patterns displayed by white people conditioned by living in a white-normative society, and her experience with racial literacy training is evident throughout. I learned a lot through reading this. Most of all, I learn...
  • Theresa
    DiAngelo is a white women who is addressing the difficulties that white people typically have when dealing with the issue of race. She discusses fear, resentment, denial and many more emotions and behaviors that white people have when confronted with their part in maintaining racism, which she is clear to point out is a systemic issue, not an issue of people being prejudiced or discriminatory. Given the amount of overt and dog whistle racism we s...
  • Pam
    Excellent look at why white people have such difficulty acknowledging our privilege and engaging in non-defensive conversations about race. We need to recognize that we live in a racist culture and we cannot claim to be outside of it. Good analysis -- avoiding looking at issues in a binary manner, accept feedback (be honored that someone feels safe enough to provide it), special issues for white women. A lot to think about -- I will read it again...
  • Christina
    I received this book free from a Goodreads giveaway. This book is an important read. I had considered myself racially aware. I read to try to educate myself on race relations and can often identify racial issues in the media, for example. But after reading this book, I realize I still have work to do. Thank you for this enlightenment.
  • Kendra
    A really helpful read for white folks who are seeking to better understand how white people who consider themselves progressive and well-meaning can nonetheless fuck up when thinking and talking about race. The section "How White People Handle Diversity Training in the Workplace" is very true to my experience doing training that talks about race in predominantly white workplaces.