When discussing racism, a lot of pushback is focused on titles and approaches. And while I think there are some problems with this, it is important to get something that people will hear in the early stages. If a person cannot hear a voice or book or movie, it is unlikely to help them.
Many object to Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility because of the title and approach. Several people have recommended Me and White Supremacy as an alternative. So I read it with an eye toward the book to recommend to people that are early into the understanding of racial issues. For the most part, I agree that this is likely a better book for most people, but not everyone. First, the title still has ‘white supremacy’ in it. Generally, I tend to use ‘white superiority’ instead of ‘white supremacy,’ but the underlying meaning I agree with.
Me and White Supremacy is a 28 study, largely based around journaling questions. Layla Saad first tried the material out on her Instagram followers. And my recommendation is all about whether you are the type of person who will seriously take the questions. If you will not write out answers, or at the very least, think about them, then you will not find any value in the book. But if you engage with the questions and really think about your answers, then I think this is a beneficial book in laying out terms and ideas for anti-racism.
Layla Saad is a helpful voice. She is Black, but also a Muslim woman that lives in the Middle East. She approaches race as something that includes the US but is not rooted solely in US historical slavery and Jim Crow eras. It is also short, the readings would most often take five minutes or less, and then thought-provoking questions may take another 10-20 minutes. But short does not mean fluffy. These are clear, concise, but very direct chapters. There is not a lot of fluff or coddling, and I think that is also good.
I listened to this mostly on audio, and while that format works fine, you cannot reflect on the questions easily unless you have it linked to a kindle edition. And regardless of your consumption method, you want a pad of paper beside you as you read.