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White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  513 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews

Studies of racism often focus on its devastating effects on the victims of prejudice. But no discussion of race is complete without exploring the other side--the ways in which some people or groups actually benefit, deliberately or inadvertently, from racial bias.

White Privilege, Second Edition, the revision to the ground-breaking anthology from Paula Rothenberg, continue
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 25th 2004 by Worth Publishers (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,528)
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Nov 09, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: nonfiction
everyone should read this book. everyone. it's a collection of writings (from bell hooks, tim wise, karen brodkin, and more) about the illusion and invisibility of whiteness, racism from a personal and systemic perspective, white privilege and fighting racism for white people. it's well organized into four parts and each essay is short and readable. it's a great book.
Amanda H.
Feb 24, 2011 Amanda H. rated it did not like it
HATED it! This book is a crock of dung! Forced to read it for an education class. What a joke. Then had to write an essay on how I have personally benifited from my skin color. This is propaganda at it's best. This is what we are filling young minds with? REALLY?!
Jan 29, 2013 Keshia rated it really liked it
Going into this book I did not expect it to be that good. It was an assignment for school and when it comes to nonfiction books (as a lover of all things fiction) I can be very picky in my tastes. I was surprised, however, by the brilliance of the collected essays in here and how every single one of them was thought provoking in some way. Any person who has ever thought of racism, or even just had simple questions on the subject should give this book a chance. When it says essential, it means es ...more
Doree Burt
I enjoyed thinking about this book more than I enjoyed reading this book. I have tried very hard to eliminate and not perpetuate the racist ideas or perceptions I was raised with. My hope has always been that each generation will do better. After reading this I think I may need to find a way to step-up my anti-racist ways, because, no matter what I do personally, I am still a part of institutional and societal racism. This saddens and disturbs me, but I know it is true.
I liked the latter chapter
Jul 08, 2007 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of essays regarding "the other side of racism." It doesn't focus on the disenfranchisement of black communities, but the sense of entitlement that white people everywhere daily take advantage of. This is a lesson on the passive racism of White Americans.
Eric Ledermann
Jan 28, 2014 Eric Ledermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sobering look at the undercurrent of white privilege in the U.S. It is not something white people have earned or are often aware of, but it is there. Most of the time it lays just under the surface, but raises its ugly, but powerful head when we look at statistics of home loan approvals, home sales, rates of incarceration across races. It lurks under the surface when we hear on the news how only people of color are described by their race, but white people are described by their accomplishment ...more
May 18, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A wonderful primer on all things white privilege. Rothenberg has assembled essential writings by major authors to present a comprehensive, engaging read on race, whiteness, and social justice. Excellent and important.
Joel Daniel Harris
May 30, 2011 Joel Daniel Harris rated it liked it
Shelves: mdiv
Interesting set of essays on race, status, and cultural roles. Reveals the the invisible role of whiteness in the race dialogue. Essays generally short and quite readable. Balanced and thoughtful.
Jan 08, 2015 J.P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good & short book for as introduction to the concept of white privilege. It is a collection of essays from various authors who shed light on the issue in various ways. It addresses how white people can be blind to privilege, how privilege came to be & functions in our society, how white people benefit from it & how to help combat it. The final chapter on how to be a better ally is a great way to end the book & it's principles can generally be applied to any other issue, ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Eli rated it really liked it
There are some great essays in this collection, and i think it can be very useful for white folks learning to see whiteness. I just wish Tim Wise wasn't included. He consistently disregards criticism by People of Color of the methods of his so-called anti-racist activism. His entire career is built on white privilege yet he does not clear the way for work done by activists of color nor does he elevate their voices. So I don't appreciate anything he has to say on the topic of white privilege sinc ...more
May 11, 2015 poingu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This volume of essays approached a difficult topic with care, introduced to me new ideas, caused me to think in new ways, and offered an extensive bibliography for me to continue learning, something I plan to do.

One sentence I read radically re-framed my understanding of white privilege, so that I could relate to the problem very concretely instead of abstractly. It wasn't even a great sentence. It simply equated whiteness with "property." With this definition as part of "whiteness," I was able
Jul 31, 2015 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a very effective primer on white privilege. I just personally struggled to pay attention despite the short chapters; the tone of some chapters is pretty dry, but some are more engaging. I think this would be a great resource for a regular discussion group, especially as the book already includes discussion questions with every section.
Aug 01, 2013 Vera rated it really liked it
Shelves: race-relations
The book disturbs me by highlighting the ways in which white privilege is both insidious and invisible. No matter how well-meaning, I am still a part of the system. As Wildman and Davis put it, “all whites are racist in this use of the term, because we benefit from systematic white privilege. Generally whites think of racism as voluntary, intentional conduct, done be horrible others. (…) A big step would be for whites to admit that we are racist and then to consider what to do about it” (p.112). ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Great collection of essays and articles. "Membership has its privileges" by Tim Wise and "The possessive investment in whiteness" by George Lipsitz are must reads.
Gianna Mosser
Jun 08, 2015 Gianna Mosser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: critical-work
An excellent collection that takes up white supremacy across cultural, linguistic, and economic factors. For me, the pieces by Lipsitz and Mills were the most convincing.
Susan Klinke
Very much needed book right now in the midst of Trump's ascendancy. Even for liberals like me who like to think of themelves as nonracist, we need to do a lot of soul searching and get real.
Feb 13, 2016 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
There were definitely some good essays in this collection, by some damn good scholars. It was hard to get into it, however, because of how fragmented it felt. Such is the life of a chapter-based anthology?
Probably one of the most life-changing books on culture and racism that I've ever read. I would especially recommend this to anyone that might think racism is simply a part of history. This book deeply explains how it's not dead at all, it just looks different. If you think this doesn't apply to you because you haven't been discriminated against, it does. This applies to everyone. Black, White and everything in between.
Aug 28, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it
I am using this as a reader for a freshman seminar on white privilege. Some pieces are great, some are mediocre; some are level-appropriate, some are inaccessible to teenagers. However, it provides a sound introduction to white privilege and serves as a helpful starting-off point for my course. The strongest pieces are the one by bell hooks and the one about the US' "possessive investment" in whiteness.
Sep 27, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mark by: Karla
Requested via Summit 19 Aug 2015
Excellent! Really helped open my eyes. Would love to own a copy and revisit it on occasion.
Would recommend to any white person trying to understand the privilege of whiteness, along with other aspects of racism.
Jun 23, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an interesting set of essays, but they felt a little underwhelming. Kind of a regurgitation of some much better non-white authors. Perhaps it's a necessary process. White folks can't be the only ones not writing about white privilege.
May 24, 2007 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I had reservations about parts of this book, I found my eyes opened to Race analysis as I had never thought about it before growing up as a white middle class kid. It changed the way I look at a lot of the world around me.
Aug 12, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to read this for a psychology class in high school and I found it to be very eye opening. I thought it was very well written and the author makes a lot of good points.
Mar 01, 2008 Lindsay rated it liked it
I have come to terms with the fact that I am white, heterosexual, and that benefit because of it--a must read for anyone who has not come to terms with their own whiteness.
Jul 25, 2007 Gea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Interested in class and race (and history)
The best book I have read on race in regards to class, standards, opinions, society, history - easy to read because it is divided up in many rather short essays.
Sep 13, 2016 Renee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, race
Essential reading for white people. I did skips couple of essays that were very America-centric, but overall this was incredibly thought provoking
Feb 26, 2016 Zoë marked it as will-never-read
Jul 26, 2008 Haley rated it it was ok
Interesting ideas, but textbook read. Overall it was a collection of essays with too many references. It's OK for a required read.
Apr 19, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it
This was a really helpful compilation of texts and served to introduce me to the range of issues involved with white privilege.
Mar 08, 2008 Dioscita rated it it was ok
Shelves: blech
Good messages and great writers get lost in a morass of poor editing... Alas ...
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  • The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
  • White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness
  • The Possessive Investment In Whiteness
  • Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race
  • Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States
  • White: Essays on Race and Culture
  • Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama
  • Learning to Be White: Money, Race, and God in America
  • American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
  • Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America
  • Killers of the Dream
  • It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions That Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races
  • Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness
  • The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America
  • The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class
  • Killing Rage: Ending Racism
  • Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality

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