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Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race
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Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Learn to talk about race openly, honestly, and productively Most people avoid discussion of race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations. Rather than endure the conflict of racial realities, many people choose instead to avoid the topic altogether, or remain silent when it is raised. Race Talk ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 21st 2015 by Wiley (first published January 14th 2015)
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Sahil Shah
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I had two big takeaways from this book:

The concept of ethnocentric monoculturalism: that White Western culture exists as the only possible form of valid culture, and the experiential reality of people of color is not reality-there’s no place for lived experience and emotions in the “marketplace of ideas." I like how Derald Wing Sue explains the differences in communication styles among cultures and exactly how Western White culture purposefully invalidates each. Now that I notice how woven
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The good: Gave me a lot of important things to think about in participating in and facilitating race conversations. In particular, I'm continuing to wrestle with the ideas of the academic protocol and the politeness protocol as potential barriers to honest conversation.

The bad: Seriously repetitive. As in, one particular long block quote appeared THREE times in the book. The book needed a good copy editor.

No ugly! I highly recommend this.
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very important read for any educator that facilitates discussions on race. A nice blend of theoretical and practical.
Miso Kwak
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the most comprehensive books on race and facilitating conversations on race. I will be returning to this book when I need guidance on the topics covered in the book.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Although the primary utilization of this book is centered on the psychological aspects of racial dialogues viz. “race talk,” it also exposes the irrational fears, attitudes, and beliefs, inherent in our (The United States) society. It is about the persistent avoidance of honest dialogues on race that may uncover the true inequalities and injustices inflicted on people of color. What talking about race does is open the dialogue and allow a view of the lived experience of those who suffer from

Erika Harlitz-Kern
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence by Derald Wing Sue is primarily aimed at university faculty wishing to learn how to address issues of race and racism in their classroom in a constructive way. Each chapter begins with a vignette that illustrates different situations where race talk has caused friction and conflict between individuals and groups. The chapter that follows contains a discussion on the issues raised by the vignette.

Whereas someone not interested in constructive race talk
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had seen this book referenced a number of times in various books on race and racial equity trainings I've been to recently, so I thought it would be important for me to read it myself. Sue does an excellent job crystallizing many nebulous concepts of white privilege and white supremacy that are often invisible to white people. He also gives suggestions for how to talk about race with others. I'm considering purchasing a copy so that I can use it as reference.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective from Sue. This book was certainly written for White people to visit an uncomfortable conversation. It’s really not feasible that Sue will reach those who need it because he’s essentially preaching to the choir. At some points in the book he makes stereotypical claims as well, so part of it can come off as hypocritical. Overall, interesting.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as part of a faculty development program and between the book and the structured discussed it was profound. Really difficult in some sections but it has certainly made me think and view my day to day thoughts behaviors and actions in a different way.
Nicollette Buckle
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about racial identity development which helped to give context to resistance and conflict I’ve experienced as an advocate for equity in higher education. It was well written but tough to read at points because of the subject matter.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are well along your journey in understanding talk about race you can skip to the last two chapters. If you aren't in a community that has Courageous Conversations, then it would be worth reading it all.
Aubrey Simonson
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was basically a highly effective summary of an entire intro race relations class.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very useful vignettes and discussion around race and promoting good/productive discussions.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An important textbook on the causes, challenges, pitfalls, and absolute necessity of talking about race. This will be a well-used text for my work.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Note for myself: pedagogical, but insightful even for those outside of psychology/social work. Revealing about the underlying motivations/dynamics guiding discussions about race.
Spencer Jones
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book, particularly for people who are going to be teachers (or parents!) in the future. It's a bit repetitive at times, but not so much so that it gets in the way of the message.
Teddi Kalb
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're willing and ready to explore your own personal biases, beliefs, and whiteness, this book is a must towards engaging and facilitating meaningful dialogues around race.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good content but overly academic and therefore a bit dry.
This book does an excellent job of explaining why being "color-blind" is actually harmful to improving race relations. Sue also breaks down the concept of white privilege and why it's important for white people to be aware of their privilege. However, the book is so repetitive that reading it becomes tedious. He cites his sources within the text instead of using footnotes or endnotes and this interferes with the flow of reading the book.

I didn't agree with his section on communication styles.
C.E. G
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: race-racism
The last chapter for facilitators was really helpful, and there were a few questions briefly touched on that peaked my interest during the rest of the book (for example, are there ever be pleasant emotions in talking about race? what benefits are there for POC in talking to white people about race?).

I felt like it was a bit repetitive or obvious for much of the book (like, find any blog article on race by a POC and they'll say a lot of this in a more succinct way). It's written by an academic
Emily Fortuna
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read. This. Book. Yes, you. Read it. It's extremely important. If we can all take on the strategies Sue describes here, we will make important progress towards living in a more just society. The strategies described here explore how to develop an understanding of your own racial biases and identity and, moving forward, how to have productive conversations with others about race (and it applies to many other emotionally charged topics as well). At a time where we so badly need to have these ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read on the topic of discussing race. This is a book that everyone human being should read.
Emily Bragg
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Lots of repetition, but very little nuance - there are much better books out there on the same topic.
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Sue obtained his bachelor's degree from Oregon State University, and then a MS and PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon.

He has written numerous publications on various topics such as multicultural counseling and psychotherapy, psychology of racism and antiracism, cultural diversity, cultural competence, and multicultural organizational development, multicultural competencies
“(c) attaining a racially color-blind society is unattainable and only reinforces racism and societal inequality.” 1 likes
“Yes, we are all the same under the skin, and human beings, but why is being human defined from a White, Western perspective?” 1 likes
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