Anti-Racist Ally by Sophie Williams

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If you’re someone who wants to learn more about racism and social justice, then this is the book for you. It provides a fantastic introduction to the subject, and offers advice on how to live as an ally, rather than simply just not being a racist person.

The author very rightly points out that not being racist is the least someone can do, and that there are too many people who feel that they deserve some kind of recognition for it, even though this is just a base level of morality. Being an ‘ally’ meanwhile, means taking the time to get to understand the issues caused by racism, learning about how it manifests in very subtle ways, then challenging it however you can.

She points out that the expression “people of colour” is a slightly problematic one for grouping so many people together due the simple fact that they are not white, and says that she doesn’t like using it. This was an interesting stance, and one I’d never even stopped to think of before – to be perfectly honest, I just found it being used by progressive people and ignorantly assumed it was a welcome new expression. I didn’t apply critical thinking there.

However, that’s kind of the only thing that I learned here. The rest, while useful and important information, isn’t going to be that insightful to anyone who is already quite conscious of racism – it is very much an introduction; designed for those who haven’t really looked into the subject before.

It talks about how white privilege helps white people to avoid problems faced by other ethnicities. It talks about the importance of listening to a diverse range of voices, explaining how social media can be an excellent tool for this. How you should challenge racism wherever you see it, rather than remaining silent and tacitly approving it. How racism isn’t just a thing of the past, and continues to effect people in insidious ways. Like I said, it’s all good stuff, just kind of base level.

If you don’t know much about the evils racism and want to learn more, this is a great book to start with. If you know someone who would benefit from broadening their perspectives and learning about racism-related problems, this is a great book to buy them. If you’re passionate about challenging racism and read up on the subject, you’ll find this an agreeable read, but one that doesn’t go into a huge amount of depth.

Rating: 7.6/10

Buy it here.

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