The brutal death of George Flyod at the hands of law enforcement officers has caused shock waves all over the world. Seeing that knee on his neck snuff the life out of him led to mass protests. It vindicated the cause for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. His death shed light on the brazen acts of police brutality especially against black people in the United States. Racial discrimination is nothing new in America. Conversations around race and the terror that black people are subjected to is essential, now more than ever.
That’s exactly what Ijeoma Oluo seeks to do in this utterly must-have, must-read book. She talks of her experience as a black woman in America. How the colour of her skin is woven into every aspect of her life. From how she dresses, where she goes to, her hair and how she talks. She tells of how she’s been called ‘too loud’ for speaking her mind. How she’s been told that her beautiful, natural, black hair is ‘too ethnic’ for the office. How she’s been followed by store clerk as soon as she stepped in to buy some groceries. How she was paid way less than her white colleagues for doing the same jobs.
Ijeoma is a woman who stands on the shoulders of the literary giants that have come before her. Literary giants like Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. She continues the passionate call for justice and equality that Martin Luther, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X fought for. As an author, she continues the painful but necessary conversation on racial equality.
Like her predecessors, she isn’t all complaints and no solutions. Herein, she has conscientiously proposed practical and relevant steps that we can take to end racial oppression.
This is the passionate, well-researched, well-articulated work of a woman who has borne the yoke of racial prejudice. A woman who decided to start writing about her fears and frustrations. A woman who felt so oppressed by the very system that is supposed to protect her. A woman who embodied the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu; “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
This is the book for the billions of people around the world who want to be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. This is the book for people who don’t want to live in fear of law enforcers. This is the book for people who want to be treated with dignity and respect. This is the book for people who believe there’s more that unites us than divides us.
In Ijeoma’s words; “It all starts with a conversation.”
Get yourself a copy of this book and join the conversation!
BLACK LIVES MATTER!