What White People Can Do Next : From Allyship to Coalition



Dabiri, Emma / Black Politics
Published 1 April by Penguin Books UK
Paperback / 176 pages

What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition by academic and broadcaster, Emma Dabiri, is a manifesto for meaningful and lasting change born from the need to talk about racial injustice in a new way.

An incisive, radical and practical essay, What White People Can Do Next is a deliberate provocation; a robust, powerful and nuanced examination of race, class and capitalism drawn from years of academic study and lived experience, as well as personal reflections on a year like no other. With intellectual rigour, wit and clarity, Emma ushers in a vision of a new, reimagined future where ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege’ are interrogated, the impact of class re-examined and racialised thinking deconstructed.

A manifesto that strips away the systemic myth of race and moves the conversation on from the well-intentioned, yet often mis-informed, world of Instagram posts and online outrage, What White People Can Do Next asks not for ‘allyship’, or ‘privilege’ passing, but for a coalition of common goals; for ‘mutuality over charity’ and a focus on a mass movement that will cultivate a just future for us all.

Everyone’s life is reduced by racism. What White People Can Do Next is a book for EVERYONE.

● STOP THE DENIAL: ‘Race’ is one of the most powerful, seductive and enduring myths of our time. Created to cause division, we must acknowledge its centuries of conditioning to move forward together.
● INTERROGATE WHITENESS: Explore the origins of ‘whiteness’ and why the myth of a codified ‘white’ race and ‘white supremacy’ was created in the first place.
● INTERROGATE CAPITALISM: Race and capitalism are siblings. Any anti-racist narrative devoid of class analysis or capitalist imperative is doomed to fail.
● DENOUNCE THE WHITE SAVIOUR: ‘Allyship’ is today’s ‘on-trend’ articulation of white saviourism. ‘Black’ people do not need charity. Coalition is the way forward.
● ABANDON GUILT: We must acknowledge the past and how it impacts our opportunities and advantages, but we shouldn’t allow guilt and shame to paralyse us into a state of inaction and avoidance.
● PULL PEOPLE UP ON RACISM: There is a balance to be struck between action on a macro level and a personal one. It is our collective responsibility to challenge racism when we see, or hear, it.
● READ, READ, READ: Google is not necessarily your friend! Educate yourself by reading widely, and not just anti-racist books. Read fiction and theory from the Black Radical Tradition. And go beyond the written. We need to ‘think less with our eyes’, exploring other senses and forms of consciousness.
● RECOGNISE THIS SHIT IS KILLING YOU TOO: ‘Whiteness’ as a system is destructive for everyone. Race is not the only framework to live by and it distracts us from acting together to face our biggest threat: the destruction of our planet.
This is a book about the part that’s often missing, about the ‘where we go from here’ and the ‘what we do next.’