Book Review: Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

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“We’re in the midst of the greatest pandemic of recent times, which has the potential to be the greatest pandemic of all time. However the longest-lasting pandemic in this country is a virus not of the body but of the mind, and it’s called racism.”

I stumbled upon this book by sheer accident, I was looking for something to read within my LibbyApp and this popped up, available! I read the description, did a few google searches on the author and decided to give it a read. And wow, I’m so glad that I did.

I think this book is a worthy read for anyone who wants to educate themselves about race-related issues.

Emmanuel Acho takes on questions about cultural appropriation, white privilege, and more in this timely read. The book is written as a sort of manual to white people answering questions about race-related issues, questions they constantly ask.

Each chapter opens up with a question that was submitted to Mr. Acho by a curious white person who wants more information about something related to racism.

His answers are real, honest, and spot-on as he goes deep to help people understand the schematics of race. What I love about this book is that it really articulates the everyday nuances Black people face, and more importantly, he does an excellent job of illustrating the different categories of “Black” from American Blacks, Caribbeans, and Africans, the insight is really well explained.

Many, if not all, of the questions he answers in the book, I have been asked at one point or another by ‘well-meaning’ White people. I often found myself tired of answering or even sometimes annoyed.

On a few occasions, I sent them away to do their own research because just because I’m Black that doesn’t make me an expert on race nor does it make me a spokesperson for the race. I feel this book gave me great answers I can give when these questions arise, and more importantly a frame of reference.

What kept me turning the page: I think it had to do with my sheer curiosity. I couldn’t believe some of the questions, but yet I could. Also, I wanted to hear his answers in an attempt to help myself navigate when I receive such questions. Something I learned from this book was that it is far better to educate than to ignore or avoid.

Have you read this one? What were your thoughts?

Rating ★★★★

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