Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
From the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, a subversive history of white male American identity.
What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual accomplishments?
Through the last 150 years of American history — from the post-reconstruction South and the mythic stories of cowboys in the West, to the present-day controversy over NFL protests and the backlash against the rise of women in politics — Ijeoma Oluo exposes the devastating consequences of white male supremacy on women, people of color, and white men themselves. Mediocre investigates the real costs of this phenomenon in order to imagine a new white male identity, one free from racism and sexism.
As provocative as it is essential, this book will upend everything you thought you knew about American identity and offers a bold new vision of American greatness.
So You Want To Talk About Race
In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America
Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy — from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans — has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair — and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
“Oluo gives us — both white people and people of color — that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.” — National Book Review
“Generous and empathetic, yet usefully blunt . . . it’s for anyone who wants to be smarter and more empathetic about matters of race and engage in more productive anti-racist action.” — Salon (Required Reading)
"An essential read, Ijeoma Oluo’s revelatory and visionary new book confronts disturbing hidden histories that vibrate throughout our institutions and communities today."
- Austin Channing Brown, New York Times–bestselling author of I’m Still Here
"Oluo masterfully diagnoses the pervasive plague of white mediocrity. Mediocre serves as a call to action for every person, regardless of race or gender, to actively resist white male mediocrity’s hold."
- Kimberlé Crenshaw, executive director, African American Policy Forum, and professor, UCLA and Columbia Law Schools
"Oluo is one of our great voices and Mediocre not only educates us, but it inspires us all to act and change the world for the better. But first, I need to read this book again. It’s just that damn good."
- Phoebe Robinson, New York Times–bestselling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair
"So You Want to Talk About Race is a book for everyone, but especially for people of color who need to feel seen and heard."
- Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know
"When you need a super team to help you make sense of today's complex conversation on identity and representation, Ijeoma needs to be your number one pick. No one cuts through the chatter with more humor, insight and clarity. No matter the issue, Ijeoma's thinking is always essential reading."
- JENNY YANG, comedian, writer, and co-founder and
co-producer of Dis/orient/ed Comedy
"Oluo offers us a reset, a starting point, a clear way forward."
- dream hampton, filmmaker, writer, activist, and executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly