White Self-Criticality beyond Anti-racism

How Does It Feel to Be a White Problem?

Contributions by Rebecca Aanerud, Barbara Applebaum, Alison Bailey, Steve Garner, Robin James, Crista Lebens, Steve Martinot, Nancy McHugh, Bridget M. Newell, David S. Owen, Alexis Sartwell, Karen Teel Edited by George Yancy

Publication date:

21 October 2014

Length of book:

282 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739189498

White Self-Criticality beyond Anti-racism powerfully emphasizes the significance of humility, vulnerability, anxiety, questions of complicity, and how being a “good white” is implicated in racial injustice. This collection sets a new precedent for critical race scholarship and critical whiteness studies to take into consideration what it means specifically to be a white problem rather than simply restrict scholarship to the problem of white privilege and white normative invisibility. Ultimately, the text challenges the contemporary rhetoric of a color-blind or color-evasive world in a discourse that is critically engaging and sophisticated, accessible, and persuasive.

Yancy is a prolific author and editor whose previous collections include What White Looks Like. Here he once again gives readers an edited volume on philosophy of race that is distinctive and insightful. This new book addresses a question to white academics who are antiracist scholars: 'how does it feel to be a white problem?' This volume is unique in not only accounting for whiteness generically, but also treating whiteness as a problem—something to be named and diagnosed as a fundamental stumbling block for racial justice. Among the book's virtues are the insights offered by having 14 individuals speak of their personal and embodied experiences as white people in a racialized world. While the contributors avoid homogenizing the experience of white people, they all pinpoint a set of ways in which whiteness is a problem both within and outside antiracist activism. Any library that wants to expand its collection of texts dealing with race and racism should acquire this book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.