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White Fragility: Book Discussion Series

Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility - Spring 2019 Library Book Discussion, sponsored by ISU Library


DiAngelo asks a number of disrupting questions on page 14. Let's paraphrase one of them: 

"Is it possible that [because I'm white] there are some racial dynamics I cannot see that take place at work and my daily life?"

What might they be - among patrons? - among colleagues? What are some ways that we can practice seeing?


DiAngelo unpacks and re-defines a number of terms that are important to understand. We will need to grapple with these throughout the book:

  • White supremacy
  • Prejudice - page 19
  • Discrimination - page 20
  • Racism - page 20
  • Ideology - page 21
  • White racial frame - page 34

Note: DiAngelo uses the word grapple extensively throughout the book. The following comes to mind: coming to terms with something difficult; trying to get a hold of something that is tricky or difficult to grasp; struggle, effort, wrestling, and maybe fumbling, but not giving up. What a great word for describing the learning process!



Readings & Discussion Questions


TOPIC: Talking about Race & Racism

Topic Leader: Susan Vega García

Meeting:  Thurs., June 6, 1:00-2:00, Rm 304

Please read the following & be prepared to discuss at our meeting:

  • "Author's Note: Identity Politics" and "Introduction: We Can't Get There from Here" -- pages xiii-5

  • Chapter 1: The Challenges of Talking to White People about Racism -- pages 7-14

  • Chapter 2: Racism & White Supremacy -- ​pages 15-38

  • Chapter 3: Racism after the Civil Rights Movement -- pages 39-50

You can always read more of the book at any time, but these are the Chapters we will focus on in our discussions for today.