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How to Be Less Stupid About Race

On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide
Narrated by: Melanie Taylor
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A unique and irreverent take on everything that's wrong with our "national conversation about race" - and what to do about it

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that's wrong with our "national conversation about race." Drawing upon critical race theory as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance - and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change. Searing, sobering, and urgently needed, How to Be Less Stupid About Race is a truth bomb and call to action for everyone who wants to challenge white supremacy and intersectional oppression. If you like Issa Rae, Justin Simien, Angela Davis, and Morgan Jerkins, then this deeply relevant, bold, and incisive book is for you.

©2018 Crystal Marie Fleming (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Fleming offers a crash course in what will be a radically new perspective for most and a provocative challenge that should inspire those who disagree with her to at least consider their basic preconceptions.... A deft, angry analysis for angry times.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Dr. Fleming offers a straight-no-chaser critique of our collective complicit ignorance regarding the state of race in the United States. In particular, she calls out the lack of resolve, especially among the political class, to admit and address the generational damage caused by institutional racism. This book will leave you thinking, offended, and transformed.” (Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator)

[A]n insightful and irreverent text...her work is truly accessible; she breaks down complex concepts and constructs arguments effectively in jocular, witty prose. This analysis of today’s complex sociopolitical climate would be a great starting point for anyone looking to question preconceived mainstream notions about race.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Wow!!! “How To Be Less Stupid About Race” by Crystal Fleming - Best Book Ever Category!!!

Best book on race I’ve ever read/listened to. Cogent. Accessible. Instructive. Candid. Funny. Empowering. Transformative. And yes, an excellent choice of narrator for this audible.

Shouting it from the rooftops - *Buy This Book* for yourself and everyone you know.

“How To Be Less Stupid About Race” is one of those gifts that will keep on giving for many generations.

Five thousand stars!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A must read for anyone serious about racial justice

What I most enjoyed was the vulnerability displayed in the form of the real life stories that were shared. Fleming sharing details of her own personal journey drive the point home that we are all susceptible to the stupid ideas about race that permeate our society. The book also references a wide range of texts/authors from the mainstream to the relatively unknown for anyone looking to dive deeper into the issues explored; I will definitely be picking up a hard copy for this reason. 📖📖📖

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Required reading for building your woke knowledge base

When in talks about being woke it is sometimes based on a limited set of experiences and surface level information on racism and injustice. Sometimes you are awoken after being fed up of the back to back series of police brutality without consequence. Crystal arms us with a comprehensive and multidimensional view of race and racism not only in the United States, but schools us on European colonialism, Brazilian complex racial paradigms and how racism intersects with sexism, classism, feminism and discrimination based on sexuality. She teaches us that until we understand and agree that racism is structural and systematic and fueled by white supremacy then we cannot begin working towards making much needed changes in our society. I believe that she does it in a way that is not too overwhelming if you pause throughout her book, take a few deep breaths and reflect on what you are absorbing. She arms us with a huge reference guide of reading in her references at the end of the book and quotes many historic facts, studies and sociological thought leadership on how racism pervades our society. I also appreciate her for not leaving us without a few proposed steps towards “solutions” or at least growth and betterment of our situation. I encourage this read for college classrooms across the world. I encourage this read for corporations who are serious about taking on race issues within their staff and the systematic way they impact and marginalize their staff that do not benefit from white supremacy. And I encourage this read for individuals that think they know enough about race because Crystal has taught me that there is so much more to learn.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Listen Twice to ensure you've heard how to wake up

Listen Twice to ensure you've heard how to wake up and challenge your personal understanding of race, socialization and how you show up.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Should be required reading for every white person in the USA

This book made me think, rethink, and roll back ideas I’ve had and acquired over the years of being immersed in our white supremacist culture. It’s a book I will return to again and again. I especially appreciate the third category — anti-racist, for people who are more aware of their own racism and are actively working to combat it in themselves and their surroundings.

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A must listen/read

Powerful and informative, highly recommended to anyone who strives to be anti-racist and help tear down white supremacy.

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  • Todd
  • Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
  • 07-10-19

No punches pulled

It’s hard not to be defensive and take this in with open mind and heart. But there are just too many uncomfortable truths—or at least possibilities—presented here to look away. I want racism to be all about the current administration that can be voted away in 2020. But it started earlier and will last much longer.

The criticism of Obama was especially rough reading, yet judged by the lens of the book rather than an overall assessment of his Presidency there’s a lot to learn in that criticism.

I’m glad for the challenge as much as I wish I weren’t so stupid about race.

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Informative, elitist, condescending

There's a lot of wonderful and enlightening content, such as how African-Americans are treated well in France, and the underlying way that this sends a message to citizens of color in France. The author also has stories from working on political campaigns and offers a critique of contemporary scholars and political figures.

Presuming others to be stupid is elitist, and being pleased with oneself for using vulgar language is part of the problem of what passes today for dialog and discourse. I teach at the college level, and it's already enough of a challenge to facilitate critical thinking without using inflammatory r dismissive language. I would never use this book as a reference; the author sets a poor example as a scholar.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Common Ground

Not sure who she is trying to reach with this book. I suspect it is the bull shit she is getting from her white liberal friends. How would she fare in a conversation with trump supporters? Dividing up black people along gender lines is reactionary and plays right into the hands of the bourgeoisie. It also turns away many dedicated people.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good But!!!

The book was awesome!!!...but you could have kept all of the personal business out of it.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Addy
  • 10-25-18

fantastically created

I love this book. She doesn't hold back in her critical reflection of herself and others. Jam packed with gems of knowledge. I enjoyed the narration, but have also just purchased a book as I want to reference in future. struggling to find words to describe the awesomeness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful