Book Review: Me and White Supremacy

Me and White Supremacy – Layla F. Saad (Sourcebooks, 2020)

This is a difficult book to write a review of because your experience with Me and White Supremacy will largely depend on how you approach it. This is a 28-day workbook, designed to encourage the reader to journal and ponder deeply as you approach various issues of white supremacy and how it manifests in the world today and your own life. It’s designed to be a deep look at your own white privilege and how you can dismantle racism around you and within yourself.

Saad is a Black, Muslim woman who has lived in the U.K. and the Middle East. What began as an Instagram series has become this book. Each day ends with questions and this is where the real work is done. You can skim over the book and maybe learn something or you can truly sit and ponder the reality of white privilege.

I borrowed a copy of Me and White Supremacy from my library and so had 21 days in which to read this 28-day workbook. While Saad does specify that you can take more or less time to work through the book and I was able to finish it in the 21 days, I did feel rushed. As well, I think this would be a book you’d want to return to and so I would say it’s worth buying.

While many of the concepts and issues that Saad addresses were ones I was at least passingly familiar with, it felt very different to sit and think about them in relation to myself. It’s one thing to recognize the flaws with white feminism, for example, but another to think about where I personally have failed to support an intersectional feminism. One of the phrases that Saad uses in the book is “being a good ancestor”. The idea being that we change now for the sake of future generations. It’s a reminder of the power that can lie in simple actions and the importance of truly tackling racism and white supremacy, even when we might think we’re doing okay.

If this is work that interests you, Saad’s book is a great resource for starting or going deeper.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Me and White Supremacy”

  1. I’m hesitant but only because I recently tried to read a book written by a person who started the hashtag #DisabledAndCute and couldn’t finish the first chapter. Same thing with The Body is Not an Apology, which was a quote and then a workshop and then a book. Sometimes I wonder if influencers are better on their social media than they are in bound form. Although I love books, one thing I learned in my MFA program is never make something more than it is. A poem should not become a short story. A short story should not become a novel, etc. However, it seems like this author may have done something more than her social media could do!

    1. I follow her on Instagram now but didn’t until recently so I can’t compare the book to the online experience. What’s good about the book is that it encourages you to really sit down and think these things through whereas social media encourages moving on to the next pretty picture.

  2. I like the idea of a workbook, because it insinuates that we truly need to sit down and do some work. Really thinking through how can we (in alot of cases, unknowingly) commit acts of racism, and that it takes time to change the way we think and act about certain things. Good on ya for cramming this into 21 days! haha

    1. I really wanted to make sure I finished it but at times I know I rushed! And yes, a workbook was a great idea because it really drove home that this is work we need to do and it makes it very personal.

  3. I really like the idea of this book and how it turns the focus to the individual rather than just highlighting problems in society that a reader can sit back from and feel like there’s nothing they can do personally to make a difference. I hope (work)books like this will reach those who could most benefit from some serious self-reflection; it sounds like something that would be great to require in predominantly white colleges or workplaces etc. to help make institutionalized spaces a little more aware of efforts that can be made day to day.

    1. Yes, a workbook is such a great idea because it really drives home the point that this is work that needs to be done and it takes place on the individual level. And for those who aren’t out committing big acts of racism, it makes us think of the smaller ways we practice racism and how we benefit from white privilege.

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