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White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society

Date 1.06.2020

The Northampton branch of the University and Colleges Union’s (UCU) welcomed author of White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society,  Professor Kalwant Bhopal, to their anti-racist book club discussions on 28 May.

White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society collates various forms of evidence – statistics and interviews sharing lived experiences – with a clear objective to disprove the myth of a ‘post-racial society’ and highlight how social inequality still disproportionately affects certain communities, despite changes in the law and generational shifts.

Speaking about her motivations for the book, Kalwant Bhopal said: “I wanted the book to be accessible for a wide audience interested in the thinking around race, white privilege and its influence on the structure of our society. My book is not heavily academic or theoretical, as I hoped to create something thought provoking, challenging and that could get people thinking outside of the box about inequality.”

The book takes readers through various stages of the education-to-work journey, highlighting how racism plays out in the move from overt to covert racism, and how it permeates education, the labour market, class and poverty.

Kalwant continued: “The book was written against a backdrop of Brexit, Trump’s appointment to office in the US, and a surge in media reporting of high profile cases of race related events. These global and societal events drove the narrative of how whiteness defines so many aspects of policy, education, employment, and the impact this has on everyday experiences.”

Nick Cartwright, Senior Lecturer in Law, and Branch Chair of the Northampton UCU said: “I was delighted that Professor Kalwant Bhopal could be part of the anti-racist book club, where we discussed her book.

“We enjoyed open, honest and frank conversations about how society, Higher Education and our own experiences are influenced by race and racism. It was excellent that members were able to share their own lived experiences, the ways in which they have challenged micro-aggressions and overt instances of racism within their lives, in support of and to empower other members.”

The UCU Book Club meets virtually, on the last Thursday of the month. Staying Power by Peter Fryer, is the next book the group will explore during June.

If you’re interested in joining the Book Club, please contact Nick Cartwright for more information.