EventsRobin DiAngelo, Ph.D — Nice Racism & White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D — Nice Racism & White Fragility

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Central Library in Copley Square


Author of New York Times (NYT) Bestseller White Fragility joins Boston Public Library President for fireside-style chat.

Racial Justice Educator and Consultant Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D and Boston Public Library President David Leonard will have a conversation about Nice Racism and White Fragility. Following the discussion, there will be time for an audience Q&A. For in-person attendees, we'll conclude with an author signing facilitated by local independent bookstore partner Trident Booksellers & Cafe. Our virtual audience, whose attendance will be made possible in part by the GBH Forum Network, may order copies online at this link.

About Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm

Based on her second NYT Bestselling book, Dr. DiAngelo identifies many common white racial patterns and breaks down how well-intentioned white people unawarely perpetuate racial harm. These patterns include rushing to prove that we are “not racist,” downplaying white advantage, romanticizing Black, Indigenous and other peoples of color (BIPOC), pretending white segregation “just happens,” expecting BIPOC people to teach us about racism, carefulness, guilt and shame. She offers a series of reflection questions, an assessment tool, and a list of the skills and perspectives that can counter “nice” racism.

About White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism

White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves including: argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal and claims of being attacked and misunderstood.

About the author

Dr. DiAngelo is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She has numerous publications and books. In 2011 she coined the term White Fragility in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, where it remained for over three years and has been translated into 12 languages. Her follow up book, Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm was released in June of 2021. Her work and interviews have been featured on CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, NPR and PBS, among many other forums. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and educator for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.

About the BPL's COVID-19 health and safety protocols:

  • Program attendees are recommended to wear masks covering the nose and mouth.
  • Read the BPL's latest COVID-19 guidelines for visiting the library.
  • Program performer will remove their mask during the program.

Programming like this is enabled through the generosity of a variety of public and private funding. To learn more and support our programming, visit the Boston Public Library Fund website.

    Central Library Author Talk Series
    Suitable for:
    All Adults
    Talks & Lectures
    President's Picks

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