Sophisticated Racism: Understanding and Managing the Complexity of Everyday Racism adopts a fresh approach to the study of racism. Victoria Showunmi and Carol Tomlin identify the prevalence of sophisticated racism and explore how it manifests itself in society, particularly in the workplace.
The authors narrate examples of everyday racism from the lived experiences of Black women. They take the reader on a compelling journey from the sources of racism through narratives of disquieting racist events to the destination of affirming approaches to preserving a sense of self and individual identity in the face of sophisticated racism.
The authors explain how the interplay between Black women and White women originates in historical patterns of behavior which emerged on the plantations during enslavement. The term ‘White women syndrome’ has been coined to represent attempts to defend the limited space for female success by denigrating and excluding Black women. A unique feature of the book is that it reaches beyond the historical context to the provision of strategies for managing sophisticated and everyday racism in contemporary society.
Dr. Victoria Showunmi is associate professor at University College London in the Faculty of Institute of Education.
Dr. Carol Tomlin is visiting fellow at the University Leeds.
Front Piece: The Black Swan
List of Figures
Chapter One: Race and Racism(s)
Chapter Two: The Tangled Web of Blackness, Identity and Race
Chapter Three: Sophisticated and Everyday Racism: What does it look like?
Chapter Four: The Language Style of Black Women and its Implications for Education and Work
Chapter Five: Challenges Hindering the Success of Some Black Women: Education, Parenting and the Labour Market
Chapter Six: Suffering in silence: Black British Young Women and their Well-Being
Chapter Seven: Black women reflecting on being Black in the academy
Chapter Eight: Flip the Script and Change the Narrative
Chapter Nine: Conclusion
About the Authors
Sophisticated Racism is essential reading. At once confronting, tender and sophisticated, the book centers Black women's lived experiences in a manner that critiques both national policy and everyday racism. The book is beautifully written, with Victoria Showunmi and Carol Tomlin sharing personal trauma and triumph while at the same time offering insights that researchers, policy makers and everyday people seeking better understanding of race, racism and race relations will find helpful.
This book provides a much needed analysis, language and toolkit for the often unarticulated, unacknowledged, and invisible experiences of everyday racism, classism and sexism faced by Black women. This work “sees” Black women in western society that habitually conflates Blackness with maleness and puts a finger on our common experiences as Black women/girls while being particular about experience of Black British women and girls which has been missing from British feminist literature. The ideas in this book reach out beyond the UK borders and is a welcome addition to the Black feminist canon started by Anna Julia Cooper and progressed by bell hooks, Angela Davis , Patricia Hill Collins, and Alice Walker.