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White people reaching for a better understanding of blackness … are still white

Columns 1 year ago

Listening to a popular radio station the other day, I heard a black show host refer to her white colleague as ‘the blackest white person I know’.


05 Dec 2019
PREMIUM!
White people reaching for a better understanding of blackness … are still white

Hagen Engler.

It was meant as a generous type of compliment, and was graciously received as such. But it got me thinking. When a black person refers to a white person in this way, my understanding is that they are implying that their white friend is sympathetic to the black perspective and has some experience of black culture. It is of course impossible for a white person to truly understand the black perspective. But we can try. By some measures, this is a black person’s country. The population is overwhelmingly black and white people make up a minority. The poor people of...

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