Ijeoma Oluo is known as an acclaimed writer, speaker and loudspeaker in the vast universe of the Internet due to the many reflections she has shared both on her blog and in different media. Marked by a life in which her identity as a black woman has been a determining factor in what she is today, she has developed a perspective based on experience about racism that has brought her the empathy of her readers and the recognition of institutions such as the American Humans Society by giving her the Feminist Humanist Award or being included in the list of the 100 most influential African Americans of 2017.
Ijeoma Oluo was born in Texas in 1980, her father is Nigerian and her mother is American. She studied political science at Western Washington University, and after graduating, he worked in digital marketing.
On the other hand, a blog was opened in which she wrote about nutrition until, in 2012, because of the murder of young Trayvon Martin, she decided to change the theme of the blog. The young man was the same age as her son and this led her to wonder what the future held for young african americans. So she began to share her concerns, thoughts and personal stories that quickly connected with readers where she resides in Seattle. This was very significant in building her own writing style and her thoughts began to echo and have an impact on her surroundings, causing many of her friends to move away from her, although this also triggered many African-American women approaching her with her posts.
As a consequence of the great success that the blog caused, she started to publish articles in newspapers such as The Washington Post, NBC News or The Guardian. In them, she deals mainly with problems of race and identity, feminism or social justice.
However, the book she published in 2018 “So you want to talk about race” where she deals with the thorniest issues surrounding race or exposes the police brutality suffered by African Americans, was an undisputed success. Thousands of readers empathized with the author’s vision, as it answers many questions that arise in everyday life about racism. Moreover, Ijeoma Oluo raises the issues without taboos.
It addresses the myth that classism is a bigger problem than race or what racism and microagresions actually are. On the other hand, it deals with intersectionality, the relationship that exists between school and prison or cultural appropriation with an overflowing naturalness and ingenuity. In the introduction she turns her gaze to herself, to explain what it is to grow in a body marked by race. The book aims to educate and fight this problem.
For her, conversations about race are a factor that has accompanied her all her life, so she gives some advice on how to conduct a conversation about this in an assertive manner. The book builds a vision that allows the reader to understand that talking about race can be done in a clear way. She also gives her views on indigenous people. It highlights the recurring problems related to race and the traumas caused by the systematic inequalities present in American society.
Ijeoma Oluo chose to use her experience in order to gather a series of answers to a question that she has always pursued and that at times has been exhausting for her, however, it has been a success that translates into the acceptance she has had among the public.
In addition, the book was included in Harper’s Bazaar magazine’s list of the 10 best new books of 2018. She insists that learning is a fundamental factor for a better future in society and states “Being anti-racist does not mean that you are never racist, it means that you recognize and fight against racism in yourself with the same force with which you fight against others.