Reni Eddo-Lodge, author and journalist
Reni Eddo-Lodge is a London based writer and podcaster. She has gained worldwide recognition for her interesting, contemporary views on feminism and structural racism in modern society. In 2017, her debut book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race won both the Foyle’s and Blackwell’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year. As a journalist, her work has appeared in several publications including the New York Times, The Guardian, the Independent, Daily Telegraph, BuzzFeed, Vice, i-D and Dazed & Confused. In 2018, Eddo-Lodge started her own podcast: About Race.
Hi, Reni. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us; it’s a real privilege. I’d like to start by asking about your podcast, About Race. It has been praised by everyone from Wired magazine to The Guardian. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The podcast is about race and racism in Britain and the aim was to carry on the conversations that my book had started. Many of the topics [in the podcast] were on the cutting floor of the first draft of my book. I’ve always been into well produced, deep-dive, journalistic-style podcasts but didn’t have the audio production knowledge to do one of my own. Renay Richardson, an independent producer and founder of Broccoli Content, approached me when my diary was clear enough to make it happen.
The book you mention is called Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. It had incredible reviews. Marlon James [author of A Brief History of Seven Killings] said, “This is a book begging to be written.” Praise doesn’t get much higher than that. Can you tell us a bit more about it and why you felt a need to write it?
I was a feminist and anti-racist activist for years and, in 2014, after many years in the movement, I wrote a blog post that resonated with people around the world titled ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’. It was informed by my depressing and frustrating experiences in seemingly progressive feminist activist circles. I wrote the book because I was tired of being told racism wasn’t a problem in Britain.