LARB Radio Hour: Talking About Race with Ijeoma Oluo
By LARB AV – May 18, 2018
Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, joined co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher for a discussion on race in America at The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Also, Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, returns to recommend the writings of one of his heroes and predecessors, Lester Bangs, collected in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung. Ijeoma begins with the tale of how she became a social media superstar when she bravely highlighted a set of racist posts targeting her, and then exposed Facebook’s shameful response (the company temporarily banned Ijeoma). Few of us ever engage in public exchanges with such high stakes; Ijeoma shares how it has impacted her as a mother, a writer, and a human being. Throughout the interview, her reflections on race, and how best to combat racism, show why she is such a brilliant champion for our time. The episode confirmed her status as a prominent truth-telling voice on the digital battlefield that is the national dialogue in the Age of Trump.