Imagine a World That Doesn’t Center Whiteness

Author Ijeoma Oluo challenges us to embrace true liberation

Adrienne Gibbs
ZORA
Published in
2 min readDec 8, 2020

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Photo courtesy of Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo’s new book about mediocre White men isn’t just a message for racists. It has a message for us as well. As Oluo told me in our interview: “We are continuously building and defining ourselves. If we don’t know what pressures are trying to define us in the world, if we don’t know how the system works, we actually can’t build something separate from it. I want this [book] to be a part of our reimagining.”

Oluo is challenging Black women to imagine a world without a White worldview. To look at professionalism and the workplace without the lens of White men. To fully embrace who we are, unapologetically.

She also notes that when you write in the space of anti-racism, insecure, angry White men come for you. Sometimes, as she writes for GEN, they threaten their own suicide.

“Over the years of existing in this space and working in this space, one thing I’ve recognized is what White men get mad at has very little to do with what you actually do. It has to do with the space.”

Yes, she ruffles feathers with her book on how some White men get to the top and stay there with little true skill, but it’s important to note that this is all part of the system of racism. It works in their favor. Now, how do we imagine a future despite it?

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Adrienne Gibbs
ZORA
Editor for

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.