White Privilege Unmasked: How to Be Part of the Solution

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Author: Judy Ryde

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Published: 12/03/19

ISBN: 9781785924088

All white people understand cultural differences from a platform of relative privilege, affecting their personal and professional interactions. How should they respond when confronted with this knowledge? This book looks at the concept of ‘whiteness’, and shows how individuals can ‘unmask’ their own whiteness and take meaningful steps to break down systematic and structural racism.

Exploring how colonial history resulted in white privilege, this book examines how that privilege manifests today in a culturally diverse world, and the links between the rise in far-right politics and anti-immigration rhetoric that led to Brexit and Donald Trump’s election. It looks at the pressures on privilege and white populations, with candid reflections on how even well-meaning white people may project unconscious bias in their everyday lives, including the author’s own experiences. There are also dedicated chapters on training to raise awareness of white privilege in professional organizations.


In this book Judy Ryde makes an impassioned and well-argued contribution to the ever-growing body of work on whiteness which is designed to challenge what people who are read as racially white think about themselves. Building on her earlier contribution rooted in her work in caring professions and particularly psychotherapy, this new work takes a broader stance to consider the social damage wreaked by socially constructed racial hierarchy where whiteness is positioned at the pinnacle.

Anyone interested in making reparation for the privileges and wages of whiteness should read this book.

– Dr Shona Hunter, reader in Race Education and Decoloniality at Leeds Beckett University, and author of Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance

‘A long awaited and comprehensive resource for all interested in how white people are still benefiting by their privilege and the role that white supremacy plays in our understanding of this. It is an unusual book as Judy is herself white. Essential reading if you identify as white and if you don’t.’
– Rotimi Akinsete, therapeutic counsellor, clinical supervisor, Director of Wellbeing at the University of Surrey and founder and director of Black Men on the Couch, focussing on psychotherapy and identity politics of African and Caribbean men and boys.

‘Written in an accessible and engaging style, this book not only charts where white privilege comes from, but also offers possible ways we can start to challenge society’s structural inequalities. In doing so, it boldly examines one of the most divisive, yet important and powerful, social constructs of our time: race.’
– Sarah Hackett, Reader in Modern European History, Bath Spa University and author of Foreigners, Minorities and Integration: The Muslim Immigrant Experience in Britain and Germany