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In the lives of Black women, women of color, you are an Antagonist, Advocate or Ally. This is your WAKE UP CALL; a dramatically sobering reality check to wake you up from the detrimental denial of your White Privilege. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies delivers uncomfortable truths and painful realities about the conscious and unintentional pain you have inflicted on Black In the lives of Black women, women of color, you are an Antagonist, Advocate or Ally. This is your WAKE UP CALL; a dramatically sobering reality check to wake you up from the detrimental denial of your White Privilege. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies delivers uncomfortable truths and painful realities about the conscious and unintentional pain you have inflicted on Black women, women of color and shares how you must use your power to eliminate racism and stop the hypocrisy within the feminine movement. The “American Feminist” movement is exclusive; it was created by White women, for White women and it caters to White women. Racism and White Privilege, the bedrock of American feminism; must be aggressively broken down and rebuilt with deliberate inclusion and conscious honoring of Black women, women of color. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies boldly beckons White women to come from behind their White Picket Fence, enter the classroom of “Living While Black and Brown 101”, take a seat, don’t talk, listen and finally hear what you’ve failed to hear for centuries. The elimination of racism starts and ends with you. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.


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In the lives of Black women, women of color, you are an Antagonist, Advocate or Ally. This is your WAKE UP CALL; a dramatically sobering reality check to wake you up from the detrimental denial of your White Privilege. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies delivers uncomfortable truths and painful realities about the conscious and unintentional pain you have inflicted on Black In the lives of Black women, women of color, you are an Antagonist, Advocate or Ally. This is your WAKE UP CALL; a dramatically sobering reality check to wake you up from the detrimental denial of your White Privilege. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies delivers uncomfortable truths and painful realities about the conscious and unintentional pain you have inflicted on Black women, women of color and shares how you must use your power to eliminate racism and stop the hypocrisy within the feminine movement. The “American Feminist” movement is exclusive; it was created by White women, for White women and it caters to White women. Racism and White Privilege, the bedrock of American feminism; must be aggressively broken down and rebuilt with deliberate inclusion and conscious honoring of Black women, women of color. Antagonists, Advocates and Allies boldly beckons White women to come from behind their White Picket Fence, enter the classroom of “Living While Black and Brown 101”, take a seat, don’t talk, listen and finally hear what you’ve failed to hear for centuries. The elimination of racism starts and ends with you. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

30 review for Antagonists, Advocates and Allies: The Wake-Up Call Guide for White Women Who Want to Become Allies With Black Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    After reading it, I think I finally understand some of the problems between White Women and Black Women, and the reason for Black Women's exasperation. For starters, as a White Woman, I can get tired and withdraw from racism into my White Privilege. Ms. Jackson also helped me understand the immediacy of racial social justice work in a more visceral way when she spoke about the Civil War. The powers behind the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery period. She said "they felt they had every God g After reading it, I think I finally understand some of the problems between White Women and Black Women, and the reason for Black Women's exasperation. For starters, as a White Woman, I can get tired and withdraw from racism into my White Privilege. Ms. Jackson also helped me understand the immediacy of racial social justice work in a more visceral way when she spoke about the Civil War. The powers behind the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery period. She said "they felt they had every God given right as states to buy, beat, rape, exploit, lynch, hang, kill, sodomize, terrorize, and sell people." Kind of hard not to feel that!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Conversational and accessible writing style makes for a fast read with high impact, as it is written with unapologetic honesty and clarity about how racism shows up in white women (individually and in collective spaces of supposed empowerment). I liked how powerful and uncompromising Catrice Jackson was in describing many ways we --intentionally or unintentionally-- are hostile, unsupportive, or undermine women of color, and specifically Black women. She expects us to do better and gives some su Conversational and accessible writing style makes for a fast read with high impact, as it is written with unapologetic honesty and clarity about how racism shows up in white women (individually and in collective spaces of supposed empowerment). I liked how powerful and uncompromising Catrice Jackson was in describing many ways we --intentionally or unintentionally-- are hostile, unsupportive, or undermine women of color, and specifically Black women. She expects us to do better and gives some suggestions on how to start (with ourselves and our own assumptions, biases, family and friend circles). Listening to the experiences and perspectives Ms. Jackson shares can widen and deepen our perspective of how we are implicated in racism and how to step up as an ally. The major bummer with this book is that it's full of typos! Misspellings, misplaced commas, and a misnamed chapter, made for an, at times, confusing and frustrating read. Overall, though, the message comes through, and Catrice Jackson's voice is one we so need!

  3. 5 out of 5

    WriterLadyNYC

    What every white woman should read, especially if their feminism isn't intersectional. The ending of the book especially made me think a lot, when Catrice talked about the little girl inside of us, those qualities, and how it affects our behaviors towards others. Gonna sit with that for a while.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This was a real wake up call for me. A challenge to my feminism and my own racism. Even if you think you aren't racist or you think racism isn't your problem read this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caren

    Required reading for all white women in America, especially white women in any kind of position of power (even though technically all white women are privileged with the power of their skin colour). Jackson's book is not bogged down with lots of statistics or research (but she does include an extensive reading list at the end) and she uses her personal experience and professional expertise to explain the differences between antagonists, advocates, and allies. She provides guidance for real WORK Required reading for all white women in America, especially white women in any kind of position of power (even though technically all white women are privileged with the power of their skin colour). Jackson's book is not bogged down with lots of statistics or research (but she does include an extensive reading list at the end) and she uses her personal experience and professional expertise to explain the differences between antagonists, advocates, and allies. She provides guidance for real WORK that white women can do to make the shift to eventually become allies. This book will be eye opening for any white women who think they've been allies to black women, but haven't put in the real effort to actually become an ally.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Catrice has pointed me to my faults, made me look very critically at my interactions in life, and reminded me to do the damn work to be a better person. We (white women) have to do the internal work and show up better for Black women/Women of color. I really took my time to read, absorb, and reflect when going through this book. I know I need to reread it again, in addition to my other homework. The call to be a better white woman to our feminist comrades for all black women/women of color is he Catrice has pointed me to my faults, made me look very critically at my interactions in life, and reminded me to do the damn work to be a better person. We (white women) have to do the internal work and show up better for Black women/Women of color. I really took my time to read, absorb, and reflect when going through this book. I know I need to reread it again, in addition to my other homework. The call to be a better white woman to our feminist comrades for all black women/women of color is here and it’s time to follow and be a great support.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emilie

    Prior to reading this book, I had followed the author in Instagram for a while as well as read a lot of similar books and resources on how to be ANTI-racist while holding white (and other) privilege. So, did I need to read this book too? Yes! We will never stop learning and growing and re-learn and question what we have been taught. And Catrice brought a lot of her own experiences and memories into the text. I’d love to incorporate some quotes from the book but I guess it is standard for me now Prior to reading this book, I had followed the author in Instagram for a while as well as read a lot of similar books and resources on how to be ANTI-racist while holding white (and other) privilege. So, did I need to read this book too? Yes! We will never stop learning and growing and re-learn and question what we have been taught. And Catrice brought a lot of her own experiences and memories into the text. I’d love to incorporate some quotes from the book but I guess it is standard for me now to be so behind with my reviews that I still haven’t gotten to the books I have finished since moving to Congo Brazzaville for work. Yes, this book too, is back home in Sweden. I want to discuss something I reflected on while reading the book. I do not subscribe to tone-policing as a valid argument for someone to not be an ally. If someone holds a marginalized identity or in any way has an experience that differs from the power narrative, it is not my place to tell that person how they should talk (or yell or protest etc.) about their lived systemic experience. So, when I read the book, I became bothered by some typos and so-so editing. Usually I find it hard to comprehend if there are typos and I keep thinking about the process of editing and five hours later oh right I was reading a book (Note that this is when I have bought a product which multiple people have worked on. For tweets, text messages or free reviews or whatever, typo as much as you want). Then I realized, my brain is totally trying to tone police right now. We are so culturally forced to notice every little imperfection in a written text and actually believe that is worth discrediting based on it. Okay, I did not being to discredit the work, but I might have a few years ago before I began this work. An important book which you should pick up – and if you get uncomfortable, GOOD.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarahjane

    A clear and insightful look at the pitfalls white women find when trying to engage in social justice work with women of color without doing the inner work to look at their own privilege and the deep toxicity of white supremacy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    she has important things to say but I did not enjoy her writing style. to many bold fonts etc. the questions she asks are good but I also felt this seemed a bit basic.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Huber

    This is essential reading for everyone, but is especially helpful for white women. I encourage all of my white friends or white-presenting friends to read this book. White women must be able to easily live and breathe all of the tenets Catrice M. Jackson lays out in her book if they wish to even be able to begin the journey of solving racism in America. Catrice M. Jackson lays out the essential truth that racism is something invented, created and perpetuated by white people, and therefore it mus This is essential reading for everyone, but is especially helpful for white women. I encourage all of my white friends or white-presenting friends to read this book. White women must be able to easily live and breathe all of the tenets Catrice M. Jackson lays out in her book if they wish to even be able to begin the journey of solving racism in America. Catrice M. Jackson lays out the essential truth that racism is something invented, created and perpetuated by white people, and therefore it must be solved and addressed by white people. This is our work to do and our responsiblity to solve--no one else's. I could not agree more. This is essential reading for all white women as they begin to deepen their understanding and become vocally anti-racist so they can stop intentionally and un-intentionally causing harm. This book is great because it presents things with a no-nonsense, direct approach. People who are not as comfortable reading books that are more academic in nature will really benefit from Catrice M. Jackson's writing style because she presents complex, nuanced topics in everyday language that is easy to grasp and understand. If this book confronts you--keep going. Your discomfort means you have quite a bit of work to do. If this book makes you nod your head in agreement -- keep going. Continue to read more, learn more and then begin to put your thoughts into action. We need more white women who are truly informed and culturally-aware to be leaders in their own white communities to make all spaces inclusive, representative and welcoming for all women.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Corrie Haffly

    Antagonists, Advocates, and Allies has a very specific target audience—white women, especially ones who consider themselves women-empowering/feminists. Catrice Jackson has a passion-filled call for these women to examine and acknowledge their white privilege and become allies who are truly empowering all women — Black and brown included — to save this world, without inflicting further harm on these sisters of color. Although I’m neither white nor a super strong feminist, I still had to confront Antagonists, Advocates, and Allies has a very specific target audience—white women, especially ones who consider themselves women-empowering/feminists. Catrice Jackson has a passion-filled call for these women to examine and acknowledge their white privilege and become allies who are truly empowering all women — Black and brown included — to save this world, without inflicting further harm on these sisters of color. Although I’m neither white nor a super strong feminist, I still had to confront many of my anti-Black beliefs, biases, and behaviors while working through this book because Catrice has a way of asking really good questions that reframe those beliefs; the section that flips the scenario to ask how you would feel if you were enslaved, raped, beaten, and oppressed was a gut punch to read. I finished this book feeling more determined to continue to lean into learning more, fighting my internal biases, and translating my learning into action and support—the lives of Black human beings depend on all of us eradicating racism, and the moral failures that stain the primarily white hands of our country must be cleansed. (BTW, Catrice has just recently published a new book, Weapons of Whiteness, which looks to be just as challenging as this one.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mindi Welton-Mitchell

    For all white women, this is a must-read. Put down DiAngelo and pick up Catrice Jackson. The author distinguishes between three types of white women: antagonists are the type who don't believe they are racist, they tone-police Black women who share their experiences, and tell Black women they are being racist for bringing racism into the conversation. Advocates listen to Black women's experiences but often silence or fail to react in meaningful ways to racism. Advocates still care about self-pre For all white women, this is a must-read. Put down DiAngelo and pick up Catrice Jackson. The author distinguishes between three types of white women: antagonists are the type who don't believe they are racist, they tone-police Black women who share their experiences, and tell Black women they are being racist for bringing racism into the conversation. Advocates listen to Black women's experiences but often silence or fail to react in meaningful ways to racism. Advocates still care about self-preservation and while they may seem understanding, are unwilling to risk themselves. Allies understand that in order for the world to change they must put their whole lives into racial justice work the way Black women have to in order to survive. Allies must commit themselves and their lives to the work. Catrice Jackson addresses many of the same concepts and issues that DiAngelo does, except Jackson did this years before DiAngelo and it's clear that a white woman is profiting off the labor of Black women. DiAngelo may be where some white women start, but the rolling up of the sleeves to get to work starts with Jackson, in terms of dealing with fragility.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Oh how I will be forever grateful for this book. I’m young and still have not entered into the adult world but this book will help me for the rest of my life. It’s only the beginning of my cultural literacy but this was a fantastic start. If I could hand this book out to every woman I know I would. I am already inspired to begin working to combine the white side of Greek life and the black side of Greek life on my campus. Needless to say more, this book has helped me work through my white privil Oh how I will be forever grateful for this book. I’m young and still have not entered into the adult world but this book will help me for the rest of my life. It’s only the beginning of my cultural literacy but this was a fantastic start. If I could hand this book out to every woman I know I would. I am already inspired to begin working to combine the white side of Greek life and the black side of Greek life on my campus. Needless to say more, this book has helped me work through my white privilege, and see where and how I can make a change to the world. Very inspiring and I just love how Catrice tells it to you straight up and speaks her truth. Love love love this book!!! If you’re just getting into debriefing your white privilege this is a good start for women. The truth is uncomfortable but very eye opening. As Catrice said, the truth will set you free. Also, quoted by Maya Angelo, “When you know better, you do better.”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Melk

    This is a book written with tons of passion, urgency and offering no apologies. In my book group, some women loved it, some disparaged it. Author Catrice M. Jackson lays it out flat: If you want to be a part of furthering racial justice in this country, you need to move from being an Advocate to an Ally of the social justice movement. She lays out actual concrete steps in how to do so. White people may find themselves offended by this book if they are still saying "I don't see color, I see peopl This is a book written with tons of passion, urgency and offering no apologies. In my book group, some women loved it, some disparaged it. Author Catrice M. Jackson lays it out flat: If you want to be a part of furthering racial justice in this country, you need to move from being an Advocate to an Ally of the social justice movement. She lays out actual concrete steps in how to do so. White people may find themselves offended by this book if they are still saying "I don't see color, I see people" or "I had a hard life, too". These would be Antagonists. If you know someone like that in your life, this book will give you the words to point out to that person how racist/upholding racism those words actually are. I consider myself fairly kinda/sorta knowledgeable about race issues, and I learned so much more than expected. Again, this is not a "scholarly" book - it is about real people, real issues, real frustrations, and I do believe every reader will see themselves within the pages.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Wards

    Wrote in 2015, it seems in the light of the most recent protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police very little has changed. The book follows Catrice's personal experiences of women in her life who are Antagonists, Advocates and Allies, and asked you to do some work based on her examples. It is not easy reading, and shouldn't be - if White women want to make a better world for our Black sisters it won't always be easy or comfortable. Would highly recommend to read and w Wrote in 2015, it seems in the light of the most recent protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police very little has changed. The book follows Catrice's personal experiences of women in her life who are Antagonists, Advocates and Allies, and asked you to do some work based on her examples. It is not easy reading, and shouldn't be - if White women want to make a better world for our Black sisters it won't always be easy or comfortable. Would highly recommend to read and work through over the course of a week or two, letting the work sink in. A must for every white woman, regardless of your lived experience.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura Schmidt-Dockter

    The book of the day lately seems to be Robin D’Angelo’s “White Fragility” which I’ve read. I would argue that “Antagonists Advocates & Allies is even more important. Catrice writes from the view of the oppressed. She writes with urgency and commitment to the future based on history and personal experience. I admire her generosity and grit. The intention of this book is to open the eyes and souls of white women. We cannot be allies if we cannot admit to and own our racism. I’m so glad I read this The book of the day lately seems to be Robin D’Angelo’s “White Fragility” which I’ve read. I would argue that “Antagonists Advocates & Allies is even more important. Catrice writes from the view of the oppressed. She writes with urgency and commitment to the future based on history and personal experience. I admire her generosity and grit. The intention of this book is to open the eyes and souls of white women. We cannot be allies if we cannot admit to and own our racism. I’m so glad I read this book and now my work begins.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Arlie

    An eye opening and important read, even as a non binary Métis-ish person (with huge white privilege). Showing up all the time, not just when it's convenient or risk free, is where I need to work. Also, making a more intentionally diverse network. Also, reaching out more to my white friends to talk about race. And being patient when white friends are antagonists. I don't think I have any friends who are intentionally racist anymore, but most of us are unintentionally racist and we need to stop it An eye opening and important read, even as a non binary Métis-ish person (with huge white privilege). Showing up all the time, not just when it's convenient or risk free, is where I need to work. Also, making a more intentionally diverse network. Also, reaching out more to my white friends to talk about race. And being patient when white friends are antagonists. I don't think I have any friends who are intentionally racist anymore, but most of us are unintentionally racist and we need to stop it. Thank you for writing this book so I could learn this lesson.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becky Langason

    Catrice tells it like it is! She gets right to the point. I didn’t realize all of the ways I was committing white women violence. Before I started the book I thought I was a full on ally, but I find my self more in between the ally and advocate. I guess that’s better than being an antagonist which is where I think many white women will find themselves without realizing it. If you truly want to do the work of becoming an ally to black and brown women, this is an excellent place to start. Then che Catrice tells it like it is! She gets right to the point. I didn’t realize all of the ways I was committing white women violence. Before I started the book I thought I was a full on ally, but I find my self more in between the ally and advocate. I guess that’s better than being an antagonist which is where I think many white women will find themselves without realizing it. If you truly want to do the work of becoming an ally to black and brown women, this is an excellent place to start. Then check out Catrice’s website for more ways. I hope I can take one of her workshops one day!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

    I wonder how this book would appeal to someone white who hasn't yet woken up to the systemic racism that we (white people) engage in and benefit from every day. Catrice warns her readers early on that she is not going to mince words and she doesn't. It's shocking how often I think that I am well into my anti-racism work and yet every day I still encounter my fragility and still recognize myself in the advocate section of this book. It is a must read and I'm already in the midst of a re-read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Obviously, "like" is a strange word to use when I'm a white woman trying to unlearn all that our white supremacist society has indoctrinated into me against BIPOC, especially Black women. Catrice Jackson doesn't mince words and every white woman should read her books- there are sections that are difficult to get through because her writing made me so uncomfortable, but I need to be uncomfortable in order to see the truth and make inner changes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Info was good, if a bit introductory (but would be super good for those women looking for an alternative to DiAngelo’s White Fragility). Something about the writing didn’t work for me. It felt like she was writing for a younger audience? Lots of bold and exclamation points. The questions at the end of the chapters were really insightful, and very helpful in guiding white women to self-interrogate their own positions.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have followed catrice on social media for awhile now. This book is very informative and helpful, especially for those new to the concepts of white fragility and white privilege. I appreciated her list of resources at the end. Her tone, especially on social media, is not for everyone— mainly fragile white people.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4 instead of 5 just for writing quality. The content is very important for white people, particularly white women to read and consider in their journey to becoming true allies for all who are oppressed by our society, particularly through a racial lens.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I follow Catrice on IG and she has been a very impactful voice in my feed. This book is best for white women starting their anti-racism journey. I’m still happy to have read it and will pass it on to someone else. 3.5/5

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Fischl

    Excellent. Tough conversation interwoven with personal stories.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mer Mama

    A must-read for all White women who truly want to make a difference in the fight for racial equality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Anti-Racism fundamentals for women who believe “I don’t see color.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Very though provoking. Put your ego aside and listen to what she has to say.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

    I think the subtitle for the book describes it best 'The wake-up call guide for white women who want to become allies with black women'. This is a fairly short book (just a bit over 200 pages) but packs a punch! It discusses the difference between an antagonist, advocate, and ally, as well interesctionality (particularly in regards to the feminist movement), cultural (mis)appropriation, and of course white privilege and white fragility. I was a little hesitant when this book started out by talki I think the subtitle for the book describes it best 'The wake-up call guide for white women who want to become allies with black women'. This is a fairly short book (just a bit over 200 pages) but packs a punch! It discusses the difference between an antagonist, advocate, and ally, as well interesctionality (particularly in regards to the feminist movement), cultural (mis)appropriation, and of course white privilege and white fragility. I was a little hesitant when this book started out by talking about 'mean girls', but this book was very thought & emotion-provoking. This book is not full of data and studies, it is an impassioned call to action for white women to support fellow women of color and where to start (especially on mindset). Her language is straightforward, unapologetic, and emotionally hard-hitting. I highly recommend this book, I found her discussion of the feminist movement/modern feminism very insightful. I have one caveat, this is not a 'scientific' book, it is a mindset book in my opinion, if you are looking for stats/studies/scientific data look elsewhere.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Challenging and necessary.

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