We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

This book blew me away. It felt like The Hate U Give, in adult version and with a balanced view of the situation.

Jen and Riley have been best friends since they were really little. Their race was never an issue to them and generally they just don’t even think about it. However, as they’re getting older Riley; as a black woman, is starting to recognise their differences and little things that disappoint her from Jen in their friendship. These cracks are widened further when Jen’s husband; who is a white cop, is involved in the shooting of a 14 year old black teenager.

What I really loved about the way this story is written is that it is a dual narrative from both Riley and Jen’s point of view. Although it never takes away from the core of the institutional racism and unconscious bias having and the necessity for change, it humanises those on the other side. Although I’m not American I have witnessed both sides, I’ve been in a car that was pulled over by the cops in Texas and my friend telling her partner who was black to sit in the back and not say a word out of sheer fear. But then I also have friends who are cops and who hate that they are badged as racists.

Ultimately, this book is super well written. I’m glad that I’m seeing it all over this week as it is published today. It is so relevant and such an important narrative for us to understand. I can’t imagine going through the pain of losing a living and breathing child, never mind when it was a ‘mistake’ by those who are supposed to protect us.

I really recommend that everybody picks this up! It’s another that I think she be considered for students’ reading lists.

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