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So You Want to Talk About Race

  by Ijeoma Oluo

(about 253 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

with what we have experienced, it’s valid. If it doesn’t match up, it’s not. But race is not a universal experience. If you are white, there is a good chance you may have been poor at some point in your life, you may have been sick, you may have been discriminated against for being fat or being disabled or being short or being conventionally unattractive, you may have been many things—but you have not been a person of color. So, when a person of color comes to you and says “this is different for me because I’m not white,” when you run the situation through your own lived experience, it often won’t compute. This is usually where the desire to dismiss claims of racial oppression come from—it just doesn’t make sense to you so it cannot be right. But if you are white, and you are feeling this way, I ask you this: is your lived experience real? Are the situations you’ve lived through real? Are your interpretations of those situations valid? Chances are, if you are using them to decide whether or not other situations and opinions are valid, you think they are. So if your lived experience and your interpretation of that lived experience are valid, why wouldn’t the lived experience of people of color be just as valid? If I don’t have the right to deem your life, what you see and hear and feel, a lie, why do you have the right to do okay to be fat, but it’s the most we can expect from a black girl.” I was so hungry. I hadn’t eaten all day. I was just as hungry as every other kid cramming entire slices of pepperoni pizza into their mouths. The pizza smelled so good. I looked at all my options and worked out a plan. Vegetarian pizza. I would grab a single slice of vegetarian pizza. Then, even though I’d still be a fat black girl with pizza, I’d look like I was at least trying not to be. I walked over to the vegetarian pizza, there was no rush to these boxes. I opened a box and looked for a reasonable slice—one big enough so that I wouldn’t pass out from low blood sugar within the hour, and one small enough to let people know that I already understood I wasn’t supposed to be enjoying it. As I reached for a piece, the girl who had invited me to sit next to her reached for a slice next to it. Then she drew her hand back as if it had bit her. “Salad pizza?” she looked up at a nearby friend and shouted, “Girl look. They got salad pizza over here. Ha! I’m not eating salad pizza.” She walked off toward the pepperoni. Another kid shook his head and chuckled, “Salad pizza,” to himself. I closed the lid on the box, walked over to the pepperoni pizza, and grabbed two giant slices. And I ate

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1264.88 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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