• The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

  • By: John Barnes
  • Narrated by: John Barnes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

By: John Barnes
Narrated by: John Barnes
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Publisher's Summary

An eloquent and thought-provoking audiobook on racism and prejudice by the Liverpool and England football legend John Barnes.

John Barnes spent the first dozen years of his life in Jamaica before moving to the UK with his family in 1975. Six years later, he was a professional footballer, distinguishing himself for Watford, Liverpool and England, and in the process, becoming this country's most prominent Black player.

Barnes is now an articulate and captivating social commentator on a broad range of issues, and in The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism, he tackles head-on the issues surrounding prejudice with his trademark intelligence and authority.

By vividly evoking his personal experiences, and holding a mirror to this country's past, present and future, Barnes provides a powerful and moving testimony. The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism will help to inform and advance the global conversation around society's ongoing battle with the awful stain of prejudice.

©2021 John Barnes (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

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Wonderful Book!!! Honest and thoughtful!!!

I saw Mr. Barnes on a British talk show (I’m American). He intrigued me with his honesty so I thought, why not give it a listen. I spent the entire time listening to this book saying “Yes!”, and “amen brother!”

I am a born an bred white southern middle aged man and feel the same as Mr. Barnes about the subject of racism.

I tell my kids if you have to look over your shoulder before you make a comment about someone, the comment is probably bigoted. And as a person of lite skin any time some one of darker skin tells me something I said, or did is racist. I take it as gospel and try to become more enlightened.

Thank you Mr. Barnes, I will be recommending this book to anyone who will listen and I hope and pray this conversation continues.

South Carolina U.S.A

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Understand your racial bias!

What a brilliant take on how we've gotten to where we are today racially. John Barnes, in a way only he can, expresses beautifully the reality what it will take to see each other as equal in worth

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Very insightful and interesting

I liked this! Very good, It made me think and provided a different view point. Good job Mr. Barnes

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Socially spot on

I came across this book due to a very remarkable set of coincidences. John Barnes speaks truth to masses in a language that has the power to unite so many passionate followers of Professional Sports ( or Sport?).

I am thoroughly enriched by his experiences and perceptions of the world he has observed throughout his storied and cultured lifetime.

He manages several points down the field very effectively. He inspired one show stopping thought in me for today:
The Problems of Today are all connected on a massive network. The only way to unravel this Great Knot, is one loop at a time.

Thank for your work here, Sir! I'm sorry I came in 2nd place to review this book on Audible. The honor of first place went someone else, on one of my all time favorite days of the year. :)

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  • Linda1892
  • 10-27-21

Wow…… very thought provoking!

I have spent many years reading and studying (academically and personally) about discrimination of all kinds, including racism, and I’m always keen to try and further my understanding.

John Barnes introduces these issues from a different perspective and discusses some interesting and thought provoking concepts. This book has certainly intrigued me and I definitely want to explore these concepts further. I enjoyed it a great deal and would definitely recommend it if you’d like to explore your understanding and potential internal bias.

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  • TC
  • 01-02-22

Possibly better to read than listen

I was really disappointed with this - it’s virtually impossible to listen to. I thought John Barnes (since he is the author and obviously went through the various thought processes of writing the text) would have delivered it in a more thoughtful way, but every paragraph is delivered in the same rapid, monotonous manner. It’s as if he’s rapidly reading aloud some dull contract document, scanning it without conveying any meaning or pausing in the appropriate places for punctuation. For example - there is barely a pause in some instances when there is a new ‘heading’’, and it’s delivered in exactly the same style as the text either side, meaning you are a sentence or so into the new section before you realise the topic has shifted. It’s as if he just wants to get through the material as quickly as possible then get off to wherever he has to be next, which obviously is not especially motivating for the listener. As such it is phenomenally difficult to concentrate on the content and I found myself drifting off - a shame. I am a football fan and have seen JB interviewed and as a pundit umpteen times, so I was prepared for his style of speech - but still found it too much of a barrier. Of course some sentence structures just don’t lend themselves to being read aloud, so perhaps this is one of those books which is better read in a traditional format. Having said that, I also had a problem with some of the content - it’s presented as an academic interrogation of racism at various levels of society (rather than, for example, a personal account of someone’s lived experiences and the conclusions they’ve drawn as a result). But there are whole sections with assertions unsupported by any evidence. This again means the arguments are not compelling or thought-provoking and one’s interest starts to fade. For example: JB asserts in one section that societal and institutional structures may change on the surface, but that the underlying foundations stay the same generation after generation, making true change ‘impossible’. He reiterates the argument a couple of times then gives zero evidence or examples to demonstrate this; he doesn’t even define the nature of the ‘foundations’. The only example he gives of superficial structures changing/foundations staying the same is in relation to Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, who retain a rigid philosophy of footballing play but periodically change the personnel who enact it! The example is completely irrelevant to the argument he has tried to pose, and then it’s on to the next section! Afraid to say I couldn’t finish this, my advice would be if you are still interested: read the text but don’t bother with the audio book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-22

a must read

'wether you are a racist, or think your not a racist, or you are not a racist'. read it

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  • Ricardo Sanchez
  • 01-19-22

Brilliant analysis of class and race

John Barnes writes his analysis from a personal perspective coupled with an in depth review of facts throughout history. In partnership this brings a refreshing view on the subject. He rightly calls for a paradigm shift in how race is perceived in society and not just a focus on the overt incidents (police brutality, racial slurs at football matches). Heartily recommended.

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  • M.
  • 11-07-22

An absolute MUST read.

The approach taken explaining racism and unconscious bias should be taught in every organisation

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  • Paul Pilling
  • 09-01-22

awesome book

well that not only opened my eyes but inspired and educated me well played John Barnes.

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  • A Scott
  • 08-21-22

Thought provoking

John has given me food for thought. I feel that he has explained parts of racism that I didn't fully understand because it is usually being screamed at me.

I fully appreciate his candour in accepting that everyone has bias in some way, even him.

Definately a book to be recommended.

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  • Robin Minto
  • 07-06-22

Do you have a basis view?

Mr Barnes, opens up a life long topic of acceptance in the human race. He delivers this brilliantly. he breakdown the on going issues with a balance description which all readers will do well to take in and digest..

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  • Kate Ravenscroft
  • 07-05-22

We can all learn a great deal from this.

Well written and many, many 'oh, how true' moments. So pleased I listened to this book; it has certainly made me think lots about my own perspectives on this subject. I had to alter the speed slightly though, as it seemed John wasn't stopping to take a breath! (Sorry John!)

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  • Anonymous
  • 05-22-22

Awful book

Struggled through it to the end. Very far from being my cup of tea