An acclaimed expert illuminates the distinctive role that white women play in perpetuating racism, and how they can work to fight it 

In a nation deeply divided by race, the “Karens” of the world are easy to villainize. But in Nice White Ladies, Jessie Daniels addresses the unintended complicity of even well-meaning white women. She reveals how their everyday choices harm communities of color. White mothers, still expected to be the primary parents, too often uncritically choose to send their kids to the “best” schools, collectively leading to a return to segregation. She addresses a feminism that pushes women of color aside, and a wellness industry that insulates white women in a bubble of their own privilege.

Daniels then charts a better path forward. She looks to the white women who fight neo-Nazis online and in the streets, and who challenge all-white spaces from workplaces to schools to neighborhoods. In the end, she shows how her fellow white women can work toward true equality for all.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


This nation has never, ever read anything like Nice White Ladies, and it shows every single day. Paragraph after paragraph, Jessie Daniels illustrates that's it's not enough just to say what no one is saying. We must, as she does, write what is rarely spoken with supreme skill and a desire to substantiate our claims as though our lives depended on it. I'd love to live in a world where every white woman on earth reads this book. It could change everything.”

Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: an American Memoir

“Mixing stories of her own youth and family with current events, Daniels calls in all white women to look at where they were, where they are, and where they are going. Instead of shying away from difficult truths, she invites readers to sit with them—to look across the table or into the next cubicle and see the impact of generations of choices. As uncomfortable as it is necessary.”—Mikki Kendall, New York Times-bestselling author of Hood Feminism

“Once again, Jessie Daniels has given us a crucial book for understanding race in America. This should be required reading for all who want to dismantle racist systems that limit what could otherwise be possible.”—Safiya Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression

If the title makes you squirm, this book is for you. Nice White Lades is a manifesto for readers who are ready to do the real work of reckoning with our shared racist inheritance.”

Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University

With compassion, care, and a gentle double-dare, Daniels’ book cuts straight through the noise. I now know what I should do to help dismantle systemic racism, and I'm doing it. I'll always be grateful for this book.”

The Rev. Dr. Susan Corso, minister and novelist

A timely call to action for us white women everywhere in a moment plagued by the rise of white supremacy. Daniels lucidly details the mundane and sadistic ways that white women uphold white supremacy, even when it comes at great personal cost. Her work does not allow ‘nice white ladies’ to simply wallow in guilt, but encourages us to concretely challenge the ways we reinforce racial hierarchies.”

Alyssa Bowen, PhD, research fellow at True North Research

“This is the book on whiteness we’ve been waiting for. Jessie Daniels pulls no punches as she unravels centuries of American narratives that cast white women as innocents, victims, and saviors.  Drawing a straight line from lynching picnics to Karen-hood, Daniels deconstructs the tiny daily behaviors of “nice white ladies” that create structural racism across the United States today. This book is a powerful calling-in of her fellow white women, highly recommended for those who want to push past their conditioning.”

Minal Hajratwala, author of Leaving India

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