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Understanding Racism

This list of resources is designed to honestly and realistically encourage discussions about race and racism. Below you will find an incomplete list of books and articles to read and podcasts to listen to. Take the time to choose at least one of these resources to study carefully and thoughtfully. This list is meant to evoke informed discussion. It is also meant to be expansive. We invite you to contribute other resources that you think will be useful for our ongoing discussions about the destructive pandemic of racism. Our lives, our families, our communities, and this country depend upon our urgent and informed struggles to transform our world.

The following list was compiled by Stanlie James and Mako Ward. You can also print this page.

Books

  • Carole Anderson - White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide
  • Michelle Alexander - The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
  • Theodore W. Allen - The Invention of the White Race
  • James Baldwin:
    • The Fire Next Time
    • The Evidence of Things Not Seen
  • Adrienne Maree Brown – Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
  • Ta Nehisi Coates - Between the World and Me
  • Angela Davis – Freedom Is A Constant Struggle
  • Robin DeAngelo - White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • Matthew Desmond - Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  • Kristina DuRocher - Raising Racist
  • Michael Eric Dyson - Tears we Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
  • Marc Lamont Hill – Nobody: Casualties of America’s Ward on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson
  • Elizabeth Hinton – From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
  • Bell Hooks - Teaching to Transgress
  • Ira Katznelson - When Affirmative Action was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth Century America
  • Ibram Kendi:
    • How to be An AntiRacist
    • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bendele – When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
  • Ian Haney López – Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
  • Wesley Lowery – They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice
  • Toni Morrison - Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
  • Alondra Nelson – Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination
  • Ijeoma Olu - So you Want to Talk About Race
  • Ersula Ore – Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity
  • Nell Irvin Painter - The History of White People
  • Imani Perry - Breathe: A Letter to my Sons
  • Patrick Phillips – Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America
  • Christian Picciolini - Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism
  • Barbara Ransby - Making all Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century
  • Jamala Rogers – Ferguson Is America: Rotos of Rebellion
  • Richard Rothstein - The Color of Law
  • Layla F. Saad - Me and White Supremacy
  • Sarah Smarsh - Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum – Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
  • Cornel West, Race Matters
  • Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan, Angrynomics
  • Darren Walker (Ford Foundation President), From Generosity to Justice
  • Isabel Wilkerson – Caste: The Origins of our Discontents

Articles

  • Ta Nehisi Coates - “The Case for Reparations (The Atlantic, June 2014)
  • Nicole Hannah-Jones:
    • The New York Times 1619 Project
    • “What is Owed” New York Times Magazine (June 28. 2020)
  • Caroline Randall Williams “You Want a Confederate Monument?  My Body is a Confederate Monument” New York Times OpEd, June 26, 2020
  • Isabel Wilkerson - “America’s Enduring Caste System” New York Times Magazine, July 6, 2020

Podcasts

Films

  • 13th (Netflix, YouTube)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon)
  • Whose Streets? (Hulu)
  • LA 92 (Netflix)
  • Teach Us All (Netlfix)
  • Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (PBS)