In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life--to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth--and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent.
It's shocking how little has changed between the races in this country since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coolly impassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the essays are an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin's killer went free, Patrisse's outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele's reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable.
In And We Are Not Saved, civil rights activist and legal scholar Derrick Bell employs a series of dramatic fables and dialogues to probe the foundations of America's racial attitudes and raise disturbing questions about the nature of our society. How have we failed to achieve racial equality, Bell asks--and why? What does this failure mean--for black people and for whites? Where do we go from here? Should we redirect the quest for racial justice? EBOOK AVAILABLE
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholarAngela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.
Between 2012 and 2016, thousands of people marched, rallied, held vigils, and engaged in direct actions to protest and draw attention to state and vigilante violence against Black people. What began as outrage over the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin and the exoneration of his killer, and accelerated during the Ferguson uprising of 2014, has evolved into a resurgent Black Freedom Movement, which includes a network of more than fifty organizations working together under the rubric of the Movement for Black Lives coalition. Employing a range of creative tactics and embracing group-centered leadership models, these visionary young organizers, many of them women, and many of them queer, are not only calling for an end to police violence, but demanding racial justice, gender justice, and systemic change.
Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history.
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. EBOOK AVAILABLE
Austin Channing Brown's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, "I had to learn what it means to love blackness," a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America's racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.
A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists. In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
Roy L. Brooks reframes one of the most important, controversial, and misunderstood issues of our time in this far-reaching reassessment of the growing debate on black reparation. Atonement and Forgiveness shifts the focus of the issue from the backward-looking question of compensation for victims to a more forward-looking racial reconciliation. Offering a comprehensive discussion of the history of the black redress movement, this book puts forward a powerful new plan for repairing the damaged relationship between the federal government and black Americans in the aftermath of 240 years of slavery and another 100 years of government-sanctioned racial segregation.
Key to Brooks's vision is the government's clear signal that it understands the magnitude of the atrocity it committed against an innocent people, that it takes full responsibility, and that it publicly requests forgiveness--in other words, that it apologizes. The government must make that apology believable, Brooks explains, by a tangible act that turns the rhetoric of apology into a meaningful, material reality, that is, by reparation. Apology and reparation together constitute atonement. Atonement, in turn, imposes a reciprocal civic obligation on black Americans to forgive, which allows black Americans to start relinquishing racial resentment and to begin trusting the government's commitment to racial equality.
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
Updated and expanded from the original workbook (downloaded by nearly 100,000 people), this critical text helps you take the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources, giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases, whether you are using the book on your own, with a book club, or looking to start family activism in your own home. This book will walk you step-by-step through the work of examining: Examining your own white privilege; What allyship really means Anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, and cultural appropriation; Changing the way that you view and respond to race; How to continue the work to create social change; Awareness leads to action, and action leads to change.
Most people avoid discussion of race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race puts an end to that dynamic by sharing strategies for smoothing conversations about race in a productive manner. A guide for facilitating and participating in difficult dialogues about race, author Derald Wing Sue – an internationally recognized expert on multiculturalism, diversity, and microaggressions – explores the characteristics, dynamics, and meaning behind discussions about race as well as the hidden "ground rules" that inhibit honest and productive dialogue. Through emotional and visceral examples, this book explains why conversations revolving around racial issues are so difficult, and provides guidelines, techniques, and advice for navigating and leading honest and forthright discussions. Readers will develop a stronger ability to build rapport with people unlike themselves, and discover how not talking about race impacts society as a whole.
Towards the Other America: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter by Chris Crass
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
Chris Crass calls on all of us to join our values to the power of love and act with courage for a world where Black lives truly matter. A world where the death culture of white supremacy no longer devours the lives of Black people and no longer deforms the hearts and souls of white people. In addition to his own soul-searching essays and practical organizing advice in his "notes to activists," Chris Crass lifts up the voices of longtime white anti-racist leaders organizing in white communities for Black Lives Matter. Crass has collected lessons and vibrant examples of this work from rural working class communities in Kentucky and Maine, mass direct action in Wisconsin and New York, faith-based efforts among Jewish communities, Unitarian Universalists, and the United Church of Christ, and national efforts like Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and Jewish Voice for Peace.
Knowingly and unknowingly we all grapple with race every day. Understanding White Privilege delves into the complex interplay between race, power, and privilege in both organizations and private life. It offers an unflinching look at how ignorance can perpetuate privilege, and offers practical and thoughtful insights into how people of all races can work to break this cycle. Based on thirty years of work in diversity and colleges, universities, and corporations, Frances Kendall candidly invites readers to think personally about how race -- theirs and others' -- frames experiences and relationships, focusing squarely on white privilege and its implications for building authentic relationships across race.
Powerful strategies and practical tools for white people committed to racial justice. Completely revised and updated, this fourth edition of Uprooting Racism offers a framework around neoliberalism and interpersonal, institutional, and cultural racism, along with stories of resistance and white solidarity. It provides practical tools and advice on how white people can work as allies for racial justice, engaging the reader through questions, exercises, and suggestions for action, and includes a wealth of information about specific cultural groups such as Muslims, people with mixed heritage, Native Americans, Jews, recent immigrants, Asian Americans, and Latino/as.
This resource book is a product of the Western States Center and is designed to supplement a Dismantling Racism workshop. It includes: context for anti-racism work, language and analysis, internalized racism and supremacy, organizational development, and racial justice organizing. It also includes a list of recommended videos and reading.
This document was created to be used as a resource for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of anti-racism and get involved to combat racism, specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence. Within this guide, please find a variety of resources to explore practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity, white supremacy, police violence, and injustice.
We’ve talked about the perspective of allyship with Black voices in systems and in culture. Now we want to share resources that we have found that can help create allyship with Black people and people of color. If you are doing this work, please share your resources as well. Know that there is no shortage of work happening at the moment, so continue your own research and find a variety of avenues to become an ally.
From Book People: Our present moment serves not only as a call to action, but an opportunity to educate ourselves and our community about the underlying issues that led to the unnecessary murder of George Floyd.
As the Black Lives Matter movement proves itself to be as urgent as ever, white people must listen, and learn, and offer support – which often means to join the fight. This can manifest in endless ways, and is an ongoing education. To start the work, here's a selection of titles across film and TV to widen the picture and stimulate the progress of a necessary conversation.
From the Resource Sharing Project - "The Resource Sharing Project provides a round-up of some of our favorite resources to aid in your journey to undo racism in your coalition and community. Anti-racism work is an integral part of our work to end sexual violence and essential to advance women of color leadership in our movement and beyond."