Sherquan Dailey ’21
- The Fire Next Time By: James Baldwin
“A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave a passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document.”
2. Minor Feelings By: Cathy Park Hong
“Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, culture criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative– and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world”
3. America’s Original Sin By: Jim Wallis
“America’s problem with race has deep roots, with the country’s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nations original sin.
In America’s Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians– particularly white Christians— urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing”
4. The New Jim Crow By: Michelle Alexander
“Since it was first published in 2010, The New Jim Crow had been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
Most important of all, it has spawned a whole new generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that ‘we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it’
Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue the 10th Anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today”
5. Good Talk By: Mira Jacob
“‘How brown is too brown?’
‘Can Indians be racist?’
‘What does real love between really different people look like?’
Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back on where shes gotten her own answers; her most formative conversations about race, color, and love”
6. Me and White Supremacy By: Layla F. Saad
“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
7. So You Want to Talk about Race By: Ijeoma Oluo
“Widespread reporting on the aspects of white supremacy– from police brutality to the mass incarcerations of Black Americans– has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it’s a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate his jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair, and how did you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white privileged friend?
In So You Want to Talk About Race, I jeoma Oluo guied 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 ever aspect of African life.”
8. Between the World and Me By: Ta-Nehisi Coates
“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.”
9. White Fragility By: Robin DiAngelo
“In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). 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.”
10. Just Mercy By: Bryan Stevenson
“Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.”
11. Mindful of Race By: Ruth King
“‘Racism is a heart disease,’ writes Ruth King, ‘and it’s curable.’ Exploring a crucial topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction, this revered teacher takes to her pen to shine a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us.
With Mindful of Race, Ruth King offers:
Tend first to our suffering, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change.
Here, she invites us to explore:
Ourselves as racial beings, the dynamics of oppression, and our role in racism
• The power of paying homage to our most turbulent emotions, and perceiving the wisdom they hold
• Key mindfulness tools to understand and engage with racial tension
• Identifying our “soft spots” of fear and vulnerability―how we defend them and how to heal them
• Embracing discomfort, which is a core competency for transformation
• How our thoughts and emotions ‘rigidify’ our sense of self―and how to return to the natural flow of who we are
• Body, breath, and relaxation practices to befriend and direct our inner resources
• Identifying our most sensitive “activation points” and tending to them with caring awareness
• ‘It’s not just your pain’―the generational constellations of racial rage and ignorance and how to work with them
• And many other compelling topics
Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with our own role in the story of race and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care to come to a place of greater clarity and compassion.
12. Citizen By: Claudia Rankine
“Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.”
13. I’m Still Here By: Austin Channing Brown
“Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, 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, organizations, 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 who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.
In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value ‘diversity’ in their mission statements, I’m Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that 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 readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness–if we let it–can save us all.”
14. The Color of the Law By: Richard Rothstein
“Widely heralded as a ‘masterful’ (Washington Post) and ‘essential’ (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers ‘the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation’ (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, ‘virtually indispensable’ study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past. 13 illustrations”
15. Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria By: Beverly Daniel Tatum
“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. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.”
16. Women, Race, Class By: Angela Y. Davis
“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.”