- About People of Color's Experience -
by bell hooks
This classic feminist text explores the intersection of racism and sexism and traces how both forces have severely affected black women from the era of slavery through recent feminist movements.
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between the World and Me is written as a letter from Coates to his 15-year-old son on what it means to be black in America. Coates tells stories from his youth about how he became aware of racism and its daily emotional and physical toll on black people. Author Toni Morrison deems it “required reading”.
by James Baldwin
The first section of this seminal 1963 book is written as a letter addressed to Baldwin’s 14-year-old nephew and discusses the realities of racial injustice in American society and history. The second section more broadly addresses race and religion in America, including Baldwin’s own childhood experiences and eventual disillusionment with Christianity.
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Ortiz reframes U.S. history, telling it from the perspective of Indigenous Americans. Her book exposes the country’s untold past of colonialist practices and describes how Native Americans, for centuries, resisted the expansion of U.S. territory and control.
by Michelle Alexander
In The New Jim Crow, Alexander challenges the notion that we live in a post-racial society, where racism no longer exists. She argues that racist practices such as Jim Crow and segregation have taken another form: mass incarceration. The book explains how the current U.S. criminal justice system targets black men, destroys communities of color and works as a racial caste system.
by Michael Eric Dyson
In Tears We Cannot Stop, Dyson, a Georgetown sociology professor and Baptist minister, argues that in order to address America’s problem of racism today, we must come to terms with the fact that our country has ignored the suffering of black people throughout history. Structured as a sermon, this book warns: “If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future.”
by Jeff Chang
In this series of essays, Chang explores a variety of recent topics concerning race in America, including Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter, #OscarsSoWhite, the idea of “diversity,” the shifting identity of Asian-Americans, and the pressing problem of resegregation.
by Beverly D. Tatum
In this book, psychologist Tatum explains why students in mixed-race high schools tend to socially cluster according to their race. Tatum argues that talking openly about our racial identities is crucial to bridging racial divides.
- About White Identity -
by J.D. Vance
Vance’s memoir chronicles his family’s history and struggles in rural Appalachia. He lays out in vivid detail the addiction, abuse, and trauma that continue to plague the white working class. This personal narrative includes stories about his grandparents’ transition into middle-class life and his own graduation from Yale Law School.
by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Bonilla-Silva’s book discredits the idea that America is a post-racial, "color-blind" society. He exposes the ways white people justify current racial inequalities and examines recent topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the Obama presidency.
by Paul Kivel
Uprooting Racism is intended as a practical resource for white people interested in taking concrete steps to advance racial justice. Kivel not only explores the role of institutional racism in current issues like immigration and health care policy, but also examines various cultural minorities such as Muslims, Native Americans, Jews, Asian-Americans and Latino/as.
by Debby Irving
Waking Up White tells the story of Irving’s awakening to her own white privilege through a series of reflections and anecdotes. Her story serves as a guide for others to come to terms with their racial privilege, and provides a starting point for tackling larger dimensions of racism.
by Ira Katznelson
In this book, Katznelson retells American history and shows how programs passed during the New and Fair Deal era were crafted in a way that perpetuated racial discrimination. Historian Eric Foner states that this book “should change the terms of debate about affirmative action, and about the last seventy years of American history.”
by Tim Wise
Half-memoir and half-commentary, White Like Me is an exploration of how white privilege advantages white people in every aspect of their lives. Wise argues that racial privilege not only makes social change harder to achieve but also can eventually harm white people.
by Carol Anderson
White Rage reveals how the association of events in Ferguson with “black rage” is part of a historical pattern. Anderson explains that from the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Obama presidency, social change for African-Americans has consistently been countered by a calculated opposition of “white rage.”
by Joan C. Williams
This book explains the white working class to professional elites, whose general “class cluelessness” has led to numerous misconceptions. Williams differentiates the working class from the poor, and explains the distinct cultural values of this group. White Working Class sheds light on how to connect with a large portion of America.