Required Reading for White People

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As our national discourse has once again turned to racism, we are once again appalled, angry and wondering what we can do to change things. Well it can start by educating ourselves, and who better to educate us than black women? Thanks to the Lit.Bar, an independent bookstore in the South Bronx, the ONLY bookstore there, serving 1.5 million people, for their book section called “Dear White People,” here are four books they recommend. And you can buy them online from Lit.Bar too rather than that big online Goliath!   

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Required Reading for White People

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. Get the book here.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Required Reading for White People

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.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist 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. Get the book here.

So You Want to Talk About Race

Required Reading for White People

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America

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. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? 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. Get the book here.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

Required Reading for White People

A unique and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race”—and what to do about it

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before. Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Get the book here.

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