Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama
by Tim J. Wise
Race is, and always has been, an explosive issue in the United States. In this book, Tim Wise explores how Barack Obama's emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. According to Wise, for many white people, Obama's rise signifies the end of racism as a pervasive social force; they point to Obama not only as a validation of the American ideology that anyone can make it if they work hard, but also as an example of how institutional barriers against people of color have all but vanished. But is this true? And does a reinforced white belief in color-blind meritocracy potentially make it harder to address ongoing institutional racism? After all, in housing, employment, the justice system, and education, the evidence is clear: white privilege and discrimination against people of color are still operative and actively thwarting opportunities, despite the success of individuals like Obama.
Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America
by Elliot Jaspin
"Leave now, or die!" Those words-or ones just as ominous-have echoed through the past hundred years of American history, heralding a very unnatural disaster-a wave of racial cleansing that wiped out or drove away black populations from counties across the nation. While we have long known about horrific episodes of lynching in the South, this story of racial cleansing has remained almost entirely unknown. These expulsions, always swift and often violent, were extraordinarily widespread in the period between Reconstruction and the Depression era. In the heart of the Midwest and the Deep South, whites rose up in rage, fear, and resentment to lash out at local blacks. They burned and killed indiscriminately, sweeping entire counties clear of blacks to make them racially "pure." Many of these counties remain virtually all-white to this day. In Buried in the Bitter Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Elliot Jaspin exposes a deeply shameful chapter in the nation's history-and one that continues to shape the geography of race in America.
Civil Rights in Birmingham
by Laura Anderson
Selected by the archives staff at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), this Images of America book features photographs that are lesser-known images of people and events that gave rise to the Birmingham Movement, now known around the world as a turning point in the 20th-century struggle for civil and human rights in the United States. Located in a city once called the most segregated in the South, the photographs seek to use lessons of the past to foster reconciliation and understanding in the present both at home and abroad.
Men We Reaped: A Memoir
by Jesmyn Ward
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 says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.
Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life
by Karen E Fields
Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call "racecraft." And this phenomenon is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed.
Racisms: From the Crusades to the Twentieth Century
by Francisco Bethencourt
Groundbeaking in its global and historical scope, Racisms is the first comprehensive history of racism, from the Crusades to the twentieth century. Demonstrating that there is not one continuous tradition of racism in the West, distinguished historian Francisco Bethencourt shows that racism preceded any theories of race and must be viewed within the prism and context of social hierarchies and local conditions. In this richly illustrated book, Bethencourt argues that in its various aspects, all racism has been triggered by political projects monopolizing specific economic and social resources.
Real Justice: Convicted for Being Mi'kmaq: The Story of Donald Marshall Jr.
by Bill Swan
When a black teen was murdered in a park late one night, his young companion, Donald Marshall Jr., became a prime suspect. Police coached two teens to testify against Donald, which helped convict him of a murder he did not commit. He spent eleven years in prison before he finally got a lucky break. Not only was he eventually acquitted of the crime, but an inquiry into his wrongful conviction found that a non-Aboriginal youth would never have been convicted in the first place. Donald became a First Nations activist and later won a landmark court case in favor of Native fishing rights. He was often referred to as the "reluctant hero" of the Mi'kmaq community.
Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide
by Barbara Trepagnier
Vivid and engaging, Silent Racism persuasively demonstrates that silent racism - racism by people who classify themselves as "not racist" - is instrumental in the production of institutional racism. Trepagnier argues that heightened race awareness is more important in changing racial inequality than judging whether individuals are racist. The collective voices and confessions of "non-racist" white women heard in this book help reveal that all individuals harbor some racist thoughts and feelings. Trepagnier uses vivid focus group interviews to argue that the oppositional categories of racist/not racist are outdated. The oppositional categories should be replaced in contemporary thought with a continuum model that more accurately portrays today's racial reality in the United States. A shift to a continuum model can raise the race awareness of well-meaning white people and improve race relations. Offering a fresh approach, Silent Racism is an essential resource for teaching and thinking about racism in the twenty-first century.
Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America
by Tanner Colby
Chronicles America's troubling relationship with race through four interrelated stories: the transformation of a once-racist Birmingham school system; a Kansas City neighborhood's fight against housing discrimination; the curious racial divide of the Madison Avenue ad world; and a Louisiana Catholic parish's forty-year effort to build an integrated church.
The Black History of the White House
by Clarence Lusane
The Black History of the White House presents the untold history, racial politics, and shifting significance of the White House as experienced by African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build it or were forced to work there to its first black First Family, the Obamas.
White Man's Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks
by Kimberly Harper
White Man's Heaven is the first book to investigate the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kimberly Harper shows how an established tradition of extralegal violence and the rapid political, economic, and social change of the New South era combined to create an environment that resulted in interracial violence. Even though some whites tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice, many African Americans fled the Ozarks, leaving only a resilient few behind and forever changing the racial composition of the region.
Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?
by Charles Barkley
In this controversial national bestseller, former NBA star and author of I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It Charles Barkley takes on the major issue of our time. Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man is a series of charged, in-your-face conversations about race with some of America's most prominent figures, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Ice Cube, Marian Wright Edelman, Tiger Woods, Peter Guber, and Robert Johnson.