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Racism: Past and Present

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Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America
by Elliot Jaspin Details
"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 Details
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.
Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear
by Aram Goudsouzian Details
On June 5, 1966, the civil rights hero James Meredith left Memphis, Tennessee, on foot. Setting off toward Jackson, Mississippi, he hoped his march would promote Black voter registration and defy racism. The next day, he was shot by a mysterious white man and transferred to a hospital. What followed was one of the key dramas of the civil rights era.
Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities
by Craig Steven Wilder Details
A leading African American historian of race in America exposes the uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy, revealing that leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.
Hate Thy Neighbor : Move-in Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing
by Jeannine Bell Details
Hate They Neighbor shows in devastating detail the rise and persistence of tactics for preventing residential racial integration, starting in the 20th century and continuing into the present. Although many minorities can find good housing in areas they can afford, just enough of their neighbors still greet them with cross-burning, firebombs, and violence to send an ongoing warning: integrate at your own risk.
Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town
by Mirta A Ojito Details
Documents the true story of a Long Island immigrant's murder in 2008, citing the hate biases that compelled a group of teens to attack the Ecuadorean victim, who became a symbol of flaws in America's immigration system.
Jackie and Campy: The Untold Story of their Rocky Relationship and the Breaking of Baseball's Color Line
by William Kashatus Details
As star players for the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers, and prior to that as the first black players to be candidates to break professional baseball's color barrier, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella would seem to be natural allies. But the two men were divided by a rivalry going far beyond the personality differences and petty jealousies of competitive teammates. Behind the bitterness were deep and differing beliefs about the fight for civil rights.
Men We Reaped: A Memoir
by Jesmyn Ward Details
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 Details
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 Details
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 Details
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.
Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America
by Tanner Colby Details
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.
Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South
by Andrew Maraniss Details
"Strong Inside is the dramatic, untold story of Perry Wallace, a brilliant student and talented athlete who became the first African-American basketball player in the SEC at Vanderbilt University during the tumultuous late 1960s. The fast-paced, richly detailed biography places Wallace's struggles and ultimate success into the larger contexts of civil rights and race relations in the South."--Provided by publisher
The Black History of the White House
by Clarence Lusane Details
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.
The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas
by Anand Giridharadas Details
Days after 9/11, an avowed "American terrorist" named Mark Stroman, seeking revenge, walked into the Dallas minimart where Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a former Bangladesh Air Force officer, has found temporary work and shoots him, nearly killing him. Giridharadas traces the making of these two men, Stroman and Bhuiyan, and of their fateful encounter, following them as they rebuild shattered lives. Ten years after the shooting, an Islamic pilgrimage seeds in Bhuiyan a strange idea: if he is ever to be whole, he must reenter Stroman's life. He publicly forgives Stroman, and wages a legal and public-relations campaign to have his attacker spared from the death penalty.
White Man's Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks
by Kimberly Harper Details
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.
Updated 04/08/2015

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