At a time when being aware of racism and racist cultural practices is becoming more prominent comes a book that will reorient the conversation and break down what racism really looks like. How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi clearly defines what is and is not racist through practices and the consequences of those practices. This book will help you step beyond awareness and learn how to actively contribute to the equity of all. If you are interested more in the history of racism in the United States, Kendi has also written Stamped from the Beginning. “In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti–Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history (Goodreads.com)."
White Fragility, like How to be an Antiracist, dismantles the idea that this culture is racially equal. The author Robin DiAngelo does this from the white perspective which is juxtaposed to Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, which is from the African American perspective, though this does not take away from its relevancy for all readers by any means. Both of these books together create a powerful and informative look at the society that we live in now and how it still holds onto racist practices.
In The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America, racial practices that are still in effect become prevalent. “The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day” (Goodreads). Richard Rothstein did a tremendous amount of research to find the cause of segregation, showing the role that even banks and real estate companies had alongside the government agencies in making segregation what it is today. An eye opening read on systematic racism.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City takes a look at social justice through the lens of economic status. The author, Matthew Desmond, a sociologist, follows eight families who are struggling financially and trying to keep their house. Desmond analyzes their struggles and looks for solutions to our poverty crisis.
For more recommendations check out KDL's recommendation page.