SUGGESTED READING FOR LEARNING MORE ABOUT:
A MORE INCLUSIVE AMERICAN HISTORY
1. Slavery by Another Name: The re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon · 2012
In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history: an Age of Neoslavery that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II.
2. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee · 2021
McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others.
3. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration By Isabel Wilkerson · 2011
From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
4. Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen By Philip Dray · 2008
Reconstruction was a time of idealism and sweeping change, as the victorious Union created citizenship rights for the freed slaves and granted the vote to black men. Sixteen black Southerners, elected to the U.S. Congress, arrived in Washington to advocate reforms such as public education, equal rights, land distribution, and the suppression of the Ku Klux Klan. But these men faced astounding odds. They were belittled as corrupt and inadequate by their white political opponents, who used legislative trickery, libel, bribery, and the brutal intimidation of their constituents to rob them of their base of support.
5. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 By Ibram X. Kendi, Keisha N. Blain · 2022
Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics.
6. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America By Ibram X. Kendi · 2016
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. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.
7. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story By The New York Times Magazine – Created by Nikole Hannah-Jones · 2021
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.
8. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents By Isabel Wilkerson – 2020
This book points to our entire social structure as an unrecognized caste system. Most people see America as racist, and Wilkerson agrees that it is indeed racist. She points out that we tend to refer to slavery as a “sad, dark chapter” in America when in fact it lasted for hundreds of years—but in order to maintain the social order, it was necessary to give Black people the lowest possible status. Whites in turn got top status. In between came the middle castes of “Asians, Latinos, indigenous people, and immigrants of African descent” to fill out the originally bipolar hierarchy.
9. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness By Michelle Alexander - 2012
Alexander argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race. Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.
10. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America By Richard Rothstein – 2017
Rothstein explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation – that is, through individual prejudices, income differences or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, he 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.
11. Critical Race Theory: Why It Matters & Why You Should Care By Victor Ray – 2022
Ray draws upon the radical thinking of giants such as Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to clearly trace the foundations of critical race theory in the Black intellectual traditions of emancipation and the civil rights movement. From these foundations, Ray explores the many facets of our society that critical race theory interrogates, from deeply embedded structural racism to the historical connection between whiteness and property, ownership, and more.
12. Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation By Linda Villarosa – 2022
Villarosa lays bare the forces in the American health-care system and in American society that cause Black people to “live sicker and die quicker” compared to their white counterparts. Today's medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies. Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients. Villarosa tells us why.
13. PODCAST: Special Program: The Lost Cause — the Civil War, then and now