5 Books to Learn About Systemic Racism
By: Caroline Maher
Protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have undoubtedly swept the nation in recent weeks, with more Americans looking to become better allies for the black community. To really understand and support the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s essential to fully educate yourself on how our country has come to this point. It’s no longer enough for Americans to simply verbalize their anti-racist beliefs, but to instead, actively adopt anti-racist behaviors and promote inclusion and equality of black people in our daily environments.
One of the most important ways to become a better ally is to educate yourself by reading about racial inequality and oppression that has been apparent in the United States for hundreds of years. The books listed below are a great starting point to further your knowledge regarding these issues and to gain a better understanding of how you can individually support the Black Lives Matter movement.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Award-winning author, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races on subjects ranging from intersectionality to micro-aggressions and provides clear dialogue for having honest conversations about race and racism within the reader’s social networks.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
In this bestselling book on the psychology of racism, author Beverly Daniel discusses why America’s youth tends to cluster in race-specific groups and how we can enable communication across racial divides by participating in “straight talk about our racial identities.”
The Fire This Time edited by Jesmyn Ward
This New York Time’s bestseller is a response to James Baldwin’s 1963 examination about race in America, The Fire Next Time. Featuring a new collection of poems and essays from groundbreaking authors of our time, this book highlights race issues that are still prevalent in our society today.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
Prominent historian, Carol Anderson re-frames conversations about race, reflecting on the long lineage of extreme backlash that has been evident each time African-Americans have made progress in our country’s history.
The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry
In this examination of racial hierarchy in the American film industry, author, Maryann Erigha exposes how Hollywood maintains a relationship between movies and race and the association of black directors with black films. As Hollywood movies have a huge reach and massive power in popular culture, Erigha addresses the racial inequality ingrained in Hollywood and provides alternative ways for African-Americans to find success in the entertainment industry.