Book Club

Our Anti-Racism Book Club meets monthly to discuss books and films.

Our objective is to provide the time and space to understand how racism impacts lives and communities while hopefully coming up with solutions on how we can combat the impact of racism through our work.  We would like to move the discussion of anti-racism from theoretical to practical application.  These conversations are not easy, but hopefully as a collective we can realize an anti-racism mission.

Recommended Reading List

The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010)
By: Michelle Alexander

“Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives matter.” —Ibram X. Kendi, The New York Times

Tears We Cannot Stop (2017)
By: Michael Eric Dyson

“The result is one of the most frank and searing discussions of race I have ever read. This is a book that will anger some readers, especially those who reject Dyson’s central premise: that if we want true racial equality in America, whites themselves must destroy the enduring myths of white supremacy” —The New York Times

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor (2020)
By: Layla F. Saad

“White supremacy is a system you have been born into. Whether or not you have known it, it is a system that has granted you unearned privileges, protection, and power. It is also a system that has been designed to keep you asleep and unaware of what having that privilege, protection, and power has meant for people who do not look like you.” – Layla F. Saad

Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016)
By: Ibram X. Kendi

In this book, Kendi chronicles the story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.

How To Be An Antiracist (2019)
By: Ibram X. Kendi

In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science–including the story of his own awakening to antiracism. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. 

So you want to talk about race (2018)
By: Ijeoma Oluo

“Often, being a person of color in a white-dominated society is like being in an abusive relationship with the world. Every day is a new little hurt, a new little dehumanization.” – Ijeoma Oluo

In this book, Oluo helps readers navigate conversations about race by encouraging them to recognize their own defensiveness, to be willing to be uncomfortable and make missteps, and to refuse to be sidetracked.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (2018)
By: Robin Diangelo

“Whiteness rests upon a foundational premise: the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as a deviation from that norm.” – Robin Diangelo

This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race (2017)
By: Reni Eddo-Lodge

In this book, journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge talks about why she finds it frustrating and useless to talk about race with white people who don’t recognize structural racism as real—especially when the power to change racist power structures lies in their hands. 

“We don’t live in a meritocracy, and to pretend that simple hard work will elevate all to success is an exercise in willful ignorance.” -Reni Eddo-Lodge

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2018)
By: Brittney Cooper

“Black women turn to sass when rage is too risky—because we have jobs to keep, families to feed, and bills to pay.” – Brittney Cooper

Brittany Cooper’s pithy and powerful words spotlight how the world is built for white people (and, really, white men) to thrive in. Humor and anger go hand-in-hand in Cooper’s fight song for Black women. 

“When you believe niceness disproves the presence of racism, it’s easy to start believing bigotry is rare, and that the label racist should be applied only to mean-spirited, intentional acts of discrimination. The problem with this framework—besides being a gross misunderstanding of how racism operates in systems and structures enabled by nice people—is that it obligates me to be nice in return, rather than truthful.” —Austin Channing Brown

Between The World And Me (2015)
By: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“The point of this language of ‘intention’ and ‘personal responsibility’ is broad exoneration. Mistakes were made. Bodies were broken. People were enslaved. We meant well. We tried our best. ‘Good intention’ is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.” -Ta-Nehisi Coates 

The Color of Law (2017)
By: Richard Rothstein

“We have created a caste system in this country, with African Americans kept exploited and geographically separate by racially explicit government policies. Although most of these policies are now off the books, they have never been remedied and their effects endure.” – Richard Rothstein

Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis (2018)
By: Julia Chinyere Oparah, Helen Arega, Dantia Hudson, Linda Jones, and Talita Oseguera

“Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis reveals hard truths— powerful findings on the role of racism, coercion, inadequate prenatal care, the pressures undermining breastfeeding and the lack of access to alternatives to a broken maternal health-care system as key threads of black women’s birth experiences.” —Kimberly Seals Allers, author, The Big Letdown

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (1998)
By: Dorothy Roberts

“Twenty years ago, Dorothy Roberts, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology at Penn Law School and the School of Arts & Sciences, released her formative book… which laid bare the systematic assault on the bodies of black women in the United States.

“Roberts says the original motivation for her research—the prosecutions of black women who use drugs during pregnancy—continues to this day, with states passing fetal protection laws to make it easier to prosecute women for their conduct during pregnancy.” Penn Today

Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth (2019)
By: Dána-Ain Davis
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (2006)
By: Harriet A. Washington
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (2020)
By: Isabel Wilkerson
Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology (2017) By: Deirdre Cooper Owens

Recommended Watch List

13th (2016)

In this thought-provoking Netflix documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

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