Gift these to yourself! Gift these to others! A few of these have been featured in previous editions of the Train Station and all are worthwhile reads. Of course, there are many other books that are also important for the deeper dive into diversity work - these are just a few to consider...
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the history of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.
What do repeated traumas visited upon generation after generation of a people produce? Dr. DeGruy's book answers this question and more. The author encourages African Americans to view their attitudes, assumptions, and behaviors through the lens of history and so gain a greater understanding of the impact centuries of slavery and oppression has had on them. Written primarily for African Americans to lay a foundation for healing, it is also eye-opening for whites, providing a stark wake-up to the dark history that we have inherited and the impacts that manifest today.
Lauret Savoy learned as a young girl that the American land did not hate. As an educator and Earth historian, she has tracked the continent’s past from the relics of deep time; but the paths of ancestors toward her—paths of free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples indigenous to this land—lie largely eroded and lost. In this provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Savoy explores how the country’s still unfolding history, and ideas of “race,” have marked her and the land.
This book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signaled a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.
Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and helps us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people'. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions and behaviors that function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
This award-winning best seller takes place in rural Mississippi. Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and memories of his uncle, Given, who died as a teen-ager. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, thisis a majestic and unforgettable family story.
We mention Harvey Milk three times during the NWTA in our Context. We refer to him as a man with "a vision beyond himself." How much do you know about this ordinary man who stepped into his fear, pursued his vision and made a profound difference in our world? The Mayor of Castro Street is the story of the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America; a story of personal tragedies, political intrigues, gay power and gay hope.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a well documented history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples. A very different history from what most of us learned in school, this book starts with the corn-based Indigenous cultures that existed 10,000 years ago, detailing the development of thousands of city-states and small tribal communities, and then recounts how European colonialism forced it's way across the land. Broken promises, defied treaties and outright invasion occurred time and time again. A hard read, but an important one.
In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States.
In this well-researched recently published book, learn about how a small progrom in Russia in 1903 changed the course of history. The Kishinev pogrom was a pivotal event in the history of modern anti-Semitism, the rise of Zionism, and, as a symbol of racist violence, a catalyst for the founding of the NAACP in 1909. Published this year, Zipperstein's well documented work looks at the historical context of racial violence in Russia (pogroms) and the US (lynchings) and how they set the stage for what was to come, even as a prototype for the Holocaust itself.