If nothing else, I hope that last post helped stir up a sense of empathy and understanding for the depth of the divide in our country. Perhaps it also made you realize that the version of American history you've been given is not only incomplete, but perhaps deceptively Whitewashed.
So how do you start to undo that? There isn't a simple article to read or movie to watch, just as your understanding of White American history didn't come from a quick read, understanding the nuance of race in America won't be quick either. But if you want to start digging in, here's your chance. Because ignorance isn't helpful to anyone; we owe it to those who have been marginalized for centuries to do some work so we can make some change.
These books are the 19 that have been most formative for me. Some eye opening, some infuriating, some energizing; but they all have served a vital role in where I am today. If you prefer book club style reading, I lead book studies through a group on Facebook called Be the Bridge to Racial Unity that you are welcome to request to join and hang with me on Facebook live discussing this goodness.
Amazon links are not affiliated.
Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Divided by Faith by Christian Smith and Michael Emerson
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together at the Cafeteria Table?: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Trouble I’ve Seen by Drew Hart
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Let Justice Roll Down by Dr. John Perkins
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Race, Real Estate, and Uneven Development by Kevin Fox Gotham
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption by Rhonda M. Roorda
White Rage by Carol Anderson
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Shame of the Nation by Jonathon Kozol
America’s Original Sin by Jim WallisI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
And for some movies:
Race: The Power of an Illusion
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
13th (Available on Netflix)