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Understanding and Dismantling Racism: A Booklist for White Readers

Since Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2012, we have seen a renewed investment from white people in our community who want tools to help gain a foothold in their struggles to understand the ways that racism and white supremacy opperate in their minds, their families, and the larger world. The most recent police killings have renewed the urgency of the struggle in the minds of many white people and we are getting lots of calls and requests for help. Below is a list which is designed to meet a broad variety of reader's needs and experiences. Some of these books, like The Charleston Syllabus address our contemporary moment, some like Waking Up White, How I Shed My Skin, and White Like Me, are first person accounts of how individual white people came to understand themselves as white and to desire an end to white supremacy. These are books we recommend which are all currently in print and available online from us 24/7 or in our store at 1189 Euclid Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30307. (404) 524-0304. We also released a book list for teens and children, which you can find here. There is no time for inaction. We have all the tools we need. Only white people can end white supremacy. 

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865718654
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Published: New Society Publishers - September 19th, 2017

Over 50,000 copies sold of earlier editions Powerful strategies and practical tools for white people committed to racial justice

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It, Second Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9781607092575
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Published: R & L Education - January 1st, 2010

Witnessing Whiteness invites readers to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations. The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white people toward poor relationships with people of color.

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race Cover Image
ISBN: 9781119241980
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Published: Wiley - February 1st, 2016

Turn Uncomfortable Conversations into Meaningful Dialogue

If you believe that talking about race is impolite, or that "colorblindness" is the preferred approach, you must read this book. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence debunks the most pervasive myths using evidence, easy-to-understand examples, and practical tools.

The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching about Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know (Educational Leadership for Social Justice) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617351044
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Published: Information Age Publishing - September 9th, 2010

A volume in Educational Leadership for Social Justice Series Editor Jeffrey S. Brooks, University of Missouri-Columbia, Denise E. Armstrong, Brock University; Ira Bogotch, Florida Atlantic University; Sandra Harris, Lamar University; Whitney H.

Towards the Other America: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780827237094
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Published: Chalice Press - December 1st, 2015

​Chris Crass calls on all of us to join our values to the power of love and act with courage for a world where Black lives truly matter. A world where the death culture of white supremacy no longer devours the lives of Black people and no longer deforms the hearts and souls of white people.

Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race (Teaching/Learning Social Justice) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780415874274
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Published: Routledge - December 11th, 2012

Knowingly and unknowingly we all grapple with race every day. Understanding White Privilege delves into the complex interplay between race, power, and privilege in both organizations and private life. It offers an unflinching look at how ignorance can perpetuate privilege, and offers practical and thoughtful insights into how people of all races can work to break this cycle.

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics, Revised and Expanded Edition Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781592134946
Published: Temple University Press - March 10th, 2006

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race Cover Image
ISBN: 9780991331307
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Published: Elephant Room Press - January 9th, 2014

For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction.

How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616205348
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Published: Algonquin Books - February 23rd, 2016

More than sixty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that America’s schools could no longer be segregated by race. Critically acclaimed novelist Jim Grimsley was eleven years old in 1966 when federally mandated integration of schools went into effect in the state and the school in his small eastern North Carolina town was first integrated.

Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories Cover Image
By Eddie Moore (Editor), Marguerite W. Penick-Parks (Editor), Ali Michael (Editor)
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ISBN: 9781620362082
Published: Stylus Publishing (VA) - March 2nd, 2015

While we are all familiar with the lives of prominent Black civil rights leaders, few of us have a sense of what is entailed in developing a White anti-racist identity.

Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History (Feminist Classics) Cover Image
By Vron Ware, Mikki Kendall (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781784780128
Published: Verso - June 9th, 2015

How have ideas about white women figured in the history of racism? Vron Ware argues that they have been central, and that feminism has, in many ways, developed as a political movement within racist societies.

Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence Cover Image
By Chad Williams (Editor), Kidada E. Williams (Editor), Keisha N. Blain (Editor)
ISBN: 9780820349572
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Published: University of Georgia Press - May 15th, 2016

On June 17, 2015, a white supremacist entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and sat with some of its parishioners during a Wednesday night Bible study session. An hour later, he began expressing his hatred for African Americans, and soon after, he shot nine church members dead, the church's pastor and a South Carolina state senator, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, among them.

We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America Cover Image
By Elizabeth Betita Martínez (Editor), Matt Meyer (Editor), Mandy Carter (Editor), Cornel West (Foreword by), Alice Walker (Afterword by), Sonia Sanchez (Afterword by)
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ISBN: 9781604864809
Published: PM Press - October 5th, 2012

A compendium of writings that detail the grassroots actions of social and political activists from the civil rights era of the early 1960s to the present day, this book reviews the major points of intersection between white supremacy and the war machine through historic and contemporary articles from a diverse range of scholars and activists.

killing rage: Ending Racism Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805050271
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Published: Holt Paperbacks - October 15th, 1996

“hooks’s books help us not only to decolonize our minds, souls, and bodies; on a deeper level, they touch our lives.” —Cornel West

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
By Michelle Alexander, Cornel West (Introduction by)
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ISBN: 9781595586438
Published: New Press - January 16th, 2012

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as brave and bold, this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness.

Acting White?: Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780190229214
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Published: Oxford University Press, USA - May 1st, 2015

What does it mean to act black or act white? Is race merely a matter of phenotype, or does it come from the inflection of a person's speech, the clothes in her closet, how she chooses to spend her time and with whom she chooses to spend it? What does it mean to be really black, and who
gets to make that judgment?

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy Cover Image
By Chris Crass, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Foreword by), Chris Dixon (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781604866544
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Published: PM Press - May 1st, 2013

Organized into four sections, this collection of essays is geared toward activists engaging with the dynamic questions of how to create and support effective movements for visionary systemic change. These essays and interviews present powerful lessons for transformative organizing.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race Cover Image
ISBN: 9780465060689
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Published: Basic Books - September 5th, 2017

The classic, New York Times-bestselling book on the psychology of racism that shows us how to talk about race in America.

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy?

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632864130
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Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 5th, 2017

National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Review of Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2016

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568585987
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Published: Bold Type Books - August 15th, 2017

The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593764258
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Published: Soft Skull - September 13th, 2011

From “one of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation” (Michael Eric Dyson), this now-classic is “a brilliant and personal deconstruction of institutionalized white supremacy in the United States . . . a beautifully written, heartfelt memoir” (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz).

White Trash: Race and Class in America Cover Image
By Annalee Newitz (Editor), Matt Wray (Editor)
ISBN: 9780415916929
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Published: Routledge - December 20th, 1996

First published in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces Cover Image
ISBN: 9781610394574
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Published: PublicAffairs - August 26th, 2014

Now updated with new material, the groundbreaking history of how police forces have become militarized, both in equipment and mindset, and what that means for American democracy.

Race Traitor Cover Image
By Noel Ignatiev (Editor), John Garvey (Editor)
ISBN: 9780415913935
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Published: Routledge - April 30th, 1996

Race Traitor brings together voices ranging from tenured university professors to skinheads and prison inmates to discuss the white question in America.

Disrupting White Supremacy Cover Image
By Jennifer Harvey (Editor), Karin A. Case (Editor), Robin Hawley Gorsline (Editor)
ISBN: 9780829816075
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Published: Pilgrim Press - May 13th, 2008

Through careful, thoughful examination of the nature and workings of race, racism, and white supremacy, the contributors--an all-white group of theologians, ethicists, teachers, ministers, and activists--have provided a resource that will help white people do their own souls, acknowledging its devasting effects on people of color, and taking their own steps toward it's abolishment.

Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781935554660
Published: Melville House - September 16th, 2011


A New York Times Best Seller

Merging real stories with theory, research, and practice, a prominent scholar offers a new approach to teaching and learning for every stakeholder in urban education.

Benign Bigotry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780521702591
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Published: Cambridge University Press - February 1st, 2010

While overt prejudice is now much less prevalent than in decades past, subtle prejudice - prejudice that is inconspicuous, indirect, and often unconscious - continues to pervade our society. Laws do not protect against subtle prejudice and, because of its covert nature, it is difficult to observe and frequently goes undetected by both perpetrator and victim.

Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South (Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twen) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813191720
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Published: University Press of Kentucky - August 1st, 2006

Anne McCarty Braden (1924-2006) rejected her segregationist, privileged past to become one of the civil rights movement's staunchest white allies. In 1954 she was charged with sedition by McCarthy-style politicians who played on fears of communism to preserve southern segregation.

How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813525907
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Published: Rutgers University Press - October 1st, 1998

Honorable Mention, 1999 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award

The fashion identities in the context of a wider conversation about American nationhood, to whom it belongs and what belonging means. Race and ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality are all staple ingredients in this conversation.

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fifth Edition Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781442276239
Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - June 9th, 2017

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for-and ultimately justify-racial inequalities. The fifth edition of this provocative book makes clear that color blind racism is as insidious now as ever.

America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America Cover Image
By Jim Wallis, Bryan Stevenson (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781587434006
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Published: Brazos Press - February 14th, 2017

America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin.

Living Into God's Dream: Dismantling Racism in America Cover Image
By Catherine Meeks (Editor), Jim Wallis (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780819233219
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Published: Morehouse Publishing - November 24th, 2016

- Range of voices: Meeks, Rob Wright, Luther Smith, Diane D'Souza - A serious invitation to the serious work of developing a new conversation on race - Foreword by Sojourners' Jim Wallis - Study guide included While the dream of a "Post-Racial" America remains unfulfilled, the struggle against racism continues, with tools both new and old.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781408870556
Published: Bloomsbury Circus - November 7th, 2017

Selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for January/February 2018
Sunday Times Bestseller
Winner of the British Book Awards Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year

Winner of the Jhalak Prize

"This is a book that was begging to be written . . . Essential." --Marlon James

So You Want to Talk About Race Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580056779
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Published: Seal Press - January 16th, 2018

In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a revelatory examination of race in America

Protests against racial injustice and white supremacy have galvanized millions around the world. The stakes for transformative conversations about race could not be higher.

A Promise And A Way Of Life: White Antiracist Activism Cover Image
ISBN: 9780816636341
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Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - August 7th, 2001

The first in-depth look at white people’s activism in fighting racism during the past fifty years.

Not since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, when many white college students went south to fight against Jim Crow laws, has white antiracist activity held the public’s attention. Yet there have always been white people involved in fighting racism.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807047415
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Published: Beacon Press - June 26th, 2018

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

What Does It Mean to Be White?; Developing White Racial Literacy (Counterpoints #398) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781433111150
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Published: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publi - May 30th, 2012

What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? In the face of pervasive racial inequality and segregation, most whites cannot answer that question.