Saturday, June 27, 2020

Summer Reading, with Purpose

            The last three months have challenged us in ways we never could have imagined, and we know that the work is not done. Our public health crisis is still with us, as is the social crisis of race relations in America. Many educators, students and citizens are taking time this summer to read books about race. We read these books not simply to know more, but to have the knowledge and perspective needed to influence our actions in pursuit of a more just world.
            There are a lot of books to read, and here are a few I’ve read that are well worth recommending. So many more are out there beyond this list, and I hope you find time to read and continue the dialogue.

            Nonfiction for the Moment
            The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
            Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
            The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
            The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
            Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
            Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
            How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
            White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
            The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
            Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
            The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
            These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes
            Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
            Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele
            Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow
            Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
            Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi
            The journalism of Nikole Hannah-Jones, including The 1619 Project, her New York Times Magazine and This American Life pieces on school integration & segregation, and her story in this week’s New York Times Magazine
            “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
            “The History that James Baldwin Wanted America to See,” by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
            The social commentary inside the arts criticism of Wesley Morris, including this piece
            The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
            The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
            The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
            Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
So many works by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, August Wilson, James McBride, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Wright, and Alice Walker, to name a few

Books on My Summer Reading List
Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
Begin Again : James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
            Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life by Howard Steven Friedman

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