Thursday, April 22, 2010

try to learn about racism from PoC who haven't volunteered to educate them, while ignoring the vast amount of literature PoC have voluntarily written on the subject

This is a guest post by Belinda, who writes of herself, "I'm a white, early-20s person from Australia, working, studying, and moving between Sydney, Melbourne and London. I lurk around swpd without saying too much, but I'd like to be able to say more."


I nominate my own behaviour here. Repeatedly on this blog, and all too often in real life, PoC are requested to, or feel compelled to, school ignorant WP on topics of racism and privilege. Just how obnoxious and exhausting that kind of work can be has been discussed a lot on this blog, and on others.

It seems to me the irony and insult of that dynamic is that so many PoC, now and throughout history, have already written and published extensively on the topic. These writers have effectively volunteered to educate white people, or to share their experiences of racism, or to further the ideas, language, and dialogue needed to combat racial privilege and disadvantage. These authors are academics, activists, historians, journalists, artists, etc, etc. There is a vast body of work out there. (macon has covered a related topic here -- about PoC who understand and write on whiteness, but don't get much credit for it).

How many white people here have bothered to read any books written about racism and privilege by non-white authors? Or even by white authors?

I know I haven't read many at all. While I think swpd and other blogs about race are invaluable for learning, as they allow communication between people who otherwise would never interact, I feel they are best used in addition to other resources (including real-life communication and conversation). I can only speak for myself, but I feel much more confident when speaking up or acting about something when I feel I have a strong understanding of it.

I'd love to know if anyone can suggest authors or books they have read that are relevant to topics discussed on this blog. While I am building up a long, long reading list of my own that I'm slowly getting through (before anyone says it, yes, I know how to use Google -- and my local library ), I guess I'm asking for anything that anyone has read that has had a profound or changing effect on them, or that any PoC have felt a strong identification with. Or that are just illuminating or educating. Anything from university subject readers to poetry.

I know a lot of people in general like to read books that family, friends, or others recommend to them, not out of laziness I think, but out of a sense of sharing. I like reading things that I know have touched others.

I'd love to hear any suggestions, especially as this is an international collective of people (I'm from Australia). Perhaps it could end up being a good newbie resource too?

49 comments:

  1. I would suggest Franz Fanon Black Skin, White Mask. It is not the easiest to read because of the psychoanalytical language. However, it is well worth the read to understand double consciousness and other "mindsets" of those that were colonized,
    and how these mindsets very well carry themselves through today.

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  2. "The Post-Colonial Studies Reader", edited by Ashcroft, Griffith, and Tiffin

    "Black Feminist Thought" by Patricia Hill Collins

    anything by Cheikh Anta Diop

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  3. authors such as Cornel West, Chinua Achebe, Isabel Allende, Bebe Moore Campbell, Stephen L. Carter, Pearl Cleage ...

    It's good to read writers who are writing non-fiction explicitly to explain, educate, or deconstruct racism, white privilege, and so on. You'll get lots of recommendations here and in the syllabi of courses on anti-racism etc for those authors.

    AND it's also good, in my experience, to read writers who are PoC from my home country, and also writers who are from countries and cultures other than so-called mainstream white America/Britain.

    Especially when an author is writing about places, people and situations that are familiar to me, but from a viewpoint different from the white authors I've already read, I find that I learn a great deal about the underlying, constant background noise of institutional racism from what appears in fiction by someone whose viewpoint might be demographically so similar to mine ... except for race.

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  4. "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to Present" by Harriet A. Washington.

    "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

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  5. I'm currently reading and enjoying The N Word, by Jabari Asim. It's sort of a history of the treatment of black people in the U.S., centered around the use of the n-word. I've found it to be an interesting treatise on how and why language matters, while also giving a good overview of white ideas about black people through different eras. It brings up a lot of really ugly things, and at times has made me really angry. It's written in a very approachable manner. One reviewer describes it as such "Essentially, this 400-year chronology is an exhaustive history of white supremacist ideology."

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  6. And lets not forget the many blogs in the Blackosphere which talk about the subject on an almost daily basis.

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  7. Doris Seale and Beverly Slapin (eds.), A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children

    bell hooks, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

    Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America

    Jacquelyn Grant, White Women's Christ, Black Women's Jesus
    (Christian, obviously)

    Maria Pilar Aquino (ed.), A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology
    (mostly Christian, mostly theology, but not entirely)

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  8. This is an older post with some more book suggestions:

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2009/09/fail-to-see-how-colonialism-still.html

    If anyone has to ask why colonialism is coming up...you can read that post before you get to the books.

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  9. B, said...
    "How many white people here have bothered to read any books written about racism and privilege by non-white authors? Or even by white authors? I know I haven't read many at all. While I think swpd and other blogs about race are invaluable for learning, as they allow communication between people who otherwise would never interact, I feel they are best used in addition to other resources (including real-life communication and conversation). I can only speak for myself, but I feel much more confident when speaking up or acting about something when I feel I have a strong understanding of it."

    I think sometimes if given the choice to read about race- whites are commonly drawn towards the informed, rational insight they presume can only come from another white person. A safe- scholarly assessment of the race problem that’s non-threatening, simply because the narrative is coming from one of their own. I’m not sure how many whites have read from Frederick Douglass- Dubois, Baldwin; or first-hand accounts from the Slave Narratives, for fear of that guilt monster rearing its ugly head. However, sometimes guilt can be a good thing- a motivator- a way of cutting through the bull to get to the corporeal- substantive issues that precludes some whites from seeing the obvious.

    Tim Wise has a lot to say on the subject of race, what with his statistical data- cited studies and third-person accounts, as does Andrew Hacker, but neither are black. If you’re looking for theory- data analysis or white opinions on race then yes- opt for a white author. However, if you’re seeking first-hand accounts from the eyes of the oppressed- endured under the yoke of white supremacy, then reach for a non-white essayist. Their collective experiences can be far more valuable- their personal knowledge of whites far more intimate and veritable than anything whites would pen about themselves. White authors serve up observations on race filtered (however unintentionally) through a white lens. While a black author’s experience may be visceral/emotional and hence more adept at cutting through superficial layers clear to the bone. It’s simply a different perspective on how things are- “but different does not mean deficient- it simply means different.”

    I would recommend, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America: By Lerone Bennett Jr.. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films: by Donald Bogle. The Black Book: by Middleton A. Harris, Ernest Smith, Morris Levitt, and Roger Furman. And, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: By Frederick Douglass. A good movie to watch would be, The Learning Tree, directed by Gordon Parks.

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  10. I was thinking along similar lines about the need for WP to learn basic facts about the history of European conquest of America (and elsewhere) and how that led to the creation of current hierarchies so they can understand why these structures exist and how they work. Also about the history of struggle of oppressed people against white supremacy and the counter-struggles of whites to re-create hierarchies. It's important to see that oppressed people fought back. They might have lost, but they didn't go down without a struggle. (This challenges a common unstated White idea that POC in the past somehow acquiesced to their domination.) Other people are posting lots of good stuff, so I'll see later if I have ideas for specific books to add that haven't already been named.

    I also think it is very important for WP to read widely in things written by POC to see a diversity of points of view and experiences. Both academic/theoretical works and also everyday literary and genre fiction that often isn't "about racism" but is written from inside a POC point of view where POC are normal people doing normal things and WP are either absent or "the other."

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  11. I am white, and I have read most of Baldwin's novels and all of the non-fiction - not as a class assignment but because I tried one novel and got hooked.

    Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye might be a good place to start.

    It might be pertinent to read indigenous authors - I don't know a whole lot about OZ fiction, and even less about indigenous authors from OZ. Memoirs also might be a source, as would be poetry.

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  12. I've personally read some books by black authors that describe the mental and emotional conditioning of African Americans. White anti-racists, in my opinion, should read about the effects and conditions of blacks under white supremacist rule for centuries to better understand the thinking, behaviors, and actions of blacks. Here are some book that I would recommend:

    Why Are So Many Black Men in Prison

    Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting

    Black Rage

    Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

    Brainwashed

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  13. @ThePearl
    The book I'm reading at the moment is The Wretched Of The Earth by Frantz Fanon, and definitely will be reading more from him, thanks for the recommend.

    The next is Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks (@willow and after that Ain't I A Woman).

    @MonicaRoberts - no, definitely not meaning to detract from any blogs/bloggers at all. I don't think a person has to write a book to have their opinions and experiences heard or considered "valid".

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  14. I really liked Frank Wu's Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White because as an Asian-American, I feel like mainstream conversations about race tend to ignore us, and it was refreshing to find a nice 101-type book that talks about the Asian-American struggle with racial and ethnic identification.

    Beverly Tatum is also way past awesome; I found Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? really accessible and generally point folks toward it as a good place to begin learning anti-racism.

    I'm also typically a fan of personal narratives told/written by poc that describe their own struggles with race and racism. Though throwing too many of them at a new-to-anti-racism person runs the risk of them missing the forest for the trees, and failing to perhaps grasp the more engrossing nature of systemic racism, I feel like those narratives have more hole-punching power in people's paradigms. Especially if you hear/read a lot of them, because then it becomes difficult to write it off as "just a bunch of angry people of colour" - once you begin to see the pattern, you can't help but see it everywhere you look.

    The trouble with those narratives is that, as you've pointed out, sharing them and embracing that vulnerability can come at a terrible cost for the person of colour, particularly if the stories are being shared between two people over coffee as opposed to an author and a reader - there's risk involved, and the reward doesn't always offset it.

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  15. I'd like to second the suggestions of Yellow by Frank Wu and Why Are All the Black Kids . . . by Beverly Tatum, along with mentioning Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.

    Another book that has black and white co-authors is Einstein on Race and Racism, which shows how "history" has whitewashed what we learn about a famous white man who spoke out against racial injustice.

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  16. One of the best books I read in a long time is Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It is more about the perceptive subconscious and its effects on human behavior. His style of writing harmonized with my thought process- his style is kind of circular. Gladwell’s vocab is tremendous; if you are/were not an English major keep Dictionary.com bookmarked. He does site research and statistical data, and his work is heavily footnoted; his footnotes are definitely worth reading and offer some really interesting information.

    I would recommend this for a beginning place for those new to this work. It will give you a frame to access the information garnered from of the antiracist works mentioned here.

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  17. Ida: A Sword Among Lions
    Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America
    http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

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  18. Forever a StudentApril 23, 2010 at 3:38 AM

    *Anything by the late Dr. Ronald Takaki

    *Professor Derrick Bell:
    "Race, Racism, and American Law" -- One of the best.
    "The Price of Racial Remedies"

    *Dr. Patricia Hill Collins:
    "Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment"

    *Dr. Dalton Conley:
    "Being Black, Living in the Red" --
    On the economics of family wealth, class, and racial disparities.

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  19. Studs Terkel's _Race_ might be worth looking at. It tells stories about how race is perceived from multiple sides, which I think is probably worthwhile. Heck, anything Terkel did is worth reading - I had to read _The Good War_ for a history class way back in uni and have tried to track down all his stuff since. If you're not familiar, he's (sorry, was) an 'oral historian' - he'd go out and interview hundreds of people about a particular topic, and print their collective stories. Great, great stuff.

    And +1 for Baldwin's essays.

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  20. It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions that Get Under the Skin of Blacks and Whites by Lena Williams.

    Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel.

    Afraid of the Dark: What Whites and Blacks Need to Know about Each Other by Jim Myers.

    "Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD.

    Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

    I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World, A Guide for Parents and Teachers by Marguerite A. Wright.

    Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America by Nathan McCall.

    Growing up Ethnic in America, Contemporary Fiction about Learning to Be American, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan.

    Black Skin, White Mask by Franz Fanon.

    They Said I Wasn't Really Black by Aaron Paul Dworkin.

    Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Buyd and Lori L. Tharps.

    Jews and Blacks: A Dialogue on Race, Religion, and Culture in America by Michael Lerner and Cornel West.

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  21. PlusSizedWomanistApril 23, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    "Aint I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism" by bell hooks

    "Black Bodies White Gazes" by George Yancy

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  22. I think a great starting place is "Understanding White Privilege" by Frances Kendall. She is a white woman writing to a white audience on the subject.

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  23. one text that i remember really helping to expand my understanding of deeply rooted racism and colonialist mentalities in our society is "orientalism" by edward said.

    said, along with fanon and memmi, really shaped me in significant ways when i was first wrestling with my whiteness.

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  24. I think people have covered the non-fiction very well. Achebe, hooks, and Fanon are at the top of my list as far as scholarly writing goes. They're integral to understanding the larger implications of colonialism and race-relations.

    I tend to feel a more emotional connection to fiction, though. If you're looking for a more narrative-driven understanding, I would suggest Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon," Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and J.M. Coetzee's Age of Iron or Disgrace. Coetzee is a white South African, but I still think he illuminates aspects of apartheid that are extremely important to understanding white privilege.

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  25. I support all the suggestions on here (I've read many and have at least heard good things about the ones I haven't read).

    I just read Angry Black White Boy by Adam Mansbach (from which, if I'm not mistaken, Macon derives inspiration :-). It's fiction. That book KILLS. It's like a postmodern Invisible Man.

    Also -- and you gotta read this TODAY because it's that good-- read Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil by Inga Muscio. She's the most legit white person alive right now.

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  26. You're not mistaken, Witty Mulatto. I wrote about Mansbach's book way back when.

    If I had to pick just one book to recommend, I think it would be Thandeka's Learning to Be White.

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  27. Going along with other comments that have suggested reading about colonialism/neocolonialism, here are two books that were really insightful:

    "Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino, Famines and the Making of the Third World"
    -Mike Davis

    "The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World"
    -Vijay Prashad

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  28. Audre Lorde:
    - "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name"
    - "Sister Outsider"

    Angela Davis:
    - "Women&Race&Class"
    - "Women&Culture&Politics"

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  29. It will serve you well to examine and find writers within your own local first

    I mean from an aboriginal perspective, in order to examine the up close and personal effect of racism of which there is a huge problem in OZ (a place you spend most of your time)

    The reason I am saying this is because it seems the world has come to see african americans as authorities on racism soo much so that they believe that their story is completely unique, without realising that the black indigenes in your home town have similar and oft times worse stories to tell.

    Look closer to home.

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  30. Could someone explain what OZ is? Sorry that I don't know.

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  31. olderwoman: 'OZ' is 'Aus' is Australia

    re: the article, the call for books is good, but to call humans' apparent inability to read about things an obnoxious white trait is doing everyone a disservice. It is exceedingly rare for people of any kind to read about things first.

    This is why guys in tech support use the acronym RTFM rather than RTM. People in general just do not go to books as a first resort - and that frequently includes those that use 'RTFM'.

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  32. @ ept,

    the call for books is good, but to call humans' apparent inability to read about things an obnoxious white trait is doing everyone a disservice.

    No, it's not doing everyone a disservice. So STFU. And then do everyone a service, by reading this.

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  33. @ept..

    ohhh thou of superior knowledge..guide those who fall short of the glory of your Genius for we read what the original poster said and saw this:

    'How many white people here have bothered to read any books written about racism and privilege by non-white authors? Or even by white authors?'

    In addition, do forgive those of us who have some awareness of tech and know that the abbr: R.T.F.M. was largely passed down from college professors to the future tech support guys and gals.

    Oh profound one. do forgive us, for we know not what we do.

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  34. Great reading list. I have a few to add and a couple of requests. The books I'm listing provide history background for the US with an emphasis on people's struggles against White supremacy. Except as noted, these are written by people who are members of the groups they are writing about.

    Ronald Takaki's Strangers from a Different Shore is an Asian American history that emphasizes the different experiences of each group. Michael Liu, Kim Geron and Tracy Lai's The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism is pretty academic in tone but gives a good account of recent movements.

    Rodolfo Acuna's (that's a tilde n) Occupied America is the standard textbook in Chicano history and is incredibly comprehensive. Carlos Munoz, Jr.'s Youth, Identity, Power is a good history of the Chicano movements of the 1960s-1980s.

    There's a lot of books on the Black Movement. Two older books that I really like are: (1) Aldon Morris's Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, focuses on the SCLC and mass community mobilization through Black churches in the 1950s and early 1960s. (2) Paula Giddings, When and Where I Enter, a history of Black women's movements and agency through the 1980s. There are many, many more.

    I'm reading through the lists, but if people have suggestions of good books on the Black movement since 1980, I'd appreciate it.

    I'm hoping for help on more books by/about Native people to assign to students. I'm trying to find resources that emphasize more recent native movements and politics that are written by tribal members. Books I can recommend to others: A good history book is Return of the Native, by a White academic, Stephen Cornell, who now works closely with many tribes on promoting sovereignty. Vine DeLoria has written a lot of books, and I've used both Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties (written in 1985) and Custer Died for Your Sins (written in 1969 and reprinted in 1988). Devan Mihesuah's American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities is a good beginning for WP who are really starting at zero as it addresses common White points of ignorance straight on.

    James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me is probably essential reading for anyone trying to break out of the cultivated ignorance of the standard White supremacist high school social studies curriculum. Loewen is White, I think.

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  35. @ olderwoman,

    Yes, Loewen is white, I've seen him speak a few times (great speaker!). His site is a good resource, especially the part on sundown towns.

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming (i.e., non-white authorial offerings).

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  36. @ept

    Mommela: about as white as they come (Norwegian/Swiss/English heritage); born in Wisconsin; live in Michigan; 46; married to a white man; mother to multi-racial 9-year old daughter; BA-psychology and African American history and literature; MA-humanities with emphasis in AfAm history and lit; MS-historic preservation and museum science.

    I read. I listen. I try to sort it out. I try to take off that "invisible backpack of white privledge" on a daily basis.

    And I know I'm not the only one.

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  37. @ olderwoman,

    Try browsing through the catalog at Oyate.

    Allison Adele Hedge Coke's work in particular is amazing, although I'm not sure it's precisely what you're looking for (i.e. systematic, footnoted, "scholarly" stuff...right?).

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  38. Two good starting places for the Australian indigenous experience are My Place, by Sally Morgan, which is about her search for her family's past (she had grown up not knowing she was aboriginal; several family members were part of the stolen generation); and non-fiction wise, the Bringing The Home report, which is available online as well as in print. It was the government report into what became known as the Stolen Generations and it makes for heartbreaking reading. I list it here because it was not put together by a bunch of bureacrats, but by a collective of Aboriginal activists, writers, and average Joes. Any of Dallas Winmar's plays, especially Aliwa, are also worth picking up.

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  39. I highly recommend The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter, who is a Black woman.

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  40. @soul - yes I definitely agree, I don't mean to overlook any writers from home. I would say the majority of what I've read so far has been local, and I'd like to get some international perspectives as well.

    @Smudge, I read My Place while I was at school and it had a big impact on me. I also remember reading the play Radiance by Louis Nowra at an terribly young age - I think I found a copy my Mum had and just started reading - and being hugely shocked at the content. I can still remember where I was when I read it.

    Blood On The Wattle is one of the best books I've read on the original atrocities visited on the Aboriginal people the early years after white invasion. Truly harrowing and unlike anything I learnt about in school history lessons.

    Lighting the Way: Reconciliation Stories by Dianne Johnson, is about both the past and future of reconciliation in Australia and gives you a real sense of optimism for moving forward.

    Mabo, Wik and Native Title by Butt, Lane and Eagleson is also a good one for information about native title decisions and implications.

    Lines in the Sand: The Cronulla Riots, Multiculturalism and National Belonging, and Faces of Hate: Hate Crime in Australia are both good beyond Aboriginal issues
    to wider trends of racism in Australia.

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far everyone.

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  41. I would suggest bell hooks and Frantz Fanon.

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  42. Is this the one? Bringing Them Home [Smudge]

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  43. Jose Nicholas, The Literature of Australia: definitive collection of poetry, songs, native law, first-hand accounts, travel letters, etc from the colonial period onward. Amazing amount of Aboriginal writing in addition to white lit that exposes the racial, political and cultural issues in a settler nation through primary documents.

    Dionne Brand's Thirsty: non-fiction/fiction/poetry inspired by the true story of an unarmed black man being shot by police; provides insight into black and immigrant communities in Canada

    Aimé Césaire's Notebook of a Return to the Native Land: race, class, poetry, polemics and some of the most cutting diction I've ever encountered.

    Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Non-fiction account of the history of (the denial of) reproductive rights to Black Americans, and how white culture operates on the black body.

    John Howard, Concentration Camps on the Home Front: sweeping account of Japanese-American internment; provides a history of anti-japanese sentiment and racism from late 19th century onward.

    Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi: autobiographical account of the Civil Rights Movement and Jim Crow era racism. While I had problems with the tone and composition of this book, its presentation of a wide array of ideals and viewpoints that shaped the Civil Rights Movement make the novel a sort of counter-discourse to the idea of the Movement as a monolithic event with a single viewpoint and goal. Also, the book does a good amount of showing racial hierarchies in the South, though there is a bit of victim blaming that doesn't tend to address the cause of racial hierarchies, i.e. white society at large.

    W.E.B. Dubois's Souls of Black Folk blew my mind at 17, and still continues to do so.

    Someone already put The Post-Colonial Studies Reader, but this text is truly a guidebook to shattering the white canon and looking at issues of race, representation, ethnicity and any number of issues across societies. Also, it's been invaluable in helping me better articulate ideas about race and culture. It's importance cannot be overstated.

    Thanks everyone for coming up with so many awesome titles! I have a list to get me to 2011 now.

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  44. @Fromthetropics That's the one! Excellent reading. It was an insanely important document and details one of the worst parts of our past (and outlines the causes behind many of the things the indigenous and wider community currently struggle with). If you're going to go on to do further reading on the Stolen Generation and indigenous Australia, its an important starting step.

    It also demonstrates that a government department is capabable produce reading material that won't put you to sleep in five minutes.

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  45. Creating a reading list is a great idea. The vast amount of literature actually makes it more intimidating: the more there is to read, the harder it is to figure out where to start. I hope you'll collect them into a separate post when you're done.

    I'd also like to see a "start here" sub-list of books that explain institutional racism & privilege in accessible language.

    I think it's important to read narrative, personal accounts as well, but I don't think you get the same lessons until you are introduced to the idea of institutional racism. I thought I was reading about acts of individual prejudice (albeit lots of them and socially-sanctioned), rather than someone's experience of institutionalized racism. So the lesson I got was "don't behave like that", not "there are fundamental structural inequalities in our society that need fixing".

    Speaking of Jim's recommendation for Edward Said's "Orientalism", the Media Education Foundation has a few lectures by him, as well as Bell Hooks, Tim Wise, and Stuart Hall:
    http://www.mediaed.org

    (Don't let the prices scare you: they list the college prices, but they also offer discounted versions for people buying it for their own home use. You don't see that price until you create an account, but they're usually $20 per DVD. And you can watch a full-length preview online if you're not sure it's what you want.)

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  46. This is from a slightly different perspective, as it focuses on race in South America rather than in North America but I really love the book Race and Ethnicity in Latin America by Peter Wade and I thin its an excellent intro to that topic.

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  47. In honor of messing with Texas (and Arizona, and the rest of the U.S.):

    Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States

    James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me

    Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492-Present

    James Loewen, Sundown Towns

    Andrea Smith, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide

    Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America

    Sumbul Ali-Karamali, The Muslim Next Door: The Qur'an, the Media, and That Veil Thing

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  48. I can't recommend a book, but if there's one piece of storytelling that can make the unassuming audience confront its own racism, District 9 is it. I have a lot of racist tendencies that I never realized - or at least acknowledged - before seeing that film, and when I did see it it was a huge eye-opener. Not only did it make me realize that I am less openminded/infallible than I thought, but it fostered in me a curiosity - or, if you will, a craving to learn more about ongoing racism and the effects that it continues to have, even in "developed" societies.

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  49. This is a great resource! I hope some professors out there are taking note, as well as us folks on the street.

    I'm white with a biracial, African American sister so I had a certain amount of education, growing up, on racism by observing her experience (and how it differed from mine).

    I'm one of those people who learns best through story. I don't do well with political treatises or even "idea" books, no matter how well written or passionate they are. Some books that have helped me educate myself on the African American experience are...

    James Baldwin's work, for sure ... Go Tell It On the Mountain... but also

    A Taste of Power by Elaine Brown, who led the Black Panthers in Oakland for a period, and..

    Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton.

    Newton certainly had his problems but he was an amazingly smart & sensitive man. His book gave me shocking insight into the US prison system, the justice system, and how the media can skew stories.

    All of those books are also just plain 'good reads.' Enjoy & learn.

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