Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority by Tim Wise
White Americans have long been comfortable in the assumption that they are the cultural norm. Now that notion is being challenged, as white people wrestle with what it means to be part of a fast-changing, truly multicultural nation. Facing chronic economic insecurity, a popular culture that reflects the nation's diverse cultural reality, a future in which they will no longer constitute the majority of the population, and with a black president in the White House, whites are growing anxious.
We Can’t Talk about That at Work! By Mary-Frances Winters
Conversations about taboo topics, such as race, gender, and religion, happen at work every day and if they aren't handled effectively, they can become polarizing and divisive, impacting productivity, engagement, retention, teamwork, and even employees' sense of safety in the workplace. These conversations, when viewed as necessary and manageable rather than avoidable and tense, are also ground zero for impacting lasting change. The bottom line is that we need to talk about this at work in moving toward a world that works for all. So how can we ensure that they are productive rather than divisive?
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This New York Times #1 bestselling book, published in July of 2015, is a thought-provoking and emotional analysis of what it means to a Black person in America. Using history and personal narratives, Coates pulls many emotions out of the reader and paints a poignant picture of how race can permeate so many facets of one’s life. For anyone hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of Black people in America, and particularly the Black man, this is an excellent place to start.
The Latino Threat by Leo R. Chavez
This 2008 book examines the perceptions of immigrants in the United States, as well as the politics surrounding immigration. Chavez assesses many of the Latino stereotypes focusing particularly on Mexicans and how they are depicted in the media. Through the analysis of history and politics, the author offers an excellent breakdown of how the narratives around this group impact policies and the national conversation. This is an excellent book to help you challenge your beliefs and understanding of American immigration and learn more about the experiences of those directly impacted by these policies.
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald. Written in 2016, this book examines the implicit biases that each person has, dubbed by the authors as one’s “blindspot.” The authors discuss the Implicit Association Test, one of the most popular tools to measure one’s unconscious or implicit bias. Through a scientific and heavily research lens, Banaji and Greenwald discuss what causes us to have blindspots and how we can overcome our personal biases and adapt our beliefs and behaviors. For anyone hoping to learn more about the underlying causes of our bias as well as some effective strategies to address these biases, this book is a great resource.
No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement by Joseph P. Shapiro
Despite being published over 20 years ago, this 1994 book is a great resource to help readers better understand the experiences of those who are differently-abled. Shapiro draws on history to help the reader better grasp the experiences of those with different disabilities. This book is timeless and relevant, particularly in this day and age when such a huge portion of the working population experiences physical or mental impairments, which can impact the workplace experiences. For anyone hoping to gain more insight into what differently-able people experience, this book is essential.
American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear by Khaled A. Beydoun. In this book, Beydoun examines the impact of recent historical events and how these events have shaped the public’s perception about Muslims in America. Some of the topics the author discusses include the “war on terror” and the Islamophobia that is pervasive in America. Readers gain deeper insight into the experiences of Muslims in America and how the media has heavily shaped the narrative about this group. Published in 2018, Beydoun discusses how some policies of the current Presidential administration have impacted Muslims and what effects specific terms and rhetoric have on perceptions. This book makes an excellent gift for anyone striving to better understand the Muslim experience in America.
This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite
Applewhite shares her journey and experiences with ageism and looks at specific stereotypes that American society holds about older individuals. The author examines different aspects of ageism including ageism in the workplace and in relation to our health, while sharing the history of ageism in our society. By the end of the book, readers will have a better understanding of age discrimination and will be able to assess personal beliefs that may have contributed to ageism in and out of the workplace. Using humor, Applewhite is able to craft a compelling case for how we can combat our ageist beliefs.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Most people will tell you that racism is all about hatred and ignorance. In How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi's follow-up to his National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, he explains that racism is ultimately structural. Racism directs attention away from harmful, inequitable policies and turns that attention on the people harmed by those policies. Kendi employs history, science, and ethics to describe different forms of racism; at the same time, he follows the events and experiences of his own life, adapting a memoir approach that personalizes his arguments. Kendi's title encompasses his main thesis: simply not being racist isn't enough. We must actively choose to be "antiracist," working to undo racism and its component polices in order to build an equitable society.
Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu
In this 2003 book, Frank Wu discusses the unique experiences of Asian-Americans and considers the ever-evolving issues surrounding globalization, immigration and affirmative action. This book examines Asian-American stereotypes and Wu dives into the concept of the model minority, while also analyzing the role that history has played in these stereotypes and perceptions. Using personal narratives and research, Wu shares informative insights into the Asian-American experience; this will be an eye-opening read for many.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways., as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.
A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota edited by Sun Yung Shin
In this provocative book, sixteen of Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers a splendid gift: the gift of touching another human being’s inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships.
Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities. As its authors confront and consider the realities that lie beneath the numbers, this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin
This book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
What Does Justice Look Like? By Waziyatawin
During the past 150 years, the majority of Minnesotans have not acknowledged the immense and ongoing harms suffered by the Dakota People ever since their homelands were invaded over 200 years ago. This book explores how we can embark on a path of transformation on the way to respectful coexistence with those whose ancestral homeland this is. Doing justice is central to this process. Written by Wahpetunwan Dakota scholar and activist Waziyatawin of Pezihutazizi Otunwe, What Does Justice Look Like? offers an opportunity now and for future generations to learn the long-untold history and what it has meant for the Dakota People. On that basis, the book offers the further opportunity to explore what we can do between us as Peoples to reverse the patterns of genocide and oppression, and instead to do justice with a depth of good faith, commitment, and action that would be genuinely new for Native and non-Native relations.