The library collection includes many titles on anti-racism.  We have compiled reading lists to share on this timely and important topic. This week, we’re featuring adult non-fiction.  We’ll be featuring more of these lists in the coming weeks, including fiction titles for adults and books for youth.  Please click on the title to reserve a copy of the book in our catalog.

How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it.” Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism re-energizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America — but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.

Just Mercy: a story of justice and redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

Jim Crow capital: women and Black freedom struggles in Washington, D.C., 1920-1945 by Mary-Elizabeth B. Murphy

The women will be factors in the present campaign : women’s national politics in the 1920s — The eyes of the world are upon us : the politics of lynching — Make Washington safe for negro womanhood : the politics of police brutality — Women riot for jobs : the politics of economic justice — Washington needs the vote : women’s campaigns for civil rights in the 1930s — Jim Crow must go : civil rights struggles during World War II

Biased: uncovering the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think, and do  by Jennifer L. Eberhardt

The fire this time: A new generation speaks about race by Jesmyn Ward

National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time.

White flights: Race, fiction, and the American imagination by Jess Row

White Flights is a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. At the heart of the book, Jess Row ties “white flight”the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes, from the mountains of Idaho in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping to the claustrophobic households in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Row uses brilliant close readings of work from well-known writers such as Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford, and David Foster Wallace to examine the ways these and other writers have sought imaginative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race.

Citizen: an American lyric by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s bold new 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.