Examining Race and Ethnicity from a Social Science Perspective:
"Two Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage" by Leslie Picca and Joe Feagin
"So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo
"Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach" by Tanya Golash Boza
"White Rage; the Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide" by Carol Anderson
"Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You," by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press. (Legal scholar analyzes the ways in which incarceration of African Americans enables further discrimination and reproduction of racial disparities, creating what Alexander notes is a “caste-like system” in U.S. society.) – available through the CSB/SJU library as an e-book
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2006. Racism without Racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. (Sociologist analyzes the ways in which colorblind ideology functions as a new form of racism.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Chavez, Leo. 2013. The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. (Linguistic anthropology exploration of the ways in which Latinx communities are racialized amid a charged political moment.) – available through the CSB/SJU library as an e-book
DiAngelo, Robin. 2018. White fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press. (DiAngelo writes for a specific audience—white, Euro-Americans who have been exposed to the common ideology of colorblindness. She analyzes how colorblindness is damaging, the challenges of recognizing white privilege, and why discussing race is often hard for Euro-Americans to discuss.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Graves, Joseph. 2004. The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America. Plume Publishers. (Evolutionary biologist walks readers through the fallacy of biological arguments surrounding race, documenting how race is a social construct.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Hill, Jane. 2008. The Everyday Language of White Racism. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. (Linguistic anthropologist analyzes the ways in which language and our use of language covertly sends racial messages and reproduces racism in the U.S.) – available through the CSB/SJU library as an e-book
Houston, James D. (Author), Eddie Kamae (Author) Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae. by Hardcover: 280 pages. Publisher: 'Ai Pohaku Press; First Edition edition (January 31, 2013).
Hurston, Zora Neale. 2018. Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. (Oral history of Cudjo Lewis, who was enslaved and was on the last ship carrying enslaved Africans to the U.S.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Kendi, Ibram. 2019. How to Be an Antiracist. One World Press. (Kendi’s most recent book is not a primer with how-to steps for antiracism, but rather, Kendi pens an insightful volume analyzing the experience and implications of racism in the 21st Century, highlighting the challenges those committed to antiracism face.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Lippi-Green, Rosina. 1997. English with an accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. Psychology Press. (Linguistic anthropologist analyzes the ways in which our ideas about language use impact the ways we see and interact with other individuals across different communities of practice.) – available through the CSB/SJU library as an e-book
Moua, Mai Neng. Bamboo Among the Oaks. Contemporary Writing by Hmong Americans. 2002. Minnesota Historical Society Press. A great variety of poems, short stories, and essays, written by Hmong Americans from Minnesota. Reveals the richness, the beauty, and the struggles of being first generation and learning to negotiate and balance two very different cultures.
Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Paperback: 464 pages Publisher: Broadway Books (August 10, 2004).
Obama, Michelle. Becoming. 2018. A must read! A great sense view into growing up on Chicago’s southside, and a celebration of strong black families which the media rarely provides. And a wonderful vision of what we as a society COULD be if we unite and work together.
Peltier, Leonard. Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance, Harvey Arden (Editor), Chief Arvol Looking Horse (Introduction), & 1 more Paperback: 272 pages Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (June 16, 2000).
Razor, Peter. While the Locust Slept. A memoir. 2001. Minnesota Historical Society Press: Native Voices Series. Peter was orphaned and raised as a ward of the state in an institution in Owatonna. As a freshman in high school, he was given to a farmer who used him as slave labor. An interesting and important look into our Minnesota not-too-distant past.
Rios, Victor. Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. (RIOS) 2011. New York: New York University Press. Rios grew up in Oakland, CA, and returns to do this ethnographic study of young black and Latino males. He shows in clear and convincing ways how these boys from early elementary school are policed and their behavior is criminalized. The boys are caught if a no-win situation. Powerfully written with excellent examples to illustrate his positions and conceptual framework.
Shin, Sun Yung. 2016. A Good Time for Truth: Race in Minnesota. Minneapolis: Minnesota Historical Society Press. (First-person accounts by writers on their experiences of race in Minnesota.) – available through the CSB/SJU library
Solomon, Rivers. An Unkindness of Ghosts. 2017. Brooklyn: AKASHIC. A fascinating read. Story takes place on a huge spaceship after the earth has basically been wasted. Unfortunately, racism and classism accompany them on the journey. "Harrowing and beautiful, this is Science Fiction at its best: showing the possible future but warning of the danger of bringing old prejudices and cruelties to that new world. While a story about enslaved people in space could be a one-note polemic, the fully rounded characters bring nuance and genuine pathos to this amazing debut." --Library Journal, Starred Review
Sotomayor, Sonia (Author). My Beloved World. Paperback: 432 pages Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 7, 2014).
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. 2014. New York: Spiegel and Grau. Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL and is a professor of Law at NYU Law School. This book tells the stories of a number of the cases he tried, appeals on behalf of people who were innocent but sentenced because of their race and the need for local authorities to punish someone. Stevenson also has won some major cases before the Supreme Court… and shares some stories of the prejudice he himself has experienced in his professional life. Clearly written—and while these are all actual cases, it reads as easily as fiction….
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. 2017. Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?: And other conversations about race. Basic Books. (Tatum lays out the distinctions between racism and prejudice, and discusses racial identity within the larger societal structures that help shape us.) – available through the CSB/SJU library as an e-book
Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas. New York: Harper Collins. A young adult novel, but powerful and providing tremendous insight into what life is like for young persons straddling two worlds—their own neighborhood and black culture—while going to school in a more affluent community where they are among the only students of color… Also extremely relevant as the main character’s friend is shot by a police officer after being stopped for “driving while black.” The police officer is exonerated, and a demonstration turns violent. Extremely powerful and well-written.
Tonry, Michael. Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma. 2012. New York: Oxford University Press. (recommended for those interested in policy issues or race relations. And for those planning on graduate studies in Sociology, Public Policy, or Criminal Justice). Tonry traces the history of criminal justice policies and practices that persist and so greatly impact black males. He attempts to explain why a third of black men born in 2001 will be convicted and spend time in prison, why blacks are much more likely to be stopped by police, arrested and convicted than whites. This book examines the trends, their causes, and proposes the kinds of changes in policy and practice that are essential if we are to correct this pattern of differential law enforcement.
Urrea, Luis Alberto. Into the Beautiful North. 2010. A captivating novel of a group of young Mexicans who develop a mission to go north in order to recruit help to free their village of the gangs and violence that is taking over. An interesting look at the forces behind much of the immigration from Latin America---and the challenges migrants face when they get to the States.
Wade, Peter. 2015. Race: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. (Textbook outlining a history of anthropological approaches to race and ethnicity. Cross-cultural case studies of racial norms and their implications are detailed in the text.)
Yang, Kao Kalia. The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir. Paperback: 277 pages Publisher: Coffee House Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2008).
Articles and Chapters
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. 2014. "The Case for Reparations." The Atlantic 313(5): 54-71. (Coates offers a succinct analysis of the ways in which slavery, Jim Crow, and legal segregation underpin the incredible structural disparities that remain present to this day.) Available online in written and audio format at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/.
Haney-López, Ian. 1998. “Chance, Context, Choice in the Social Construction of Race.” In The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, Delgado, Richard, and Jean Stefanic, eds. NYU Press. (Legal scholar outlines a framework for understanding how race is a social construct and the complexities of how individuals engage with their racial identities within broad societal norms and understandings).
McIntosh, Peggy. 1988. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. (While dated, this classic article challenges readers, particularly white, Euro-Americans, to recognize the daily privileges associated with whiteness.)
NPR’s Codeswitch – a half-hour weekly discussion of current topics addressing race and ethnicity. The show regularly interviews social scientists and journalists about their research. Back episodes include a wealth of topics and interviews.
NPR’s Latino USA – biweekly news on cultural, political, and social ideas impacting Latinx communities and the nation.
Short Videos, Audio Interviews, Ted Talks
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. The danger of a single story.
Alexander, Michelle. The future of race in America. TEDxColumbus
Baugh, John. 2019. The Significance of Linguistic Profiling. Ted Talk (18 mins). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjFtIg-nLAA (Sociolinguist discusses how linguistic distinctions provide the basis for an often-overlooked form of discriminatory profiling.)
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Case for Reparations. The Atlantic.
Demby, Gene. 2018. Housing Segregation and Redlining in America: A Short History. NPR (7 mins). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5FBJyqfoLM&feature=emb_logo
Kendi, Ibram. 2020. The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist (50 mins). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCxbl5QgFZw
PBS’s Race: The Power of an Illusion (2003) This three-episode series examines how race is understood in the U.S., details the evidence against race as a biological concept, and explains how racial disparity is reproduced in society. All episodes are available to stream through the CSB/SJU library.
PBS’s Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (2009) This 6-part series analyzes the roots of health inequalities and how they affect diverse racial, ethnic, migrant, and indigenous communities in the U.S. The DVDs are available at the CSB/SJU library.
13th – by Ava DuVerney (2016), available via Netflix. The film considers the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States in an analysis of the implications of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. DuVerney’s documentary features numerous interviews with academics, politicians, and activists.
“A Hard Straight”: a look at the challenges for those who have gotten caught up in the correctional system… and how impossible the system makes it for people to succeed once released on probation.
“Voices from Inside”: A look inside a federal women’s prison and the talented, wonderful women who have gotten caught in the system and are serving time there… the impact on these women, on their children, and their futures… One of my favorite documentaries—extremely well-done, providing an opportunity to again see the systemic racism at work in our society. We don’t often hear much about the WOMEN who get caught up in the system, so it’s good to hear their stories.
Understanding Race: project produced by the American Anthropological Association featuring information, videos, interactive quizzes, and readings detailing the many ways anthropologists have approached race. Available online: https://www.understandingrace.org/
Racial Dot Map: data drawn from the 2010 Census, enabling visualization of ongoing racial segregation. Image Copyright, 2013, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia (Dustin A. Cable, creator). Available online: https://demographics.coopercenter.org/racial-dot-map
Structural Racism in America (Urban Institute): https://www.urban.org/features/structural-racism-america