17 Books On Race Every White Person Needs To Read

Despite years of talk about living in a post-racial America, this weekend's violence at the Charlottesville march was a deadly reminder that racism is still alive and well in the modern day United States — and always has been. With images of torch-bearing, weapon-wielding white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and KKK members filling every television set across the country, it's becoming clear that unless we do something to stop it, the hate and violence emboldened by the current presidential administration will only get worse. A good first step to take? Educating yourself with these books on race all white people should read, because it is up to us to put an end to racism.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
A post-Charlottesville reading list to help explain American white supremacy

In the aftermath of the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this weekend — and all the violence that ensued — a popular response from good white liberals was that #ThisIsNotUs.

In other words: Blatant, violent racism is not a part of the real America. The Charlottesville rally was a perverse aberration, one that the rest of us have no part in.

Read More
PrintJustin Mabee
Washingtonians Process Violence And White Nationalism In Charlottesville, Va.

Over the weekend, supporters of the white nationalist Unite the Right movement gathered to rally in Charlottesville, Va. –a few hours drive from Washington, D.C. The event turned deadly when a driver slammed into the crowd that had gathered to protest the rally, killing one and injuring 19 others. The Saturday rally is one among a growing number of white nationalist rallies in recent months, including at least one in the D.C. region. In the aftermath of the weekend’s terrorism, Kojo explores the history and future of white nationalism in the region.

Read More
Stamped from the Beginning charts the uncomfortable history of American racism

In Between the World and Me (2015), Ta-Nehisi Coates contends that the great question of American history is not whether “Lincoln truly meant ‘government of the people’”, but what America has, from its inception, “taken the political term ‘people’ to actually mean. In 1863, it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. Thus America’s problem is not its betrayal of ‘government of the people’, but the means by which ‘the people’ acquired their names.” Stamped from the Beginning provides a lucid, accessible survey of how “the people” were racialised over 500 years.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
Lincoln's Legacy with Race with Dr. Ibram X .Kendi

We explore Lincoln's legacy with regard to race with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.  Dr. Kendi earned the 2016 National Book Award for his work Stamped from the Beginning:  A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.  We talk about Lincoln's role in the history of racist and anti-racist ideas, Dr. Kendi's book, and about race in America today. 

Read More
ListenJustin Mabee
Rewriting the History of Racist Ideas

While first reading Ibram X. Kendi’s kaleidoscopic and admirably lucidStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas, I had a flashback to my days as a graduate student, during the years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. In particular, I remembered poring over Winthrop D. Jordan’s White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550–1812(1968) in one of my seminars. A second edition of White Over Black was released just five years ago, but in fact the number of historical studies on racist ideas has exploded in the half century since Jordan’s classic was first published. Expanding significantly upon such works, Kendi’s new book is destined to become a must-read for those seeking an accessible introduction to the complex intellectual history of racist ideologies in the United States.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
Even abolitionists don’t emerge unscathed from a fearless, brilliant history of racist thinking spanning 500 years

There are passages in Stamped from the Beginning that could serve as an obituary to the myth of post-racial America; that fanciful and woefully ahistorical delusion that flowered, briefly, during the early months of Barack Obama’s first term. Ibram X Kendi’s new book, written during Obama’s second term, places that moment within a broad and sobering historical context.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
“America Is on Trial”: Historian Ibram X. Kendi on the Failure to Convict Cops Who Kill Black People

As three Chicago police officers face charges for covering up the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, we will look at the cases of Philando Castile, Sam DuBose and Sylville Smith — three black men killed by police officers. In recent weeks, two of the officers were acquitted; one had a mistrial. Our first guest writes, “[I]t is not just police officers who are on trial. America is on trial. Either these deaths are justified, and therefore America is just, or these deaths are unjustified, and America is unjust.” We speak with historian Ibram X. Kendi. His recent book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, is the recipient of the 2016 National Book Award.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
Cops Killing Blacks Has Come to Be Expected

A police officer kills a black person in a show of excessive force and is then acquitted of all charges in a court of law. This sequence of events has played out time and again. It happened twice last week, when a mistrial was declared in the case of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing accused of fatally shooting Sam DuBose during a traffic stop, and when Milwaukee officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown was acquitted of fatally shooting Sylville Smith. It happened again on June 16, when Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting Philando Castile in his car last July, with his girlfriend and her young daughter witnesses to his death.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi