If you saw the books on my nightstand you would definitely know that I love to read. I don’t sway toward one genre, or fiction versus nonfiction. I love it all!
There is something about reading and ingesting the words that makes me so happy. It’s partly the knowledge I learn combined with the satisfaction I receive from completing the book and getting to the “end”. (Although there are many books that I have read in the past that I didn’t want to end because they were that good!)
Current events have brought to light some new reading material that I have added to the mix. Check out the handful below that I highly recommend. Some of them I am currently reading and some have come highly recommended and piqued my interest.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
I am about 3/4 the way through White Fragility. This book makes you think in retrospective and present-day about how racism has been a part of our lives in sometimes secretive or “quiet” ways. It’s really helping me to educate myself and arming myself with the knowledge to be a part of the solution.
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell
I purchased copies for each of my family members and am looking forward to digging in deep with them! This Book is Anti-Racist is touted to help us gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it.
Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. For ages 10 and up.
Seven Sisters and a Brother by Joyce Frisby Baynes
You’ll be inspired by this true story of a 1969 sit-in by students at Swarthmore College to demand a Black Studies curriculum, among other changes. Told by the students themselves, it is an inspiring tale of peaceful protest — and the powerful way a group of people can unite to effect change.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Me and White Supremacy is a call to action for anyone looking to help be a part of change. This book prompts readers to reflect on and determine what they can do to confront their biases and dismantle racism. It seeks to act as a bridge from awareness to action. Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert praised it, saying, “America needed this book yesterday. In fact, America has always needed this book.”
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele
Whistling Vivaldi was recommended to me by my sister and has become our first “sister book club book”. Jami learned about this book at a recent Human Resources seminar. I am looking forward to Steele’s conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.