Moving Beyond Racism Coalition: A Community Coalition dedicated to racial and ethnic peace and justice in Wayne County, Ohio

Recommended Books

Waking up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving

For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race From A Privileged Son by Tim Wise

Racial privilege shapes the lives of white Americans in every facet of life, from employment and education to housing and criminal justice. Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise shows that racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits those who are "white like him" – whether or not they're actively racist. Using stories instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a compelling narrative that assesses the magnitude of racial privilege and is at once readable and scholarly, analytical yet accessible.

The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege by Robert Jensen

In The Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that the question whites wanted to ask him was: "How does it feel to be a problem?" In The Heart of Whiteness, Robert Jensen writes that it is time for white people in America to self-consciously reverse the direction of that question and to fully acknowledge that in the racial arena, they are the problem. While some whites would like to think that we have reached "the end of racism" in the United States, and others would like to celebrate diversity but are oblivious to the political, economic, and social consequences of a nation—and their sense of self—founded on a system of white supremacy, Jensen proposes a different approach. He sets his sights not only on the racism that can't be hidden, but also on the liberal platitudes that sometimes conceal the depths of that racism in "polite society." The Heart of Whiteness offers an honest and rigorous exploration of what Jensen refers to as the depraved nature of whiteness in the United States. Mixing personal experience with data and theory, he faces down the difficult realities of racism and white privilege. He argues that any system that denies non-whites their full humanity also keeps whites from fully accessing their own. This book is both a cautionary tale for those who believe that they have transcended racism, and also an expression of the hope for genuine transcendence. When white people fully understand and accept the painful reality that they are indeed "the problem," it should lead toward serious attempts to change one's own life and join with others to change society. Robert Jensen is the author of Citizens of the Empire. He is a professor of media ethics and journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.