Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Sociology of Race Relations. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. 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.

  • Author: Robin DiAngelo
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (June 26, 2018)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0807047415
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.57 x 9 inches

                 

2. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year One of Publishers Weekly ’s 10 Best Books of the Year Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction An NPR Best Book of the Year Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction) Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History) Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide ( New York Times Book Review ).   Widely heralded as a “masterful” ( Washington Post ) and “essential” ( Slate ) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history ( Chicago Daily Observer ), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past. 13 illustrations

  • Author: Richard Rothstein
  • Publisher: Liveright; Reprint edition (May 1, 2018)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Sociology
  • ISBN: 978-1631494536
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches

                 

3. How to Be an Antiracist


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

#1  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” ( Time ) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves. “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”— The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review •  Time • NPR •  The Washington Post •  Shelf Awareness  •  Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist , Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. Praise for How to Be an Antiracist “Ibram X. Kendi’s new book,  How to Be an Antiracist , couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . .   How to Be an Antiracist  gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’ ” —NPR “Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent.  How to Be an Antiracist  punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.” — Time

  • Author: Ibram X. Kendi
  • Publisher: One World; First Edition (August 13, 2019)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0525509288
  • Dimensions: 5.82 x 1.12 x 8.52 inches

                 

4. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.   “This is the book I’ve been waiting for.”—Ibram X. Kendi, #1  New York Times bestselling author of  How to Be an Antiracist Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Maine to Mississippi to California, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she meets white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams, and their shot at better jobs to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world’s advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare.   But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own. The Sum of Us  is a brilliant analysis of how we arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal. McGhee marshals economic and sociological research to paint an irrefutable story of racism’s costs, but at the heart of the book are the humble stories of people yearning to be part of a better America, including white supremacy’s collateral victims: white people themselves. With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America leaves us with a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game.

  • Author: Heather McGhee
  • Publisher: One World (February 16, 2021)
  • Genre: History, Americas
  • ISBN: 978-0525509561
  • Dimensions: 6.42 x 1.35 x 9.55 inches

                 

5. Between the World and Me


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

#1  NEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF  TIME ’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST •  ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” •  NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT   Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” ( Rolling Stone )   NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN  • NAMED ONE OF PASTE ’ S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY  The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly   In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me  is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage,  Between the World and Me  clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

  • Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Publisher: One World; 1st edition (July 14, 2015)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Sociology
  • ISBN: 978-0812993547
  • Dimensions: 5.13 x 0.77 x 7.5 inches

                 



6. How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller. "The Atlantic  writer drafts a history of slavery in this country unlike anything you’ve read before” (Entertainment Weekly). Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves. It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation–turned–maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers. A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history,  How the Word Is Passed  illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted. Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.

  • Author: Clint Smith
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 1, 2021)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-0316492935
  • Dimensions: 6.35 x 1.55 x 9.55 inches

                 

7. My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER " My Grandmother's Hands will change the direction of the movement for racial justice."— Robin DiAngelo, New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology. The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. Menakem argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police. My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide. Paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system. Offers a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods, in addition to incisive social commentary. Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW , is a therapist with decades of experience currently in private practice in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in trauma, body-centered psychotherapy, and violence prevention. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence. Menakem has studied with bestselling authors Dr. David Schnarch ( Passionate Marriage ) and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk ( The Body Keeps the Score ). He also trained at Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

  • Author: Resmaa Menakem
  • Publisher: Central Recovery Press; Illustrated edition (September 19, 2017)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Sociology
  • ISBN: 978-1942094470
  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches

                 

8. Critical Race Theory (Third Edition): An Introduction (Critical America, 20)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

Updated to include the Black Lives Matter movement, the presidency of Barack Obama, the rise of hate speech on the Internet, and more Since the publication of the first edition of Critical Race Theory in 2001, the United States has lived through two economic downturns, an outbreak of terrorism, and the onset of an epidemic of hate directed against immigrants, especially undocumented Latinos and Middle Eastern people. On a more hopeful note, the country elected and re-elected its first black president and has witnessed the impressive advance of gay rights. As a field, critical race theory has taken note of all these developments, and this primer does so as well. It not only covers a range of emerging new topics and events, it also addresses the rise of a fierce wave of criticism from right-wing websites, think tanks, and foundations, some of which insist that America is now colorblind and has little use for racial analysis and study. Critical Race Theory is essential for understanding developments in this burgeoning field, which has spread to other disciplines and countries. The new edition also covers the ways in which other societies and disciplines adapt its teachings and, for readers wanting to advance a progressive race agenda, includes new questions for discussion, aimed at outlining practical steps to achieve this objective.

  • Author: Richard Delgado
  • Publisher: NYU Press; 3rd edition (March 7, 2017)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Sociology
  • ISBN: 978-1479802760
  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.57 x 8 inches

                 

9. Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

The charges of white privilege and systemic racism that are tearing the country apart fIoat free of reality. Two known facts, long since documented beyond reasonable doubt, need to be brought into the open and incorporated into the way we think about public policy: American whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians have different violent crime rates and different means and distributions of cognitive ability. The allegations of racism in policing, college admissions, segregation in housing, and hiring and promotions in the workplace ignore the ways in which the problems that prompt the allegations of systemic racism are driven by these two realities. What good can come of bringing them into the open? America’s most precious ideal is what used to be known as the American Creed: People are not to be judged by where they came from, what social class they come from, or by race, color, or creed. They must be judged as individuals. The prevailing Progressive ideology repudiates that ideal, demanding instead that the state should judge people by their race, social origins, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. We on the center left and center right who are the American Creed’s natural defenders have painted ourselves into a corner. We have been unwilling to say openly that different groups have significant group differences. Since we have not been willing to say that, we have been left defenseless against the claims that racism is to blame. What else could it be? We have been afraid to answer. We must. Facing Reality is a step in that direction.

  • Author: Charles Murray
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (June 15, 2021)
  • Genre: Education & Teaching, Schools & Teaching
  • ISBN: 978-1641771979
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches

                 

10. The Fire Next Time


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Sociology of Race Relations - August 2021

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963,  The Fire Next Time  galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today.   "Basically the finest essay I’ve ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone’s hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates   At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain . It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by  The New York Times Book Review  as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose,"  The Fire Next Time  stands as a classic of literature.

  • Author: James Baldwin
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (December 1, 1992)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-0679744726
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.34 x 8.01 inches