For those interested in delving deeper into issues related to race, Punahou eighth grade English teacher Christina Torres, who co-chairs the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Group, offers the following reading suggestions:
“So, You Want to Talk About Race?” By Ijeoma Oluo Synopsis: Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” By Dr. Beverly Tatum Synopsis: Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.
“Stamped from the Beginning” By Ibram X. Kendi Synopsis: The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America – it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.
“Citizen: An American Lyric” By Claudia Rankine Synopsis: Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image and poetry, “Citizen” is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
Children and Teens
“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi Synopsis: Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas – and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
“Just Mercy: Young Readers Edition“ By Bryan Stevenson Synopsis: “Just Mercy” is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
“It’s Trevor Noah! Born a Crime” (Young Reader’s Edition) By Trevor Noah Synopsis: The host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, tells the story of growing up half black, half white in South Africa under and after apartheid in this young readers’ adaptation of his bestselling adult memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
“This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work” By Tiffany Jewell Synopsis: 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.
“Antiracist Baby” By Ibram X. Kendi Synopsis: From the National Book Award-winning author of “Stamped from the Beginning” and “How to Be an Antiracist” comes a fresh book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves.
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