The best of the race-in-America reading, watching, listening list that I keep

By Joe Murphy

First published , last updated

If you're looking for reading or viewing to help understand race in this country, to understand the difference between racism and structural racism, to get at some of the history behind whiteness, Blackness... here are a few pieces I've found useful.

The 2017 documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, is worth watching. Baldwin's 1963 book The Fire Next Time is worth reading.

Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2014 Atlantic cover piece, The Case For Reparations, gives historic context to the racism waged on Blacks in the U.S., and his 2015 book Between The World And Me is absolutely worth reading. When it comes to what race actually is, Audrey Smedley goes into the history of the concept in her book, now in its fourth edition, Race in North America.

The Scene on Radio podcast's series, Seeing White, talks about whiteness. Note that it does not censor the n-word when it plays recordings of white people using it.

And here are some other articles I've found helpful in learning about race in the U.S.:

  1. Why representation in digital graphics matters
  2. Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race
  3. American Racism in the ‘White Frame’
  4. A Sociologist Examines the “White Fragility” That Prevents White Americans from Confronting Racism

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