It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Research Guides | Library | Amherst College
Racial Justice Resource Guide
These books and films are available online to the Amherst College community. This guide is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for learning and thinking about some of these topics.
Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan M. MetzlA physician reveals how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences -- even for the white voters they promise to help. In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death.
Publication Date: 2019
Good White People by Shannon SullivanArgues for the necessity of a new ethos for middle-class white anti-racism.Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Book Award presented by the Society of Professors of Education Building on her book Revealing Whiteness, Shannon Sullivan identifies a constellation of attitudes common among well-meaning white liberals that she sums up as "white middle-class goodness," an orientation she critiques for being more concerned with establishing anti-racist bona fides than with confronting systematic racism and privilege. Sullivan untangles the complex relationships between class and race in contemporary white identity and outlines four ways this orientation is expressed, each serving to establish one's lack of racism: the denigration of lower-class white people as responsible for ongoing white racism, the demonization of antebellum slaveholders, an emphasis on colorblindness--especially in the context of white childrearing--and the cultivation of attitudes of white guilt, shame, and betrayal. To move beyond these distancing strategies, Sullivan argues, white people need a new ethos that acknowledges and transforms their whiteness in the pursuit of racial justice rather than seeking a self-righteous distance from it.Shannon Sullivan is Head of the Philosophy Department and Professor of Philosophy, Women's Studies, and African American Studies at Penn State University. She is the author and editor of many books, including Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance (coedited with Nancy Tuana), also published by SUNY Press.
Publication Date: 2014
Playing in the Dark by Toni MorrisonAn immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race -- and promises to change the way we read American literature. Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly; unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.
Publication Date: 1993
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo; Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword by)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. Download readers guides at www.beacon.org/whitefragility.
Publication Date: 2018
White Privilege by Kalwant BhopalWhy and how do those from black and minority ethnic communities continue to be marginalised? Despite claims that we now live in a post-racial society, race continues to disadvantage those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Kalwant Bhopal explores how neoliberal policy making has increased rather than decreased discrimination faced by those from non-white backgrounds. She also shows how certain types of whiteness are not privileged; Gypsies and Travellers, for example, remain marginalised and disadvantaged in society. Drawing on topical debates and supported by empirical data, this important book examines the impact of race on wider issues of inequality and difference in society.
Publication Date: 2018
White Rage by Carol AndersonNational Book Critics Circle Award Winner New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book of the Year A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Review of Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 From the Civil War to our combustible present, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America. As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as "black rage," historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post suggesting that this was, instead, "white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames," she argued, "everyone had ignored the kindling." Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America's first black President, led to the expression of white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal. Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.