Finding the Right Entry Point to Converse About Racism

So a few months ago, I did my Books for White Folks series and well, there's a boatload of books that I am always recommending on along the lines of exploring race in our society.   Probably too many without any sense of how to dip a toe in the water.

Well, recently, I've become more active in the Watertown Citizens for Black Lives group and have been looking to help out there.  Last week, Watertown had a Faire on the Square, an annual event of local organizations, companies, and community members who have tables and information about what they do and such.  There were rides for kids, a few bands, foods, etc.  It was a fun event and Watertown Citizens for Black Lives had a table and was looking for recommendations on what to put on the table.  

I threw out the idea and eventually volunteered to put together, a recommended reading list.  Now, obviously I had what I put together for the Books for White Folks series, but that was a bit overwhelming (even for me) and so I wanted to offer something that could be a bit more accessible and useful for people coming by.  

You can see the result for yourself.  


Word cloud of the recommended reading list.

What I liked about doing this list was the focus around thinking about different avenues by which people can enter the conversation around racism, whiteness, and American culture.  When I started to think about how I might chunk the recommendations into 3-5 recommendations and moved through the (ever-growing) books I've explored on race, identity, and culture.  

I started with about 6-8 categories.  Then, as I moved through my GoodReads list, I realized other categories would be useful and relevant.  By the time I finished the list, I had about 18 categories as well as the articles.  They were included but aren't from me as others from the group contributed those.  Most importantly, when I paired it all down and did substantial editing of titles, names, and other bibliographic information, I got it onto 2 pages so that it made for an easier handout.  

Take a look at the list and let me know what you think.  It does have a Creative Commons license, so you're free to take it and use it in ways that might be useful or expand or edit it as you see fit.  

How might you use a list like this?  What have you read on the list?  What would you add in terms of categories?



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