Race in America

Posted on Monday, October 5, 2015 by Reading Addict

Book cover for Just Mercy by Bryan StevensonThe library recently added a copy of “The Ferguson Report” to the collection, and it is very much worth reading. The report covers an in-depth investigation into both the police department and the judicial system in Ferguson, Missouri where black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. The report shows a systemic and “implicit bias” in these institutions. For those who have had to live as the targets of this system, this is not news and not isolated to this one municipality. The report is very critical, but it also offers specific recommendations, such as a publicly accessible database to track use of force.

For a broader understanding of race in America, pick up one of these excellent, recently published books.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

This book was recently the winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Of all the books on our justice system that I have read lately, this is one of the very best. It definitely puts a human face on it, case after heartbreaking case.

Book cover for Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi CoatesBetween the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“But all our phrasing—race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy—serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.”

“Between the World and Me” is such a beautifully written and lyrical book. Just read it. And then read it again; it’s not that long. And when you think you understand Coates’ perspective, read it again. We have a lot to learn.

Book cover for Citizen by Claudia RankineCitizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine

“Yes, and the body has a memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness—all the intimidated, unblinking, and unflappable resilience does not erase the moments lived through, even as we are eternally stupid or everlastingly optimistic, so ready to be inside, among, a part of the games.”

This powerful and visually striking book of poems, essays and images won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Image Award, PEN Open Book Award and the LA Times Book Prize.

For more on Race in America, see the wonderful books in this catalog book list.

Author: Reading Addict

I manage to keep up with five different book clubs (thank goodness some of them only meet a couple of times a year)! One of my favorites is a mother/daughter book club. I also try to keep up with current topics and events by reading a lot of nonfiction. I'm currently reading: "The October Country," "A Man Called Ove," and "The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey."