New Books on Race in the United States

 

Invisible No More: Police Violence against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie (Beacon Press)

This book by Black feminist legal scholar, writer, and activist Andrea Ritchie looks at the ways black and indigenous women are affected by racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement.

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The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison (Harvard University Press)

This collection is made up of the Nobel Prize winner’s 2016 Charles Eliot Norton lectures. Morrison asks what race is, why it matters, and why we fear the Other. As such, the lectures deal with some of the great themes of our time, which are also the themes of her novels: race, fear, border-crossing in many guises, and the desire for belonging.

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Race on the Brain: What Implicit Bias Gets Wrong About the Struggle for Racial Justice by Jonathan Kahn (Columbia University Press)

This book by law professor Jonathan Kahn asks us to reconsider the structures underlying racial inequality. While the idea of implicit bias has been hugely influential in revealing our prejudices, Kahn argues that it’s problematic. He rejects privileging science over social structures in the struggle for racial justice, and accordingly seeks to locate inequality within the nexus of power, history, and culture.

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The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran (Harvard University Press)

The median white family has thirteen times the wealth of the median black family in the United States. This book by University of Georgia law professor Mehrsa Baradaran looks at the reasons for this appalling disparity.

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Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology by Deirdre Cooper Owens (University of Georgia Press)

This book by CUNY historian Deirdre Cooper Owens examines how pioneering doctors experimented extensively on poor and powerless women. These doctors also legitimized baseless theories concerning the inferiority of non-whites. The book moves between the plantations of the South and the urban North of the 19th century.

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