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A book version of the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning work by Nikole Hannah-Jones, which challenges a white supremacist framework for the creation of the nation, heads a strong field of books on inequality in the United States this year.
The 1619 project is relevant not only to his ambition to reconstruct how generations of white historians, educators, artists, and the media have portrayed the nation’s foundation on indigenous land and the role of the enslaved in building it. The backlash also plays a role. Critics of the 1619 Project, who have used an imprecise and broad “critical racial theory” as a bogeyman, aim to silence discussions and scholarships about the deep-seated and structural racism that is in pretty much every other book we read here highlight, is addressed.
Other notable papers on inequality published in 2021 cover segregation in public colleges and universities, the racist roots of the Second Amendment, the discriminatory systems that fuel and perpetuate poverty, mass incarceration and policing, and the design of the American tax system.
The 1619 project
Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 project builds on work she wrote and edited for the New York Times. In more than 600 pages of essays, poems and fiction, the work seeks to “reshape our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its enduring legacy at the center of our national narrative.”
A companion book for all ages, Born on the water, is a “lyrical picture book in verse” [that] records the consequences of slavery and the history of black resistance in the United States. “
The white of wealth
In The white of wealth, law professor Dorothy A. Brown explains how the country’s tax laws help widen the country’s vast racial wealth gap. From what is taxed and what is not, to real estate, retirement planning and marriage, she presents evidence of a system rigged against black Americans.
The state must provide
Adam Harris, a staff writer for The Atlantic, describes the country’s violent struggle to keep black Americans from getting college education. The state must provide explores the origins of historically black colleges and universities, as well as the funding gaps and double standards that persist to this day.
Broke in America
In Broke in America, Founder of the National Diaper Bank Network, Joanne Samuel Goldblum, and journalist Colleen Shaddox analyze the persistence of American poverty with chapters on discriminatory systems faced by families trying to gain access to water, food, housing, electricity, transportation To receive personal care and health care.
After writing the book on modern voter suppression and the run-through from Jim Crow to Trump’s election (One person, no voice) and a masterful look at the pattern of white backlash to civil rights achievements (White anger), Professor at Emory University, Carol Anderson, was with us again this year The second. It argues that the Second Amendment “was designed from the beginning to deny the rights of African Americans”.
Public Integrity spoke to Anderson following the ânot guiltyâ verdict in the recent Kyle Rittenhouse trial and shortly before three white men were convicted of the murder of black jogger Armaud Arbery.
“We are basically seeing the roots of slavery in our courts today,” she said. “So Rittenhouse’s decision was about having white vigilance and doing the job of containing and controlling black lives.”
We do this until we break free
With We do this until we break free, Mariame Kaba, an activist and educator who works for the end of juvenile detention, pleads in this collection of conversations, interviews and essays.
News for the rich, whites and blues
University of Illinois professor Nikki Usher questions the popular self-image of American journalism as a force helping the disadvantaged and powerless News for the rich, whites and blues. It shows a media ecosystem run by journalists who have no contact with the lives of normal people and who meet business models and investments that widen the gap in access to quality information.
The essential Kerner commission report
Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at the New Yorker, made a groundbreaking government report published in 1968 at a focal point of the civil rights movement in the country available to an audience in 2021 The essential Kerner commission report. In a new introduction to the report, rare for an official government report, how bluntly it addresses systemic racism and police violence, Cobb shows how the report’s recommendations were largely ignored in the years and decades that followed.
Looking for more? Other important reading from the recent past include:
- The color of the law, Richard Rothstein’s 2018 look at redlining and housing discrimination.
- caste, an Oprah’s Book Club selection made last year by Isabel Wilkerson of Warmth of other suns Recognition. It compares America’s history of racial discrimination with caste systems in India and Nazi Germany, and uses stories from real people to show what impact they still have on daily life.
- From here to equality, by Duke Professor William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen. The book, published last year, describes the failure of reconstruction and argues for significant economic reparations for American descendants of slavery.
- Dog whistle policy, by Professor Ian Haney LÃ³pez at the University of California-Berkely. It explains the appeal of Trump’s policies in 2015 before taking office using the racist resentment tactic, the book details from the Reagan and Nixon eras and beyond.
- Dying of whiteness, by Jonathan Metzl. The book, published last year, contains in-depth interviews with struggling white Americans who, because of the racist policies of resentment described in LÃ³pez’s book, support politicians and a policy that literally kills them.
Matt DeRienzo is the Editor-in-Chief of the Center for Public Integrity. He can be reached at [email protected].
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