Bias crimes against Arabs, Muslims, and those assumed to be Arab or Muslim spiked 1700 percent in the first six months after September 11, 2001. The New York police department engaged in a program of surveillance and infiltration of mosques, businesses, and Muslim organizations. As anthropologists Sally Howell and Andrew Shryock write, "Arab and Muslim Americans have been compelled, time and again, to apologize for acts they did not commit, to condemn acts they never condoned and to openly profess loyalties that, for most US citizens, are merely assumed."
Moustafa Bayoumi reports on the lives of seven Arab-Americans, all young, all living in Brooklyn, to see the real people whose voices go unheard. Rasha and her family were jailed for months as they got swept up in mass arrests. Sami went to Kuwait as a Marine, where he had to face racial discrimination from his peers. Yasmin was forced down from her position on her school's student council because her religious beliefs meant she couldn't attend school dances. But you also get to see the people in this book fall in love, find jobs, have fun with their friends, and see how they persevere through their triumphs and setbacks.
Between 1916 and 1970, 6 million African Americans left the rural South for New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, and other northern and western cities. They were fleeing poverty and segregation; they were searching for new jobs in the industrializing north, like the jobs in Detroit's car factories. But even in the north, they had to contend with racism and poverty.
Isabel Wilkerson, the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, conducted more than a thousand interviews to write this history of America's Great Migration, but she focuses on three main characters. Ida Mae Brandon Gladney and her family decided to leave Mississippi after a relative, suspected of stealing turkeys, was nearly beaten to death by whites. George Starling, after leading an attempted sit-down strike of some African-American fruit-pickers, fled Florida under threat of death. Robert Foster moved to California because no Southern hospitals would hire an African-American surgeon; whites in the South wouldn’t even call him “Dr. Foster,” but “spat out ‘Doc’ as if they were addressing the cook.” The stories of Gladney, Starling, and Foster make this an epic history with a personal touch.
One of the great contradictions of American history is that Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" was himself a man who enslaved more than 600 people.
Where does this contradiction come from? How has a nation that has prided itself on liberty and equality since its founding so often failed to live up to those ideals? Frederick Douglass has one explanation: "When men oppress their fellow-men, the oppressor ever finds, in the character of the oppressed, a full justification for his oppression."
Kendi explores the history of American racism through five "tour guides": Jefferson, the 17th-century preacher Cotton Mather, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, and antiracist activist Angela Davis. Taking us from the birth of the American republic up to today, Kendi searches for the roots of racist ideas, and how political and economic self-interest have shaped the nation's relationship with racial justice. The Washington Post called this book "An engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America."
Do we know why racial segregation occurs? In 1973, the Supreme Court said no, and in doing so, dealt a crushing blow to the civil rights movement. In Milliken v. Bradley, the court ruled that the white suburbs of Detroit could not be included in Detroit’s school desegregation plan, because no real evidence existed to show that segregation in the region’s schools or neighborhoods was “in any significant measure caused by governmental activity.” The justices concluded black students were concentrated in Detroit because of “unknown and perhaps unknowable factors.”
In The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute concludes that the court was wrong—and still is—when it described racial segregation as the product of private individual choices.
The Color of Law resurrects an older view that had proven instrumental in the movements of the 1960s: that American government has betrayed a commitment it made with the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, to ensure that black Americans could take their place as equal members in American society. The book describes the systematic violation of black Americans’ constitutional rights, through the aggressive enactment and enforcement of racially discriminatory policies.
By building racially separate public housing, by urging suburbs to adopt exclusionary zoning laws, by enforcing homeowners' association covenants that barred African Americans from buying houses in certain neighborhoods, by drawing school attendance boundaries in ways that reinforced segregation, by building urban interstate highways through African American neighborhoods, and by building hazardous waste facilities in African American neighborhoods, governments at every level upheld and contributed to segregation.
Praised by Ta-Nehisi Coates for the author's "brilliant and fine understanding of the machinery of government policy."
More than fifty years ago, James Baldwin wrote The Fire Next Time, a deeply influential book about race and history that takes its title from an old spiritual song:
"God gave Noah the rainbow sign
No more water, the fire next time"
A generation later, in the wake of Trayvon Martin's death, Jesmyn Ward has assembled a new anthology of poems and essays on race in America. Wendy S. Walters investigates one of the oldest known grave sites of blacks in New England; Isabel Wilkerson compares the police brutality of the present day to the lynchings of the early 20th century; Kiese Laymon tries to figure out how to write his own "spacey stank blues"; Garnette Cagodan rhapsodizes about walking, and contemplates how to walk as much as he wants while avoiding racist encounters. There's anger and grief here, but also humor, joy, delight.
The Civil Rights acts that passed the US Congress in the 1960s were supposed to end legal racial discrimination. So why are there still such huge disparities between African Americans and white Americans in education, wealth, and criminal justice? Civil rights lawyer and legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it."
The mass incarceration of African Americans, often for nonviolent drug offenses, is "the new Jim Crow" - the new segregation. Those arrested or convicted are subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, education, public benefits, and jury service - and they're disproportionately likely to be black, even though black people and white people use illegal drugs at similar rates.
Alexander delves into the trajectory from slavery to reconstruction to desegregation and the backlash against desegregation; the damage done by the War on Drugs; and whether we need to reconsider the idea of "colorblindness."
The United States currently is deporting more people than ever before: 4 million people have been deported since 1997--twice as many as all people deported prior to 1996. There is a disturbing pattern in the population deported: 97% of deportees are sent to Latin America or the Caribbean, and 88% are men, many of whom were originally detained through the U.S. criminal justice system.
Weaving together hard-hitting critique and moving first-person testimonials, Deported tells the intimate stories of people caught in an immigration law enforcement dragnet that serves the aims of global capitalism. Tanya Golash-Boza uses the stories of 147 of these deportees to explore the racialized and gendered dimensions of mass deportation in the United States, showing how this crisis is embedded in economic restructuring, neoliberal reforms, and the disproportionate criminalization of black and Latino men.
In the United States, outsourcing creates service sector jobs and more of a need for the unskilled jobs that attract immigrants looking for new opportunities, but it also leads to deindustrialization, decline in urban communities, and, consequently, heavy policing. Many immigrants are exposed to the same racial profiling and policing as native-born blacks and Latinos. Unlike the native-born, though, when immigrants enter the criminal justice system, deportation is often their only way out.
Ultimately, Golash-Boza argues that deportation has become a state strategy of social control, both in the United States and in the many countries that receive deportees.
Free articles from JSTOR address the devastation of Black Wall Street in Tulsa in 1921; the Watts riots in 1965; police violence in Chicago; the Tuskegee syphilis study; racism in health and education; and much more.