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13 things to read, watch or hear to increase racial awareness

"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander
(The New Press)

Books, podcasts and movies explore the Black experience and racism in America.

Want to learn more about anti-racism and the Black experience?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a starting point to dive deeper into race in America, compiled from various anti-racism resources.

Books

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Even though laws referred to as Jim Crow largely no longer exist, Alexander explores how policies of mass incarceration and inequality in the criminal justice system have created a new continued differences in the rights claimed by White and Black people.

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

This 2016 winner of the National Book Award explores a history of racism through the lens of five leading American intellectuals and how they challenged or promoted long-lasting ideas on race.

"Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family" by Mitchell Jackson.
(Scribner)

Survival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson

This memoir takes readers inside a side of Portland, Ore., not frequently written about, and the calculations Jackson made to survive.

"So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo
(Seal Press)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Oluo writes of growing up in Seattle, contrasting her appreciation for Black culture to the discrimination she faced. She offers tools for how to have honest, confident conversations about race.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

White Americans have been largely insulated from racial stress, so when faced with it, they often shut down or become defensive, argues DiAngelo. Her book explores why White people’s reactions to the topic perpetuate social inequality by failing to meaningfully address the problem.

Podcasts

Scene on Radio: “Seeing White

This 14-part series explores the meaning and history of “whiteness” in America.

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates in Baltimore City, Md., on July 16, 2015.
(Gabriella Demczuk/ The New York Times)

Fresh Air: Terry Gross interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “Between the World and Me” and “The Case for Reparations,” and Bryan Stevenson, attorney portrayed in the new movie “Just Mercy.”

In discussions about police violence against Black people and lasting Confederate iconography, both men urge America to confront racism past and present.

The cover of a special issue of "The 1619 Project" from The New York Times Magazine.
(Random House via AP)

New York Times Magazine: “1619

The project, which won a Pulitzer Prize this year, aims to rewrite the history of the slave trade in America, connecting the past to the present, beginning with the year enslaved Africans first arrived.

Movies

“13th

Named after the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery, this documentary by director Ava DuVernay explores mass incarceration of Black people and the sprawling prison industry.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)
(AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)

“12 Years a Slave”

This film adaptation chronicles the 12 years that Solomon Northup, a Black man born free in New York, spent on Louisiana plantations after being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

A scene from the film, "Selma."
From left, foreground: Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy, David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., André Holland as Andrew Young, and Stephan James as John Lewis in a scene from the film, “Selma.”
(AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)

“Selma”

This dramatic adaptation tells the story of the 1965 right-to-vote marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., led by civil rights leaders including James Bevel and Martin Luther King Jr.

Yusef Salaam is shown being escorted by police in New York in 1990.
Yusef Salaam is shown being escorted by police in New York in 1990. Salaam is the subject of the documentary, “The Central Park Five,” about the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park.
(AP Photo/Sundance Selects, NY Daily News)

“The Central Park Five”

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the case of five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping a White woman jogging in Central Park in 1989.

Actor Michael B. Jordan shown in a scene from "Fruitvale Station."
(AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Ron Koeberer)

“Fruitvale Station”

This dramatic film is based on the death of Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was killed in 2009 by a White BART police officer in Oakland.

Sources: Lorraine Berry for the Los Angeles Times, Wendy Craig-Purcell, Frank Harris III

-- Kristina Davis is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


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