Cover: Racism in America: A Reader, from Harvard University PressCover: Racism in America in EBOOK (PDF, EPUB, MOBI)

Racism in America

A Reader

Foreword by Annette Gordon-Reed

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Racism in America has been the subject of serious scholarship for decades. At Harvard University Press, we’ve had the honor of publishing some of the most influential books on the subject. The excerpts in this volume—culled from works of history, law, sociology, medicine, economics, critical theory, philosophy, art, and literature—are an invitation to understand anti-Black racism through the eyes of our most incisive commentators.

Readers will find such classic selections as Toni Morrison’s description of the Africanist presence in the White American literary imagination, Walter Johnson’s depiction of the nation’s largest slave market, and Stuart Hall’s theorization of the relationship between race and nationhood. More recent voices include Khalil Gibran Muhammad on the pernicious myth of Black criminality, Elizabeth Hinton on the link between mass incarceration and 1960s social welfare programs, Anthony Abraham Jack on how elite institutions continue to fail first-generation college students, Mehrsa Baradaran on the racial wealth gap, Nicole Fleetwood on carceral art, and Joshua Bennett on the anti-Black bias implicit in how we talk about animals and the environment.

Because the experiences of non-White people are integral to the history of racism and often bound up in the story of Black Americans, we have included writers who focus on the struggles of Native Americans, Latinos, and Asians as well. Racism in America is for all curious readers, teachers, and students who wish to discover for themselves the complex and rewarding intellectual work that has sustained our national conversation on race and will continue to guide us in future years.

Featuring contributions by: Kwame Anthony AppiahVivek BaldMehrsa BaradaranJoshua BennettNed BlackhawkCrystal N. FeimsterNicole R. FleetwoodStuart HallElizabeth HintonTera W. HunterAnthony Abraham JackWalter JohnsonAdriane Lentz-SmithBeth Lew-WilliamsMonica Muñoz MartinezToni MorrisonKhalil Gibran MuhammadTommie ShelbyWilliam SturkeyAugustus A. White III, MD

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, by Anthony Abraham Jack, from Harvard University Press

Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.