Book Orders Out of Chaos

Reading as an antidote to the roots of division


Compiled by Brian Lampkin

It’s impossible to keep up with the rapidly changing events in America at the moment. Our attention shifts from pandemic to police violence to the specter of constitutional degradation as each “breaking news” interruption determines. As I write this in June, we might find that July has mercifully brought us an alien invasion to make all matters obsolete. Nevertheless, we’ll focus on the most pressing issue of our moment.

Here at Scuppernong, as in all independent bookstores across the country, we have seen an explosion in the ordering of books on racism in America. We all hope that reading will translate into meaningful change (and let’s remember that we protest to create change — protest remains an act of hope as well as resistance). The following books have been the most in demand as we face the consequences of 400 years of racial madness.

How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi (One World, $27). The National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning offers a bracingly original approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in society — and in ourselves.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon Press, $16). Explores counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality.

So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal Press, $16.99). Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot, by Mikki Kendall (Viking, $26). Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge (Bloomsbury, $18). Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge has written a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary examination of what it is to be a person of color.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem (Central Recovery, $17.95). Racism and trauma are addressed as the author examines white supremacy in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology.  OH

Brian Lampkin is one of the proprietors of Scuppernong Books.

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