Books on Racism

The following list of books on the topic of racism and multiculturalism has been compiled by Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Additional information on each book can be accessed by clicking on the book title.  We welcome suggestions of DVDs, magazines and other book titles to add to this list. Contact:


White Like Me and Dear White America 
In White Like Me, author Tim Wise explores how racial identity and whiteness influence the lives of white Americans, by examining how they have impacted his own life. In Dear White America, he acknowledges the fears of members of what has been the majority culture and argues that only by embracing a progressive, multicultural future can the hope of American democracy survive.

Race Matters 
This book by Cornell West was first published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots. It now is presented with a new introduction by the author. 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Greatest Migration 
Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson write about the Great Migration, when between World War I and the 1970s, some six million black Americans fled the American South for an uncertain existence in the urban North and West.

Slavery by Another Name 

By Douglas A. Blackman, Doubleday, 2008
More recently made into a PBS documentary, this recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett, Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2009
This novel pulls the reader into the world of class and racism experienced in Mississippi during the civil rights era of the 1960s, through the characters of African-American maids and the women they work for.

And don’t call me a racist! A treasury of quotes on the past, present and future of the color line in America
by Ella Mazel, 1998
Even though this book is no longer in print, it can be downloaded from the above website in its entirety or in sections. 

Fire in the Heart: How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice
by Mark R. Warren, Oxford University Press, 2010
This book reports powerful accounts of the development of racial awareness drawn from in-depth interviews with 50 white activists in the fields of community organizing, education, and criminal justice reform.

Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race
by Frances E. Kendall, Routledge, 2006
This book invites readers to think personally about how race--theirs and others'--frames experiences, relationships, and the way they each see the world. It focuses squarely on white privilege and its implications by offering specific suggestions for what each person can do to bridge the racial chasm.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race
by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PH.D., Basic books, 2003
Using real-life examples and the latest research, the author presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities, whatever they may be, is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides.

Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans
by Ronald Takaki, Little, Brown and Company, 1998
A sweeping history of Asian Americans through a blend of narrative history, personal recollection and oral testimony.

Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
by Rodolfo F. Acuna, Longman, 2000 (7th edition) 
With a concise and engaged narrative, and timelines that give students a context for pivotal events in Chicano history, this book illuminates the struggles and decisions that frame Chicano identity today.