I am seeking suggestions from you all on some reading to better educate myself on race issues (or really, any reading on allyship to help me be a better ally). A cursory Google search has brought me this list via Huffington Post. From it, I have already read The New Jim Crow, To Kill A Mockingbird (although I’m not sure that’s the right angle here...), and The Bluest Eye.
A book I’d like to suggest (as a minor history nerd) to anyone else is Sundown Towns, which gives a very detailed look at the history of neighborhoods and demographics following the Civil War, including laws in place all over the country (not just the south) where Black Americans are not supposed to be within town limits after sundown. It gives a lot of detail and information to explain what we already know and see, but I have gotten a lot of ammo for discussion from that book because it is so dry and detailed.
Another book I’ve also read is Lies My Teacher Told Me (read this on a family vacation and got relentlessly mocked for it). It’s a good overview of the whitewashing of your education, and for me it motivated me to question what I know and seek to become more educated on racial matters.
A personal call to action that I think any white people here should all focus on, is to read authors of color and to encourage our white friends to do the same. I think one main theme that came out of this election is that we are not putting ourselves in the awkward position of holding our peers’ feet to the fire, like when you found BernieBros who didn’t feel the threat of Trump, or moderates who thought “they’re both bad” and abstained from voting. There was a real and true difference in these candidates, and we can go back and forth about whose fault all this was exactly, but one thing is clear: that a large number of white people did not feel compelled to prioritize the threat to minorities.
ETA: Want to boost this comment by cardamomisking:
For starters, while it’s great you’re trying to learn more about the plight of black Americans, you really also like to read about the history of Native Americans, immigrants of all types, and the Japanese-American internment. While there are commonalities to oppression the differences are important and we should remember the oppression of all people even if they are smaller number.
I also recommend following blogs and news site from various minority groups. because you don’t want to just learn about the past, you want to learn about the conversations that are going on now.
The blog “native appropriations” is a good place to start. Just reading all the back issues to the beginning and Reading the comments, while sometimes difficult, is useful.
also remember that the history of Native Americans is not uniform and the cultures vary widely from place to place. i’d recommend choosing one of the five largest tribes, a smaller tribe, and I tribe that no longer exists in learning about their history and their culture.