Wendy Jane’s Holiday Top 10 Race-Related Books Wish List

6 Dec

I’m lucky.  Since I started Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake, friends and readers send all things race related (and MJ related too) my way–links to blogs, book reviews, newspaper articles and videos.  Of course it gets to the point I can’t keep up with all the wonderful items sent that pique my interest.  I then have to write down the referrals and hope for the day to come when I will buy the book, or read that tantalizing article.

Just in time for the rest of the holiday season after coming off of Thanksgivukah, I’ve gone back over my notes, and here’s my Top Ten Race-Related Book Wish List  (not in any particular order):


1.  White Girls, by Hilton Als

“Hilton Als’s essays explore the cultural and racial implications of white womanhood.” (source, The New York Times)


2. Miss Anne in Harlem:  The White Women Of The Black Renaissance, by Carla Kaplan

“Miss Kaplan writes about  a group of white women who played a controversial and important role in crossing the cultural color line at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.” (source, The Daily Beast)


3. Dear White America:  Letter To A New Minority, by Tim Wise

“Tim Wise addresses whites’ anxiety about cultural shifts displacing their power and privilege—and offers ideas on how to move forward. “(source, Google Books)


4. Black, White & Jewish:  Autobiography Of A Shifting Self, by Rebecca Walker

“Black White and Jewish is Rebecca Walker’s anthem of independence, the compelling diary of a ‘Movement Baby’ who combats her own racial insecurities.” -The Dallas Morning News (source, www.rebeccawalker.com)


5. Black Cool, by Rebecca Walker

“The authors of the book’s 16 essays offer up a collage of accessible personal narratives, academically-argued theories, and historical examples that investigate the question whether coolness is somehow inherent in black people.” (source, www.capitalnewyork.com)


6. Waking Up White, by Debby Irving (to be published in 2014)

“By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, Irving offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.”  (source, www.debbyirving.com)


7. A Closer Kinship, by Anna-Lisa Cox

“A hundred and fifty years ago in the heartland of the United States, amidst a roaring sea of racism and hatred, a community decided that there could be a different America. In this place, schools and churches were completely integrated, blacks and whites intermarried, and power and wealth were shared by both races. In order for this to happen, the citizens of this place had to keep secrets, to break the laws of the outside world, to sweep aside fear and embrace hope” (source, www.astrongerkinship.com)


8. Mirror To America, by John Hope Franklin

“At the age of ninety, Franklin recounts the story of his rise from a childhood in Oklahoma to a career as a pioneering African-American historian, whose work on the history of segregation formed part of the N.A.A.C.P.’s brief in Brown v. Board of Education.” (source, www.thenewyorker.com)


9. Longing:  Stories of Racial Healing, by Gene and Phyllis Unterschuetz

A white couple’s personal account of a journey that pulled them out of their comfortable notions about race and into the lives of people of African descent, where they faced their greatest challenge – their own racial conditioning.”(source, www.storiesofracialhealing.com)


10. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (re-reading…it’s been a long time)

“Tomboy Scout Finch comes of age in a small Alabama town during a crisis in 1935. She admires her father Atticus, how he deals with issues of racism, injustice, intolerance and bigotry, his courage and his love.”  (source, www.goodreads.com)


It’s going to take me some time to get through this list, but please, please, please, send me names of  books you’ve read and recommend, or that are on your wish list.  And, thanks to all of you who continue to send me reads, video links, articles and photos that teach and inspire me.




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