Hi american friends, can you help?

iamluthien

Member
Feb 28, 2020
64
41
So, for a start a little bit of background: I am an American Citizen, but when I was six months old my family (all Italians) went back to Italy permanently, so I grew up as an Italian and English is not even my first language.
Thanks to the massive response that the USA is having to years of unjustice, me and my friends want to know a bit more about this amazing country.
Can you suggest me some books about American History and why not, the history of racism in the USA?
Thank you so much for helping me to educate myself :smile:
 

sparklebunny

Member
Dec 16, 2019
97
206
USA
Maybe try looking into works by Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes... I have not read Malcolm X myself but you could look into him as well.

Relevant films would be American History X and Mississippi Burning.

This is painful stuff but I commend you on wanting to learn about racial problems in the US.
 
Dec 7, 2008
753
1,324
Firstly, I appreciate your honesty and humility in wanting to educate yourself. I agree with sparklebunny’s suggestions. My suggestions are literary because that is what I am most acquainted with, rather than historical. Here are some authors and books that come to mind:
1. Toni Morrison (get a box set of her books because they are all important)
2. Ta-Nehisi Coates (he is fearless in his writing. “Between the world and me” will enable you to see how life is very different when you are not born a certain color in America ).
3 “Autobiography of Malcom X” to give you some perspective of the civil rights movement.
4. I would also suggest acquainting yourself with works by Angela Davis
5. The “New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander is the most historical/legal rights book I have on this list. If you are more inclined to read nonfiction this is an excellent read that will have you marvel at the injustices.
6. Last but not least, read Becoming by our esteemed Michele *****.
 

iamluthien

Member
Feb 28, 2020
64
41
Thank you so much people!
Hopefully someone will be able to give me history books :smile: I'm on the titles you gave me and hopefully I'll learn something new!
 

Winter’sJoy

Member
Feb 18, 2019
1,972
3,610
Books:

Native Son
Coming of Age in Rural Mississippi
Autobiography of Malcom X
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
Warriors Don’t Cry
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

YouTube:

The Untold Story of Emmett Luis Till

There are also documentaries on Rosewood, Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Riots as well as the origin of chattel slavery in the US, the Civil War, and post slavery that can be watched for free on YouTube.

If I can remember others I’ve read I’ll come back and share.
 
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GhstDreamer

Lady Philosophy
Authenticator
O.G.
May 13, 2008
14,532
1,538
Near carnage alley
Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank Wu

He explores racism in America that only looks at it through black and white lens and nothing in between. The otherness that doesn't exist but only when necessary. Frank Wu was a law professor at Howard University.
 

AngelYuki

Member
Dec 12, 2015
199
452
San Francisco, California
I want to suggest

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

It's not a history book, but it discusses topics like color blindness, white privilege, racial discomfort from the perspective of a white woman. The book makes people more aware of certain actions that is racist, but doesn't appear to be so.
 
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QuelleFromage

Member
Jan 15, 2011
8,206
16,371
Firstly, I appreciate your honesty and humility in wanting to educate yourself. I agree with sparklebunny’s suggestions. My suggestions are literary because that is what I am most acquainted with, rather than historical. Here are some authors and books that come to mind:
1. Toni Morrison (get a box set of her books because they are all important)
2. Ta-Nehisi Coates (he is fearless in his writing. “Between the world and me” will enable you to see how life is very different when you are not born a certain color in America ).
3 “Autobiography of Malcom X” to give you some perspective of the civil rights movement.
4. I would also suggest acquainting yourself with works by Angela Davis
5. The “New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander is the most historical/legal rights book I have on this list. If you are more inclined to read nonfiction this is an excellent read that will have you marvel at the injustices.
6. Last but not least, read Becoming by our esteemed Michele *****.
Yes!! These would be my exact suggestions with the addition of "White Fragility" by DiAngelo and "Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead (fiction, but relevant).
Ta-Nehisi Coates might be where I'd start.
I would love to know a comprehensive history of the US that is not Eurocentric and filtered through a white lens.
There are also excellent books by Native American civil rights leaders worth checking out.
 

dooneybaby

O.G.
Dec 12, 2008
3,037
4,236
Outside Washington, D.C.
We as Americans have been fed a whitewashed history all of our lives, so it's important to read the American History that is the truth, no matter how ugly it is. You can just go online for a lot of information that was never mentioned in history books when I was gowing up:


Most people associate the Statue of Liberty with the welcoming of immigrants to Ellis Island.
It was to celebrate the freeing of black slaves - hence the broken chain around Lady Liberty's ankle. But America tried to erase that. It's just one example of American history that's been whitewashed: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/05...ves-not-immigrants-its-new-museum-recounts-2/

Also, just do a Google search to read about the black soldiers who bravely fought in every war America was involved in, only to be treated like less than a man by America:



 

Luvbolide

O.G.
Jun 8, 2007
6,493
3,873
You all are much younger than I, but I recommend the books by Taylor Branch about the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Also, there is a movie called “Malcolm X” which stars Denzel Washington. As others have said, the book “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
is excellent. It was written with Alex Haley who later wrote “Roots”.

And one more - “Been in the Storm so Long” by Leon Litwack.
 
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Abba13

Member
Oct 29, 2013
272
319
So, for a start a little bit of background: I am an American Citizen, but when I was six months old my family (all Italians) went back to Italy permanently, so I grew up as an Italian and English is not even my first language.
Thanks to the massive response that the USA is having to years of unjustice, me and my friends want to know a bit more about this amazing country.
Can you suggest me some books about American History and why not, the history of racism in the USA?
Thank you so much for helping me to educate myself :smile:
I'm a fan of Thomas Sowell, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King. I believe these three men.

Racism isn't only in the US....it's all over the world.....I know personally.

I grew up in a multicultural world and didn't know there was a problem until my early 20s. I don't understand the ignorance especially knowing people can get along if they're not constantly blaming someone else for their shortcomings. Didn't have this problem in my youth. We hung out with people who we had something in common not because we had the same shade of skin. The idea of skin color causing a problem would have been a ridiculous thought and we would have laughed at the absurdity.

In my early 20s, in college, it was suggested to me I was a racist because I was white. What? I was shocked at the accusation. Frankly, it hurt my feelings. I started to tiptoe around anyone who I thought I might offend. Didn't know how I offended the student who accused me of such a thing so I backed off in fear, stayed away, which might have caused a problem for others as well. Funny, my family is a colorful one.....we're quite diverse. Different shades of skin is the same to us as different shades of hair......what's the big deal?

My grand-daughter calls me "one of the pale people". The first time she said it, I chuckled.....out of the mouths of babes, eh? It was an observation on her part and that was that.....off to the next topic.
 
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