Read for Growth and Insight

Each of the options below are highly compelling, interesting and have strong reviews. Many have won significant awards. Click on the title of the book for a full description.

*You can get these books in many places – including for free at the library. If you click the cover or title it will take you to Amazon. If you then buy the book on Amazon a small portion of the proceeds will go the Institute for Equity & Inclusion Sciences Outreach Fund.

Fiction, Poetry & Essays: Race and Ethnicity

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s compelling book provides insight into experiences of racial aggression in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media.

“Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism.”

Editorial Reviews

“[Citizen] is an especially vital book for this moment in time. . . . ‘This is how you are a citizen,’ Rankine writes. ‘Come on. Let it go. Move on.’ As Rankine’s brilliant, disabusing work, always aware of its ironies, reminds us, ‘moving on’ is not synonymous with ‘leaving behind.’” ―The New Yorker

Citizen is audacious in form. But what is perhaps especially striking about the book is that it has achieved something that eludes much modern poetry: urgency.” ―The New York Times

“So groundbreaking is Rankine’s work that it’s almost impossible to describe; suffice it to say that this is a poem that reads like an essay (or the other way around) – a piece of writing that invents a new form for itself, incorporating pictures, slogans, social commentary and the most piercing and affecting revelations to evoke the intersection of inner and outer life.” ―Los Angeles Times

“Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves. . . . Citizen throws a Molotov cocktail at the notion that reduction of injustice is the same as freedom.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Moving, stunning, and formally innovative­-in short, a masterwork.” ―Salon

“Part protest lyric, part art book, Citizen is a dazzling expression of the painful double consciousness of black life in America.” ―The Washington Post

“The book of the year is Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. It would have been the book of any year…. Citizen asks us to change the way we look; we have to believe that that might lead to changing the way we live.” ―The New Yorker’s Page-Turner

“[Citizen] is one of the best books I’ve ever wanted not to read. . . . Its genius . . . resides in that capacity to make so many different versions of American life proper to itself, to instruct us in the depth and variety of our participation in a narrative of race that we recount and reinstate, even when we speak as though it weren’t there.” ―Slate

“Marrying prose, poetry, and the visual image, Citizen investigates the ways in which racism pervades daily American social and cultural life, rendering certain of its citizens politically invisible. Rankine’s formally inventive book challenges our notion that citizenship is only a legal designation that the state determines by expanding that definition to include a larger understanding of civic belonging and identity, built out of cross-racial empathy, communal responsibility, and a deeply shared commitment to equality.” ―National Book Award Judges’ Citation

Citizen is an anatomy of American racism in the new millennium, a slender, musical book that arrives with the force of a thunderclap. . . . This work is careful, loving, restorative witness is itself an act of resistance, a proof of endurance.” ―Bookforum

“Accounts of racially charged interactions, insidious and flagrant, transpiring in private and in the public eye, distill the immediate emotional intensity of individual experience with tremendous precision while allowing ambiguity, ambivalence, contradiction, and exhaustion to remain in all their fraught complexity. . . . Once again Rankine inspires sympathy and outrage, but most of all a will to take a deep look at ourselves and our society.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A prism of personal perspectives illuminates [Rankine’s] meditations on race. . . . Powerful.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Claudia Rankine’s Citizen comes at you like doom. It’s the best note in the wrong song that is America. Its various realities–‘mistaken’ identity, social racism, the whole fabric of urban and suburban life–are almost too much to bear, but you bear them, because it’s the truth. Citizen is Rankine’s Spoon River Anthology, an epic as large and frightening and beautiful as the country and various emotional states that produced it.” ―Hilton Als

Citizen – An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin


Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel by T. Gereonimo Johnson

From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It ’Til It Hurts comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment—a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer.

Welcome to Braggsville. The City that Love Built in the Heart of Georgia. Population 712

Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D’aron Davenport finds himself in unfamiliar territory his freshman year at UC Berkeley. Two thousand miles and a world away from his childhood, he is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large, hyper-liberal pond. Caught between the prosaic values of his rural hometown and the intellectualized multicultural cosmopolitanism of Berzerkeley, the nineteen-year-old white kid is uncertain about his place until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends: Louis, a “kung-fu comedian” from California; Candice, an earnest do-gooder claiming Native roots from Iowa; and Charlie, an introspective inner-city black teen from Chicago. They dub themselves the “4 Little Indians.”

But everything changes in the group’s alternative history class, when D’aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded “Patriot Days.” His announcement is met with righteous indignation, and inspires Candice to suggest a “performative intervention” to protest the reenactment. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal, and their own misguided ideas about the South, the 4 Little Indians descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses, and drunken family barbecues is uproarious to start, but will have devastating consequences.

With the keen wit of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and the deft argot of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, T. Geronimo Johnson has written an astonishing, razor-sharp satire. Using a panoply of styles and tones, from tragicomic to Southern Gothic, he skewers issues of class, race, intellectual and political chauvinism, Obamaism, social media, and much more.

A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with tremendous social insight and a unique, generous heart, Welcome to Braggsville reminds us of the promise and perils of youthful exuberance, while painting an indelible portrait of contemporary America.

Editorial Reviews

“Great American writers whose names came to mind as I was reading Welcome to Braggsville: Tom Wolfe, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, H.L. Mencken, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison. Johnson’s timely novel is a tipsy social satire . . . a tour de force.” (NPR’s Fresh Air)

“A rollicking satire . . . Radical, hilarious, tragic, and all too relevant.” (O Magazine)

“Johnson’s writing is often brilliantly comic, and Braggsville is a welcome new kind of southern novel.” (Time, Top 10 Books of 2015)

“A stunning achievement with no clear literary precedent. Welcome to Braggsville . . . is one of the most searing, shocking looks at racial issues and campus activism in a long time.” (Men’s Journal, Best Books of 2015)

“The most dazzling, most unsettling, most oh-my-God-listen-up novel you’ll read this year. T. Geronimo Johnson plays cultural criticism like it’s acid jazz. His shockingly funny story pricks every nerve of the American body politic. Welcome to Braggsville. It’s about time.” (The Washington Post)

“Reading this novel is not unlike listening to an erudite satirist play the dozens in a marathon performance . . . Organic, plucky, smart, Welcome to Braggsville is the funniest sendup of identity politics, the academy and white racial anxiety to hit the scene in years.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Audacious, unpredictable, exuberant and even tragic, in the most classic meaning of the word . . . A heady mix of satire and hyperbole. At times, Welcome to Braggsvillereads like a literary hybrid of David Foster Wallace and Colson Whitehead.” (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

“The unsettling racial satire America needs right now . . . Welcome to Braggsville doesn’t offer easy polemic or easier sentimentality, but a deep dive into the American race problem as muddled, terrifying, and absurd as the reality.” (Huffington Post)

“You must read T. Geronimo Johnson. He is awesome.” (Sherman Alexie via Twitter)

“Ghastly and funny and gloriously provocative . . . Johnson’s prose is by turns scathing dark humor, soaring lyricism, and a quietly devastating analysis of every species of injustice. The result is a kind of mind-melting poetry—a linguistic electroconvulsive therapy for the reader. This book will wake you up!” (Karen Russell, bestselling author of Swamplandia!, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize)


Negroland: A Memoir

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac—here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both.

Born in upper-crust black Chicago—her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite—Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”

Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America—Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance.

Editorial Reviews

“Ever provocative and insightful, the cultural critic Margo Jefferson bravely directs the focus inward to her own life and times as a child of the rigid and nearly invisible world of black elites in pre-Civil Rights, mid-century America. By turns, melancholic and hopeful, raw and disarming, she weighs the psychic toll of constructed divisions at the intersection of race, gender, caste and privilege. A moving memoir that is an act of courage in its vulnerability.” —Isabel Wilkerson

“The generic sub-title—a memoir—doesn’t do justice to everything that’s going on in Margo Jefferson’s marvelous, complex, stimulating and thought-provoking personal history.” —Geoff Dyer

“Margo Jefferson’s memoir leaps from the mica-sharp evocations of her Chicago girlhood into a strikingly original consideration of American cultural history. If you think you were confident using the words “race” and “class,” think again after reading this fierce interrogation of American life. A beautiful scorcher of a book, essential reading.” —Patricia Hampl

“At the heart of Margo Jefferson’s masterpiece—a phenomenal study-cum-memoir about the black bourgeoisie—is a sensibility that belongs to no group or community other than the author’s sorority of one. Jefferson has lived and worked like the great reporter she is, traversing a little-known or -understood landscape peopled by blacks and whites, dreamers and naysayers, the privileged and the strivers who make up the mosaic known as America.” —Hilton Als

“Margo Jefferson’s Negroland—autopsy snapshots of mostly upper-class black ways of being and performing—is a tight-lipped performance of willed, earned, and harshly edited silence. Refusing to construct an erotic black body for white consumption, she desires nothing and challenges everything. Asking if it’s possible or meaningful to be human, she posits etiquette as the interrogator of America’s psyche. She can read a graveyard in a theater, personality in a hairstyle; she lists instead of declaims. Her asperity is elegantly pithy and violent. In the fissures between and among items, she revolts. Her words are ascetic. She doesn’t want me to envy her life, the fullness of which is only hinted at. She wants me to leave her alone to live within this sentence of her mother’s: “Sometimes I almost forget I’m a Negro.” The last two words, Go on, aren’t just a writer walking off stage and getting on with life; they convey the pleasure of taunting future pain the truth of vision will surely yield.” —David Shields

“Margo Jefferson sees everything and expresses it with surgical clarity. She is the Toqueville of race in America. This is a great book, destined to be read for a century.” —Edmund White

“I revere Margo Jefferson’s critical voice for its directness and wit and sanity, its tonal precision, its unabashed aestheticism, and its secret pockets of ambivalence.  For years she has been a brilliant interpreter of performance; it makes perfect sense that her analysis of race and class—and the painful performances those categories entail—should offer a similarly wondrous intensity of detail, emotion, and wisdom.  Negroland, a compactly crafted treasure, showcases a new way to write memoir—a new mode of honest and complicated reckoning, without masks.” —Wayne Koestenbaum

“Powerful and complicated . . . power dwells in the restraint of ‘Negroland.’ Ms. Jefferson gets a lot said about her life, the insults she has weathered, her insecurities, even her suicidal impulses. There’s sinew and grace in the way she plays with memory, dodging here and burning there, like a photographer in a darkroom. . . . Ms. Jefferson will not be denied. . . . With luck, there will be a sequel to this book.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Jefferson is a national treasure and her memoir should be required reading across the country.” —Nicole Jones, Vanity Fair

“Powerful. . . . Margo Jefferson identifies and deftly explores the tensions that come with being party of America’s black elite.” —Roxane Gay, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Razor sharp, self-lacerating and singular.” —Pam Houston, More Magazine

“A candid observer, Jefferson articulates the complicated and calculated performance of upper-class black life.” —New York Magazine

“Treads briskly and fearlessly across the treacherous terrain of race, class, gender and entitlement in this tightly edited memoir that recalls her youth in 1950s and 60s Chicago. . . . [Jefferson] is a poetic and bracing memoirist. . . . Lean, specific and personal . . . enlightening.” —Robin Givhan, The Washington Post

“A nuanced meditation from a life lived in the upper echelons of Chicago’s black bourgeoisie, beginning before the civil-rights era and trailing off in our still-conflicted present.” —Vulture

“Jefferson’s descriptions of how she ‘craved’ the right to despair are some of the most haunting parts of the book.” —Vanessa De Luca, Time

“Poignant. . . . In Negroland, Jefferson is simultaneously looking in and looking out at her blackness, elusive in her terse, evocative reconnaissance, leaving us yearning to know more.” —Rebecca Carroll, Los Angeles Times

“A veritable library of African-American letters and a sumptuous compendium of elegant style. . . . [Jefferson] paints her rich inner and outer landscape with deft, impressionistic strokes. It’s a technique that disrupts convention—which is her privilege after all.” —Donna Bailey Nurse, The Boston Globe

“Pulitzer winner Jefferson’s personal history is—as she says about vigorous analysis of race, gender, and class prerogatives—as fundamental as ‘utensils and clothing.’ This is to say that it’s one of the truly indispensable books of 2015.” —Flavorwire

“Reads with the blast force of a prose poem.” —Heather Seggel, BookPage

“[NEGROLAND] shines a spotlight on a fascinating slice of the American experience of which many people are barely aware.” —Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

“Vibrant… lyrical” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A stunning, stunning meditation on the limitations of race, class, gender in America and Jeffries own life. More than a memoir, poetic, critical, profound.” Clara Nibbelink, A Cappella Books


The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

This novel won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE, THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, THE ALA ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL AND THE HURSTON/WRIGHT AWARD ** NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEWWALL STREET JOURNAL, WASHINGTON POST, TIME, PEOPLE, NPR AND MORE ** #1 NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER

Editorial Reviews

“Get it, then get another copy for someone you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about it once you read that heart-stopping last page.”
–Oprah Winfrey (Oprah’s Book Club 2016 Selection)

“[A] potent, almost hallucinatory novel… It possesses the chilling matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift…He has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present.”
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Think Toni Morrison (Beloved), Alex Haley (Roots); think 12 Years a Slave…An electrifying novel…a great adventure tale, teeming with memorable characters…Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember.”
People, (Book of the Week)

“With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America’s greatest authors–his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroad is an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction.”
–Michael Schaub, NPR

“Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year, The Underground Railroad marks a new triumph for Whitehead…[A] book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era…The canon of essential novels about America’s peculiar institution just grew by one.”
Ron Charles, Washington Post


Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

From the Inside Flap


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Editorial Reviews Review

* “The writer’s passion for stories and storytelling permeates the memoir, explicitly addressed in her early attempts to write books and implicitly conveyed through her sharp images and poignant observations seen through the eyes of a child. Woodson’s ability to listen and glean meaning from what she hears lead to an astute understanding of her surroundings, friends, and family.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

* “Mesmerizing journey through [Woodson’s] early years. . . . Her perspective on the volatile era in which she grew up is thoughtfully expressed in powerfully effective verse. . . . With exquisite metaphorical verse Woodson weaves a patchwork of her life experience . . . that covers readers with a warmth and sensitivity no child should miss. This should be on every library shelf.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

* “Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned. For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share.” — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* “[Woodson’s] memoir in verse is a marvel, as it turns deeply felt remembrances of Woodson’s preadolescent life into art. . . . Her mother cautions her not to write about her family but, happily, many years later, she has and the result is both elegant and eloquent, a haunting book about memory that is itself altogether memorable. — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

* “A memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. . . . Most notably of all, perhaps, we trace her development as a nascent writer, from her early, overarching love of stories through her struggles to learn to read through the thrill of her first blank composition book to her realization that ‘words are [her] brilliance.’ The poetry here sings: specific, lyrical, and full of imagery. An extraordinary—indeed brilliant—portrait of a writer as a young girl.” — The Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

* “The effect of this confiding and rhythmic memoir is cumulative, as casual references blossom into motifs and characters evolve from quick references to main players. . . . Revealing slices of life, redolent in sight, sound, and emotion. . . . Woodson subtly layers her focus, with history and geography the background, family the middle distance, and her younger self the foreground. . . . Eager readers and budding writers will particularly see themselves in the young protagonist and recognize her reveling in the luxury of the library and unfettered delight in words. . . . A story of the ongoing weaving of a family tapestry, the following of an individual thread through a gorgeous larger fabric, with the tacit implication that we’re all traversing such rich landscapes. It will make young readers consider where their own threads are taking them.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED REVIEW

* “Woodson uses clear, evocative language. . . . A beautifully crafted work.” — Library Media Connection, STARRED REVIEW


Americanah: A Novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

New York’s Inaugural “One Book, One New York” Pick
 Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
 One of The New York Times‘s Ten Best Books of the Year
One of the Best Books of the Year

NPR • Chicago Tribune • The Washington Post • The Seattle Times • Entertainment Weekly • Newsday • Goodreads 

Editorial Reviews

“Dazzling. . . . Funny and defiant, and simultaneously so wise. . . . Brilliant.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A very funny, very warm and moving intergenerational epic that confirms Adichie’s virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity.” —Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King

“Masterful. . . . An expansive, epic love story. . . . Pulls no punches with regard to race, class and the high-risk, heart-tearing struggle for belonging in a fractured world.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] knockout of a novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color. . . . A marvel.” —NPR

“A cerebral and utterly transfixing epic. . . . Americanah is superlative at making clear just how isolating it can be to live far away from home. . . . Unforgettable.” —The Boston Globe

“Witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic . . . a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us. . . . A steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Adichie is uniquely positioned to compare racial hierarchies in the United States to social striving in her native Nigeria. She does so in this new work with a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides of both nations.” —The Washington Post

“Gorgeous. . . . A bright, bold book with unforgettable swagger that proves it sometimes takes a newcomer to show Americans to ourselves.” —The Dallas Morning News

“Part love story, part social critique, and one of the best [novels] you’ll read this year. . . . Characters are richly drawn. . . . Adichie digs in deeply, finding a way to make them fresh.” —Los Angeles Times

“Brave . . . Americanah tackles the U.S. race complex with a directness and brio no U.S. writer of any color would risk. . . . [The novel] brings a cleansing frankness to an old, picked scab on the face of the Republic. It’s not healing, and it’s not going away.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“So smart about so many subjects that to call it a novel about being black in the 21st century doesn’t even begin to convey its luxurious heft and scope. . . . Capacious, absorbing and original.” —Jennifer Reese, NPR

“One of the freshest pieces of fiction of the year. . . . Adichie’s style of writing is familiar and personal. . . . An engrossing, all-encompassing read.” —New York Observer

“Superb . . . Americanah is that rare thing in contemporary literary fiction: a lush, big-hearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique.” —Vogue

“A near-flawless novel, one whose language so beautifully captures the surreal experience of an African becoming an American that one walks away with the sense of having read something definitive.” —The Seattle Times

“An important book . . . its strength and originality lie with the meticulous observation about race—about how embarrassed many Americans are about racial stereotypes, even as they continue to repeat them, about how casual racism still abounds.” —The Economist

“Moving.” —The Huffington Post

“[Americanah] presents a warm, digressive and wholly achieved sense of how African lives are lived in Nigeria, in America and in the places between.” —The Financial Times

“Glorious. . . . Americanah provide[s] Adichie with a fictional vehicle for all kinds of pithy, sharply sensible commentary on race and culture—and us with a symphonic, polyphonic, full-immersion opportunity to think outside the American box.” —Elle

“Winning . . . [Adichie] is a writer of copious gifts . . . breath[ing] life into characters whose fates absorb us. . . . She shows us ourselves through new eyes.” —Newsday

“Adichie defines the sum of disparate cultures with new clarity, while questions of identity and love remain elusive as ever.” —Interview magazine

Between the World and Me

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER

NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Editorial Reviews

“Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”The Boston Globe

“Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”The Washington Post

“Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”Vogue

“A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”The New Yorker

“Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”Entertainment Weekly

Implicit (Unconscious) Bias, Automatic Mental Programs, and Stereotype Threat

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

 

I know my own mind.
I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.

These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.

“Blindspot” is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases. Writing with simplicity and verve, Banaji and Greenwald question the extent to which our perceptions of social groups—without our awareness or conscious control—shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.

In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.

The title’s “good people” are those of us who strive to align our behavior with our intentions. The aim of Blindspot is to explain the science in plain enough language to help well-intentioned people achieve that alignment. By gaining awareness, we can adapt beliefs and behavior and “outsmart the machine” in our heads so we can be fairer to those around us. Venturing into this book is an invitation to understand our own minds.

Brilliant, authoritative, and utterly accessible, Blindspot is a book that will challenge and change readers for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

“Conversational . . . easy to read, and best of all, it has the potential, at least, to change the way you think about yourself.”—Leonard Mlodinow, The New York Review of Books
 
“Accessible and authoritative . . . While we may not have much power to eradicate our own prejudices, we can counteract them. The first step is to turn a hidden bias into a visible one. . . . What if we’re not the magnanimous people we think we are?”The Washington Post
 
“Banaji and Greenwald deserve a major award for writing such a lively and engaging book that conveys an important message: Mental processes that we are not aware of can affect what we think and what we do. Blindspot is one of the most illuminating books ever written on this topic.”—Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D., distinguished professor, University of California, Irvine; past president, Association for Psychological Science; author of Eyewitness Testimony

“A wonderfully cogent, socially relevant, and engaging book that helps us think smarter and more humanely. This is psychological science at its best, by two of its shining stars.”—David G. Myers, professor, Hope College, and author of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils

“[The authors’] work has revolutionized social psychology, proving that—unconsciously—people are affected by dangerous stereotypes.”Psychology Today

“An accessible and persuasive account of the causes of stereotyping and discrimination . . . Banaji and Greenwald will keep even nonpsychology students engaged with plenty of self-examinations and compelling elucidations of case studies and experiments.”Publishers Weekly

“A stimulating treatment that should help readers deal with irrational biases that they would otherwise consciously reject.”Kirkus Reviews

Thinking, Fast and Slow

  •  Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
  • Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
  • A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
  • One of The Economist’s 2011 Books of the Year
  • One of The Wall Street Journal’s Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
  • 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient

 

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011,

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time)

 

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

A Small Representation of Our Publications (by Institute for Equity & Inclusion Experts)


The Psychology of Diversity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism

Editorial Reviews

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