Read These Books to Learn About Systemic Racism

As we become more aware of the racial injustices taking place in the present, it is also important to learn about the past and how it affects where we are. Below is a list of books that explore how various aspects of structural and institutional racism have impacted the black community.

Racism in sports

$ 40 Million Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete was written by William C. Roden and is a New York Times bestseller. This is an interesting book that draws a parallel between the exploitation of blacks in slave plantations and in sports arenas. Rodin details the exploitation of black athletes, which has affected team owners, sports agents, media and university programs.

You can purchase a copy here .

Inequality in the health care system

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present Day is a heartbreaking detailed history of the use of black people for experimentation in the medical industry. Written by Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid details the notorious and lesser-known atrocities committed in the American health care system.

You can purchase paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and audiobooks here .

Racial inequality in financial institutions

The average white family has 13 times more wealth than the average black family. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran explores how we have such a large gap in the distribution of wealth. It was written to show bias and structural racism in financial institutions, including banking, the credit system, and income-to-debt ratios.

The book is available in audio, paperback, hardcover and NOOK here .

Injustice in the criminal justice system

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that slavery is illegal unless you commit a crime – and since most people in prisons are black, we could attribute this amendment to a blatant way of suppressing black people.

Raw Law: A City Guide to Criminal Justice , written by 30-year-old criminal and constitutional law veteran Mohammad I. Bashir, provides an insight into what the criminal justice system really looks like and who it is designed to help. [Full Disclosure: Muhammad I. Bashir Is My Father.] This book has been used as a teaching tool in both school and university programs, as well as prison reform and gang unification programs.

You can purchase a copy of Raw Law here or here .

Recognizing mental health inequities

Mental health is often a big topic of discussion in the United States. However, black people are disproportionately demonized when they exhibit mental health problems and are not given equal access to care resources (therapists, drugs, resources).

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: An American Legacy of Permanent Trauma and Healing was written by Dr. Joy Degrew. After 12 years of quantitative and qualitative research, Dr. Degrew developed the theory of the condition of PTSD, which is the result of multi-generational enslavement and other forms of oppression in the black community.

Dr. Degrew’s book is available here in paperback and hardcover.


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