Books shelved under “Antiracism”

23 reviews found

  1. Book cover for The History of White People

    The History of White People

    by Nell Irvin Painter

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This is a small thing, but I feel like it’s rare these days for a non-fiction book to lack a subtitle. The History of White People is minimalist in this sense: the title says it all. So too does the cover of my edition: pure white with a black circle in the centre containing the title and author in white block letters; nothing else on the front cover, blurbs pushed to the back and even…

  2. Book cover for White Tears/Brown Scars

    White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color

    by Ruby Hamad

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Although I would have picked this up on my own once I heard about it, I sought out and read White Tears/Brown Scars as a part of an antiracist book club that I joined for the month of June. Comprising mostly educators in Ontario, the book club’s organizer picked this book because our profession is predominantly white women, so white tears are a problem. As a white women, I’m a part of that problem,…

  3. Book cover for The Skin We’re In

    The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power

    by Desmond Cole

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Somehow amidst all the well-deserved hype for The Skin We’re In, I missed hearing about its structure! This is Not Your Typical political memoir in that Desmond Cole has chosen a very deliberate structure: each chapter is a month in 2017 (with a coda for January 2018). He uses an event from each month of that year as a launching point for discussing issues of anti-Black racism and social justice in Canada. In this…

  4. Book cover for Blackface

    Blackface

    by Ayanna Thompson

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This is an interesting idea for the Object Lessons series from Bloomsbury. Blackface seems like more of an idea or practice than an object, yet semantic quibbles aside, Ayanna Thompson presents a concise and compelling overview of the subject. Blackface discusses the history of the practice, and in particular, Thompson helps us understand how power imbalances between white and Black performers have contributed to the unequal dynamic in which white people often feel ok performing…

  5. Book cover for Can You Hear Me Now?

    Can You Hear Me Now?: How I Found My Voice and Learned to Live with Passion and Purpose

    by Celina Caesar-Chavannes

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Like many Canadians, sometimes it feels like I know more about American politics than our own politics. American politics are louder, flashier, and take up more space in our news. So I’m trying my best to continue to monitor my country’s politics, particularly when it comes to issues of equity. That’s what drew me to Can You Hear Me Now?: I had heard of Celina Caesar-Chavannes and her rocky experience as a Black, female…

  6. Book cover for Mediocre

    Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

    by Ijeoma Oluo

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    When I heard Ijeoma Oluo had written another book, there was no question in my mind that I would run, not walk, to NetGalley to request it. Publisher Seal Press made it happen! Medicore: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America is a formidable follow-up to So You Want to Talk About Race. In her first book, Oluo outlines all the ways that white people can move past ignorance and fragility to have…

  7. Book cover for Hood Feminism

    Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

    by Mikki Kendall

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    In a dramatized conversation between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth in season 4, episode 1 of The Crown, Thatcher, the UK’s first female prime minister, avers that she has found women “in general not to be suited to high office.” Thatcher climbed the ladder that feminism had built, but she saw herself as rising above the frailties of her sex—an exception that proved the rule—to be more like a man, and she and…

  8. Book cover for How to Argue With a Racist

    How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don't) Say About Human Difference

    by Adam Rutherford

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As a few other people on Goodreads have remarked, the subtitle of this book is more accurate than the title. How to Argue With a Racist: What Our Genes Do (and Don't) Say About Human Difference definitely discusses genetics as it relates to race. It is less useful if you’re looking for rhetorical tips on arguing with or debating racists or white supremacists. Adam Rutherford clearly and coherently lays out why such people are wrong…

  9. Book cover for Sisters in Hate

    Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism

    by Seyward Darby

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My colleagues and friends keep coming to me for recommendations for anti-racist reading, and I, of course, want to keep educating myself. So I was chuffed when Little, Brown offered me a review copy of Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism. Now, I’m trying to mostly read anti-racism books written by people of colour—white people writing such books is fairly problematic, but Seyward Darby has seized on the…

  10. Book cover for White Fragility

    White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

    by Robin DiAngelo

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I am white. I am extremely white, because I grew up (and currently live) in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Despite this city being situated on the lands of Fort William First Nation, it remains incredibly white and segregated (see Seven Fallen Feathers for more info). That’s changing a little now, and we have more people of colour coming here as immigrants and refugees. But I grew up largely sheltered from socializing with children of immigrants or…

  11. Book cover for The Sleeping Giant Awakens

    The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation

    by David B. MacDonald

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I live in Thunder Bay, the place of the eponymous sleeping giant, Nanabozho, and a location steeped in anti-Indigenous racism and an ongoing legacy of colonial oppression. So, despite being a white settler and thus the privileged party here, I do have to deal with these issues—and like other settler Canadians, I’ve got a tremendous responsibility here. I picked up The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation because…

  12. Book cover for A Terrible Thing to Waste

    A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind

    by Harriet A. Washington

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The common reaction to people seeing what I was reading with A Terrible Thing to Waste was, “Environmental racism? What’s that?” So I explained it to them, fairly succinctly I think, because it really isn’t that difficult of a concept. Indeed, when I mentioned that, historically, decisions about where to dump waste and where to build factories and how to zone cities or rent houses have disproportionately affected marginalized and racialized people, most of those…

  13. Book cover for All Our Relations

    All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

    by Tanya Talaga

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    One year ago I read Tanya Talaga’s Seven Fallen Feathers, in which she remembers the seven Indigenous youths who died far from home while attending Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School here in Thunder Bay. In that heartbreaking and essential work, she links these deaths to a structure of colonialism and white supremacy and an ongoing form of cultural genocide in which the government and the rest of us remain complicit. Now Talaga is back…

  14. Book cover for Policing Black Lives

    Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present

    by Robyn Maynard

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Policing Black Lives took me almost an entire month to read, which is virtually unheard of, and it’s not a very long book. It is, however, very dense, academic, and not at all happy reading. Nevertheless, it is an important book. I first heard about it, and from Robyn Maynard, on an episode of the Canadaland Commons podcast devoted to the gaps in Canada’s curriculum on the history of slavery and anti-Blackness. Since I grew…

  15. Book cover for Algorithms of Oppression

    Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

    by Safiya Umoja Noble

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So you read So You Want to Talk About Race and now you have more questions. Specifically, you’re wondering how privilege affects your life online. Surely the Internet is the libertarian cyber-utopia we were all promised, right? It’s totally free of bias and discrimina—sorry, I can’t even write that with a straight face.

    Of course the Internet is a flaming cesspool of racism and misogyny. We can’t have good things.

    What Safiya Umoja Noble sets…

  16. Book cover for White Privilege

    White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society

    by Kalwant Bhopal

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So let’s say you acknowledge white privilege exists. (If you don’t, you should back up and maybe read something like So You Want to Talk about Race.) But maybe now you’re wondering how much white privilege actually affects people, particularly when it comes to issues of education and the workplace. That’s what White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society tackles. Kalwant Bhopal carefully and in great detail pieces together a picture of how…

  17. Book cover for So You Want to Talk About Race

    So You Want to Talk About Race

    by Ijeoma Oluo

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Do you ever accidentally inhale a book? Like, you meant to read it with your eyes, but, whoops, suddenly there it is, lodged in your esophagus and now you have to go to the hospital and explain, in various gestures, how you breathed in an entire book? This happens to me more often than I would like to admit. So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, is just the latest…

  18. Book cover for Residential Schools and Reconciliation

    Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts Its History

    by J.R. Miller

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    As Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this year, reconciliation was increasingly a buzzword on the lips of politicians, journalists, and celebrities. Most people seemed to recognize that we have a ways to go in our relationship with Indigenous peoples—but most people also seem unwilling to put that recognition into action. As my recent review of Seven Fallen Feathers shows, our country is still a hostile place when it comes to Indigenous lives. And the present…

  19. Book cover for Seven Fallen Feathers

    Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

    by Tanya Talaga

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City is one of those books I wish didn’t exist but am so grateful it does. Over the past few years, I’ve seen my city come up in the national media from time to time—and often related to Indigenous issues, such as the deaths or inquests of the students in this book. But after the interest in those stories dies down, and the spotlight…

  20. Book cover for Between the World and Me

    Between the World and Me

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was really looking forward to finally digging into Between the World and Me. It seemed like the perfect type of summer reading: intellectually stimulating, yet short; intense in its topics and writing, yet luxurious in its prose. Ta-Nehisi Coates' conscious emulation of the structure and style of early twentieth century writers like James Baldwin (whom, to be fair, I haven't read) makes for a nice departure from more prosaic non-fiction. Epistolary as it…

  21. Book cover for The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give

    by Angie Thomas

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I'm flagging this with a spoiler warning because I want to talk about the entirety of The Hate U Give, but with that being said, I don’t think spoiling the plot details of this book will spoil the emotional experience. If anything, you should be able to guess how this book ends. It is, after all, a mirror for our society.

    Let’s start by boosting some Black women’s voices in this discussion of The

  22. Book cover for For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too

    For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education

    by Christopher Emdin

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This review is lengthy and also gets quite personal, since I can’t help but examine For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood …and the Rest of Y’all Too in the light of my own experiences as a teacher.

    TL;DR: Christopher Emdin is awesome, and this book is too. It’s short and accessible, but it has such staying power. I wish this were mandatory in teacher training everywhere. Also, minor spoilers for Anne of Green

  23. Book cover for Blood

    Blood: The Stuff of Life

    by Lawrence Hill

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The human body is weird. I mean, it’s a wonder we function at all. We’re fragile bags of mostly water that support a strange and wonderful organ that seems to give us consciousness. All this happens through a complex set of interconnected systems that work to keep us alive. I’m really not down with the ickiness of my biology: bring on the robot bodies! Until that happens, though, I’m forced to agree with Lawrence Hill: