Skip to Main Content

UMass Lowell Library Resources on Racism in the United States

Books: Anti-Racism and Racism

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

Read and Listen Remotely: From the Boston Public Library [Sign up for your free e-card]
READ ALSO: Jackson, Lauren Michele. "What's Missing From 'White Fragility'" Slate, Sept 4, 2019. [Link]

How to Be an Antiracist

Read Remotely: From the Boston Public Library [Sign up for your free e-card]

Race and Antiracism in Black British and British Asian Literature

Race and Antiracism in Black British and British Asian Literature' offers the first extended exploration of the cultural impact of the politics of race and antiracism in Britain through focussing on a selection of recent novels by black British and British Asian writers. The study argues that an understanding of how race and ethnicity function in contemporary Britain can only be gained through attention to antiracism: the politics of opposing discrimination that manifest at the level of state legislation, within local and national activism, and inside the scholarly exploration of race. It is antiracism that now most strongly conditions the emergence of racial categorisations but also of racial identities and models of behaviour. This sense of how antiracism may determine the form and content of both political debate and individual identity is traced through an examination of ten novels by black British and British Asian writers. These authors range from the well known to the critically neglected: works by Monica Ali, Nadeem Aslam, Fred D'Aguiar, Ferdinand Dennis, Hanif Kureishi, Gautam Malkani, Caryl Phillips, Mike Phillips, Zadie Smith, and Meera Syal are carefully read to explore the impacts of antiracism. These literary studies are grouped into three main themes, each of which is central to the direction of racial political identities over the last two decades in Britain: the use of the continent of Africa as a symbolic focus for black political culture; the changing forms of Muslim culture in Britain; and the emergence of a multiculturalist ethos based around the notion of ethnic communities.

Antiracism Inc. : Why the Way We Talk about Racial Justice Matters

Antiracism Inc., co-edited by Felice Blake, Paula Ioanide, and Alison Reed, traces the ways people along the political spectrum appropriate, incorporate, and neutralize antiracist discourses to perpetuate injustice. It also examines the ways organizers continue to struggle for racial justice in the context of such appropriations. Antiracism Inc. reveals how antiracist claims can be used to propagate racism, and what we can do about it. While related to colorblind, multicultural, and diversity discourses, the appropriation of antiracist rhetoric as a strategy for advancing neoliberal and neoconservative agendas is a unique phenomenon that requires careful interrogation and analysis. Those who co-opt antiracist language and practice do not necessarily deny racial difference, biases, or inequalities. Instead, by performing themselves conservatively as non-racists or liberally as 'authentic' antiracists, they purport to be aligned with racial justice even while advancing the logics and practices of systemic racism. Antiracism Inc. therefore considers new ways of struggling toward racial justice in a world that constantly steals and misuses radical ideas and practices. The critical essays and poetry collected here focus on people and methods that do not seek inclusion in the hierarchical order of gendered racial capitalism. Rather, they focus on aggrieved peoples who have always had to negotiate state violence and cultural erasure, but who also work to build the worlds they envision. These collectivities seek to transform social structures and establish a new social warrant guided by what W.E.B. Du Bois called "abolition democracy," a way of being and thinking that privileges people, mutual interdependence, and ecological harmony over individualist self-aggrandizement and profits. Further, these aggrieved collectivities reshape social relations away from the violence and alienation inherent to gendered racial capitalism, and towards the well-being of the commons. Antiracism Inc. articulates methodologies that strive toward freedom dreams without imposing monolithic or authoritative definitions of resistance. Because power seeks to neutralize revolutionary action through incorporation as much as through elimination, these freedom dreams, as well as the language used to articulate them, are constantly transformed through the critical and creative interventions stemming from the active engagement in liberation struggles. In addition to critical essays by Felice Blake ("How Does Black Cultural Criticism 'Work' in the Age of Antiracist Incorporation?"), Kevin Fellezs ("Nahenahe Soft, Sweet, Melodious], the Sound of Kanaka Maoli Native Hawaiian] Refusal"), Daniel Martinez HoSang ("A Wider Type of Freedom"), Paula Ioanide ("Defensive Appropriations"), George Lipsitz ("The Logic of 'Illogical' Opposition: Tools and Tactics for Tough Times"), Alison Reed ("Gentrifying Disciplines: The Institutional Management of Trauma and Creative Dissent"), Phia S. Salter + Glenn Adams ("Provisional Strategies for Decolonizing Consciousness"), and Barbara Tomlinson ("Wicked Problems and Intersectionality Telephone"), the volume also includes poetry by Dubian Ade, Jari Bradley, Dahlak Brathwaite, Corinne Contreras, Ebony P. Donnley, Colin Masashi Ehara, David Scott (YDS), Daniel Hershel Silber-Baker, and Sophia Terazawa, as well as interviews with Diana Zu iga (CURB, Californians United for a Responsible Budget) and with Gaby Hernandez and Marissa Garcia (PODER, People Organizing for the Defense and Equal Rights of Santa Barbara Youth).

Links: Anti-Racism