In recognition of Black History Month (February 2021), we asked CBA members to share with us their favorite book, author, or work that has educated them about the storied Black experience. Happy reading!
BACKLASH: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TALK HONESTLY ABOUT RACISM IN AMERICA by George Yancy In 2015, Yancy, a professor of Philosophy at Emory University, published an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Dear White America.” According to Yancy, he wanted “white people to engage honestly with their racism, to be vulnerable and to let go of their ‘white innocence.’” In telling what happened next, Yancy exposes racism in all of its insidiousness and also explains how whites contribute to structural racism. A powerful work. Recommended by Justice Michael B. Hyman, Illinois Appellate Court, First District; editor-in-chief, CBA Record
THE BLACK HISTORY OF THE WHITE HOUSE by Charles Lusane This book chronicles the previously untold stories of African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build the White House or who were forced to work there, to its first black First Family, the Obamas. It is a haunting tale of the history and challenges of racial politics as seen through the eyes of the black slaves, and later, the black employees, who have observed the presidential occupants of the White House over the years. Recommended by Nina Fain, Trust Counsel, JS Schirn Family Trust; Chair, CBA Covid-19 Member Recovery Committee; Member, CBA Record Editorial Board
CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson This insightful book chronicles the journey of Africans who were abducted by white slavers who brought them to America for sale to Southern plantation owners. It describes their dehumanization as chattel, and the modern impact on Blacks in American society as a result of racial injustice and economic disparities. Recommended by Rev. Dr. Janette Wilson, Senior Legal Advisor, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Inc.