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Reading Recommendations from Ibram X. Kendi

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi joined us on February 18th for the third event in our 2020-21 Portland Arts & Lectures series. While interviewed by Chabre Vickers, Dr. Kendi shared some of his recent reads. His recommendations are below.

The Sum of Us
by Heather McGhee

From Penguin Random House: One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy—and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

UPCOMING EVENT: Catch Heather McGhee on Tuesday, March 2nd in a virtual event co-presented by Literary Arts! More information HERE.

Order your copy of The Sum of Us from an indie bookstore:
Powell’s Books | Broadway Books | Annie Bloom’s Books | Third Eye Books

The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X
by Les Payne & Tamara Payne

From WW Norton: An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author’s interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative.

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X—all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Order your copy of The Dead Are Arising from an indie bookstore:
Powell’s Books | Broadway Books | Annie Bloom’s Books | Third Eye Books

Our Time is Now
by Stacey Abrams

From Macmillan: From political leader Stacey Abrams, a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country.

A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn’t win, but she has not conceded. The book compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.

Order your copy of Our Time Is Now from an indie bookstore:
Powell’s Books | Broadway Books | Annie Bloom’s Books | Third Eye Books

“We are strongest when we see the most vulnerable in our society, bear witness to their struggles, and then work to create systems to make it better.”

Stacey Abrams, Our Time Is Now

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