Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #1: For White Folks Who Think They Aren’t Racist


Reading Mixtape Header

Let us all listen to the brilliant writer Claudia Rankine, discussing race, white liberals, and her book Citizen, in a recent interview with BuzzFeed:

BuzzFeed: You mentioned liberal subjectivity in an interview last year.There’s a distancing that takes place in many liberal circles, a lot of “we’re not like that”. I’m interested in the space between how many white liberals see themselves, separate to “the bad people”.

Claudia Rankine: Well, this is why I wanted the book to exist in the space of the white liberal. Because people like to say “oh, it’s the South”, “it’s ignorance”, “it’s white supremacist Fox News”. And I’m like, no, no, no. It’s white alliance with all of those things. So that these moments are happening in our offices, with our so-called friends, in the Congress, among highly educated people who apparently know better. So it was a very conscious thing to move the book away from scandal and towards white alliance. The use of the second person – that “you” – was meant to say, “Step in here with me, because there is no me without you inside this dynamic.”


Claudia Rankine

“Step in here with me…”  Yes.  Yes, I will. Yes.

Let us listen to people of color. Let us educate ourselves. Let us move and agitate and stand with people of color and do the hard work to make this world a just, equitable place. Yes.

Our silence is racist. Our inaction is racist.

Let us be in the fight.





  1. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney
  2. Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
  3. The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
  4. Somebody’s Daughter: A Novel by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
  5. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  6. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
  7. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  8. What the Body Remembers: A Novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin




  1. Citizen by Claudia Rankine
  2. Gathering of My Name by Cornelius Eady
  3. Head Off and Split by Nikki Finney
  4. Martín and Meditations on the South Valley: Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca
  5. Slow Dance With Trip Wire by Camille Rankine
  6. This is What Happened in Our Other Life by Achy Obejas
  7. The Flood by Chiwan Choi
  8. Coal by Audre Lorde



Yuri Kochiyama, Asian-American Movement Leader


  1. This Bridge Called My Back by Cherrie Moraga
  2. Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism by Uriel Quesada
  3. Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives by Nia King




  1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  2. On Lynchings by Ida Wells-Barnett
  3. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  4. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  5. The Everyday Language of White Racism by Jane H. Hill
  6. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  7. Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks
  8. Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria
  9. The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte
  10. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
  11. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  12. The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris
  13. Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism by Nadine Naber
  14. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  15. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
  16. A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States by Gyanendra Pandey
  17. Rosa Lee: A Generational Tale Of Poverty And Survival In Urban America by Leon Dash
  18. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth Holmes




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Original logo art by Esme Blegvad.

Anna March’s writing appears regularly in Salon and here at the Rumpus and her work has been widely published including in The New York Times' Modern Love Column, New York Magazine, VQR, Hip Mama and Tin House. Her essay collection, Feminist Killjoy, and novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, are both forthcoming and she is at work on two new books. She teaches writing workshops, mentors writers, is active in promoting literary community and is the co-founder of LITFOLKS in LA and DC. She lives in Rehoboth Beach and Los Angeles. Sometimes she has pink hair. Follow her on Twitter @ANNAMARCH or learn more about her at ANNAMARCH.COM. More from this author →