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.”
“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.
- The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated by Christina MacSweeney
- Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
- The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
- Somebody’s Daughter: A Novel by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
- The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
- What the Body Remembers: A Novel by Shauna Singh Baldwin
- Citizen by Claudia Rankine
- Gathering of My Name by Cornelius Eady
- Head Off and Split by Nikki Finney
- Martín and Meditations on the South Valley: Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca
- Slow Dance With Trip Wire by Camille Rankine
- This is What Happened in Our Other Life by Achy Obejas
- The Flood by Chiwan Choi
- Coal by Audre Lorde
Yuri Kochiyama, Asian-American Movement Leader
- This Bridge Called My Back by Cherrie Moraga
- Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism by Uriel Quesada
- Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives by Nia King
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- On Lynchings by Ida Wells-Barnett
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
- The Everyday Language of White Racism by Jane H. Hill
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks
- Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria
- The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris
- Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism by Nadine Naber
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
- A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States by Gyanendra Pandey
- Rosa Lee: A Generational Tale Of Poverty And Survival In Urban America by Leon Dash
- Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies Migrant Farmworkers in the United States by Seth Holmes
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