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The 3 Best Contemporary Books on Race Relations in America

* Stay informed on contemporary race issues
* Read an award-winning book, written as a letter from father to son, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
* Examine the Asian-American experience with a book by scholar Frank Wu

Racism, cultural politics and race relations are three important issues facing America these days, though it can be argued that they’ve been lingering for decades, if not centuries around the world. More than ever, it’s important to stay informed, so you can tackle these subjects accurately and with perspective, whether you’re chatting with colleagues, debating with family members or contributing to a discussion online.

Start with this list of books, with three different viewpoints from three renowned authors, to delve deeper into the topic.

1. Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

Examining race in the 21st century, scholar and activist Frank H. Wu addresses the Asian-American experience in regards to affirmative action, globalization, and other hot-button issues. By combining personal anecdotes with intense research and examination into legal cases, Wu creates an affecting and informative narrative.


2. Between the World and Me

A New York Times Bestseller, National Book Award Winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” is a searing book written as a letter to his son — and the world — on the African-American experience and struggle against racial oppression and persecution that continues to this day. A must-read.


3. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

In this book, legal scholar Michelle Alexander challenges the notion that we live in an age of colorblindness by examining the way in which the war on drugs targeted African Americans and other minorities, resulting in mass incarceration. It’s a fascinating read that questions how decisions are made — and the consequences that linger as a result of these choices.

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