From understanding the history of racism in America to hope for the future, Detroit’s Source Booksellers co-owner Alyson Jones Turner gave us a few reading assignments that can help us all better understand the world around us.
DETROIT, MI — Michiganders are having more conversations about racism and police brutality in the midst of recent civil unrest. The murders of unarmed Black people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are playing out on television and social media almost weekly.
On a recent visit to Source Booksellers in Detroit, The ‘Gander asked the store’s owner for a recommended reading list for Michiganders seeking more information on the day’s events.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘what is the truth I’m seeking,’” Janet Webster Jones said.
The bookstore owner said she isn’t a fan of one-size-fits-all reading lists and prefers to work directly with customers to help point them in the right literary direction. Jones’ daughter Alyson Jones Turner co-owns the store with her and gave ‘Gander readers a few books to check out until they’re able to reach out directly to the Source for personalized book tips.
On Race Relations
1. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
This New York Times bestseller by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. examines parallels between James Baldwin’s dissatisfaction with America’s refusal to confront issues and untruths surrounding race during his time and similar actions today.
2. My Grandmother’s Hands
The book written by therapist Resmaa Menakem looks at “white body supremacy from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.”
3. Invisible Man
The Ralph Ellison classic was first published in 1952 but is still included in high school and college reading lists today. The story is told from the point of view of a nameless Black man living in the South.
On Police Brutality
4. The End of Policing
Author Alex S. Vitale answers one of the day’s most perplexing questions in his book that explores the history of policing and possibilities available if police departments are defunded.
5. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize winner Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor probes topics of the social, political and economic dimensions of the current racial hierarchy of the day, providing context for understanding the emerging movement for black liberation.
On Hope for the Future
6. The World Is Waiting for You: Graduation Speeches to Live By from Activists, Writers, and Visionaries
The impressive contributor list includes Toni Morrison, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, and Gloria Steinem. The graduation speeches offer a glimpse into the life of the country at the time and hope for the generations to come.