“White Rage” by Carol Anderson examines the reality that Black efforts at progress and achievement are often met with resistance and a retrenchment of obstacles. Since the Civil Rights Movement and especially during riots, much has been made of Black people angrily lashing out against injustices and a lack of access to resources. Instead of focusing on the issues that lead to protests and riots, greater attention is often placed on what’s referred to as “Black rage” and calls for adherence to respectability politics. But looking back through American history, Anderson examines America’s historic and present “White rage”, the systemic oppression of Black progress.
“They Were Her Property” by Stephanie Jones-Rogers discusses the role that White women played in the institution of slavery. It’s pointed out that so often, in part because of patriarchy, White women are not perceived as having played an active role in slavery. This is because White women were also subjugated by the patriarchal society of the time and did not have voting rights or other basic civil and civic rights that were afforded to men. But as we see throughout history, and is explained here in this book, an individual or group of people being oppressed does not mean that they themselves are incapable of oppression.
“The Color of Money” by Mehrsa Baradaran discusses the history of Black banks. The author endeavors to show the problems of relying on Black banks to solve the economic problems within the Black community. She shows that throughout history this has been an often repeated idea. Local Black banks and Black people have been tasked with guiding the community out of poverty.
“When Affirmative Action Was White” by Ira Katznelson tells the story of how the progressive programs of the 1930s and 1940s solidified and expanded the American middle class. The implementation of these programs were designed to especially benefit White citizens while excluding Black citizens whenever possible. Coupled with other economic injustices of the past, this unfair distribution of resources and opportunities contributed to the wealth gap that persists to this day. Yet, because the underlying political shenanigans are often unmentioned, it has allowed people in the present to oppose more recent affirmative action programs intended to rectify the situation.