10 books like The Color of Money

By Mehrsa Baradaran,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Color of Money. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Color of Law

By Richard Rothstein,

Book cover of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

When I was trying to figure out how the city of Charlotte became segregated, this book was a godsend. Rothstein explodes the myth that segregation in America grew primarily from individual choices, such as White people fleeing a neighborhood when a Black family moved in. He shows how local, state, and federal governments passed laws and made policies that created the housing and school segregation that much of the nation lives with today.  

The Color of Law

By Richard Rothstein,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Color of Law as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Widely heralded as a "masterful" (The Washington Post) and "essential" (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers "the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation" (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced…


Slavery by Another Name

By Douglas A. Blackmon,

Book cover of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites in the U.S. is enormous! Whites have 10 times the wealth as Blacks. The disparity is not because Whites are smarter or have worked harder. This book does a masterful job of clearly explaining one of the reasons behind the wide wealth gap. 

Most people are aware of the fact that 246 years of slavery was a successful government policy that intentionally enriched Whites while simultaneously impoverishing Blacks. But most people are not aware that a new system with the same dual objectives, followed the abolition of slavery in 1865. This book tells the story of Black Codes, Vagrancy Laws, and convict leasing that occurred for 60 years after the passage of the 13th Amendment, emancipating Black enslaved people. These government supported policies replaced slavery as the new program to subsidize White wealth creation at the expense of millions of Blacks. 

Douglas Blackman…

Slavery by Another Name

By Douglas A. Blackmon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Slavery by Another Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This groundbreaking historical expose unearths the lost stories of enslaved persons and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter in “The Age of Neoslavery.”

By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented Pulitzer Prize-winning account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

Following the Emancipation Proclamation, convicts—mostly black men—were “leased” through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments. Using a…


Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Book cover of Between the World and Me

Coates’ memoir, written in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son, was his response to the 2000 death of his former Howard University classmate, killed by an undercover police officer in a case of mistaken identity. Coates grounds this story in deep research that explores the presumption of Black criminality woven through our history – in laws against aiding fugitive slaves, in slave codes that made it a crime to learn to read, in white terrorism that disenfranchised black people. I’ve admired Coates since I discovered his 2014 Atlantic article, “The Case for Reparations.” His message is devastating. His writing is beautiful. 

Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Between the World and Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)
 
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN •…

The Warmth of Other Suns

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Book cover of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Wilkerson embeds us with some of the millions of Black men and women who fled the Jim Crow South between 1915 and 1970, describing communities abandoned and hopes realized or disappointed. Robert Foster left his Louisiana town for Southern California, where he navigated new forms of racism to establish himself as a surgeon and prominent social figure. Ida Mae Gladney took her family from Mississippi to Chicago, where lodging, segregation, and “mind-numbing labor” scarcely improved on that of the South. But it was in Chicago that Ida Mae was first able to vote. Through the lives of people like these, Wilkerson paints a sweeping history of twentieth-century America that tells us as much about a country and an era as Tolstoy did in War and Peace.

The Warmth of Other Suns

By Isabel Wilkerson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Warmth of Other Suns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official…

A World More Concrete

By N.D.B. Connolly,

Book cover of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida

I love Miami, and I was immediately drawn to this stunning look at the relationship between the making of the cosmopolitan Miami we know today and the history of racial exclusion in the South. Before the high rises, the posh beach resorts, fine dining restaurants, and internationally renowned nightlife, South Florida epitomized all the forces of American history: conflict and negotiation with indigenous populations, reliance on immigrant populations, racially restrictive covenants, and powerbrokers of all colors looking to profit from real estate.

A World More Concrete

By N.D.B. Connolly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A World More Concrete as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Many people characterize urban renewal projects and the power of eminent domain as two of the most widely despised and often racist tools for reshaping American cities in the postwar period. In A World More Concrete, N. D. B. Connolly uses the history of South Florida to unearth an older and far more complex story. Connolly captures nearly eighty years of political and land transactions to reveal how real estate and redevelopment created and preserved metropolitan growth and racial peace under white supremacy. Using a materialist approach, he offers a long view of capitalism and the color line, following much…

Race for Profit

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor,

Book cover of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Race for Profit connects all the dots on the imbalances in housing in the United States today.  As someone who bought a first home right before the mortgage meltdown, I’ve always wondered about the experiences of Black homebuyers historically.  This is an expertly researched look at predatory inclusion, the nefarious ways that institutions—in this case the banks and real estate industry—extended opportunities for homeownership to poor, Black families to purchase homes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Rather than create high-quality public housing or enforcing the principles of fair housing laws, the federal government supported home buying schemes that ultimately imperiled buyers.  Taylor places emphasis on how discourses about Black women and housing planted the seeds for backlash against people who received public assistance and housing program users.

Race for Profit

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Race for Profit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.

Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative…

Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965-1980

By Devin Fergus,

Book cover of Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965-1980

When I teach students about the Civil Rights Movement, many of them had previously learned that the freedom struggle ended after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. I disabuse them of this notion by highlighting all the political work that was inspired—rather than stymied—by King’s passing. In this book, Fergus provides a provocative idea: What if the radicals of the late 1960s and 1970s were able to influence liberals and conservatives alike? By showing the ways that Black Power actually resonated with the leaders of pre-Reagan America, Fergus recovers the various approaches to capitalism, political participation, and compromise that can’t be easily categorized as Left or Right.

Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965-1980

By Devin Fergus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965-1980 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents a provocative reinterpretation of recent political history. In this pioneering exploration of the interplay between liberalism and black nationalism, Devin Fergus returns to the tumultuous era of Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Helms and challenges us to see familiar political developments through a new lens. What if the liberal coalition, instead of being torn apart by the demands of Black Power, actually engaged in a productive relationship with radical upstarts, absorbing black separatists into the political mainstream and keeping them from a more violent path? What if the New Right arose not only in response to Great Society…

Represented

By Brenna Wynn Greer,

Book cover of Represented: The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined African American Citizenship

By looking at the role of influential Black marketing researchers and advertisers, Represented delves into the murky relationship between activist politics and the marketplace through the ads for cars and colas that featured African-Americans. By looking at the dissonance between segregated lunch counters and photographs representing happy, Black consumers, Greer links the ways that advertising fuels fantasies about individual and communal progress.

Represented

By Brenna Wynn Greer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Represented as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1948, Moss Kendrix, a former New Deal public relations officer, founded a highly successful, Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm, the flagship client of which was the Coca-Cola Company. As the first black pitchman for Coca-Cola, Kendrix found his way into the rarefied world of white corporate America. His personal phone book also included the names of countless black celebrities, such as bandleader Duke Ellington, singer-actress Pearl Bailey, and boxer Joe Louis, with whom he had built relationships in the course of developing marketing campaigns for his numerous federal and corporate clients. Kendrix, along with Ebony publisher John H. Johnson…


Wilmington's Lie

By David Zucchino,

Book cover of Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

Wilmington’s Lie, winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, documents one of the darkest episodes in North Carolina’s history – the violent overthrow of an elected government in the Black-majority city of Wilmington. It was a massacre that left at least 60 Black men dead. I lived in North Carolina for decades before I heard about this history. And I’m hardly alone. Until recently, this coup had been described as a “race riot” and largely omitted from textbooks, while its White supremacist organizers had been revered as great North Carolinians. If you want to understand what people mean when they talk about the “whitewashing” of American history, this book is the ultimate case study.

Wilmington's Lie

By David Zucchino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wilmington's Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Juneteenth Story

By Alliah L. Agostini,

Book cover of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

After interviewing me for my new book in May 2021, the editor of a suburban newspaper in Chicago asked me to write an Op Ed piece about the new federal holiday, Juneteenth. It is the day of recognition and celebration of the ending of slavery in the last confederate state of Texas in 1865. My Op Ed piece titled, “My Bittersweet Feelings About Juneteenth,” was written to inform and educate adult readers about June 19, 1865. That was the day Union Troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and began informing Black enslaved people that they were officially emancipated. 

The Juneteenth Story is a well-researched and beautifully written historical depiction of the same event. But the targeted audience of readers are children. It is the size of a large typical children’s coloring book filled with pretty colors and appealing graphic art. My 40-year-old daughter, Akilah, gave it to me as a Father’s…

The Juneteenth Story

By Alliah L. Agostini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Juneteenth Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


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