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The US of 2042: Recommended Reading to Make Sense of the Census Report’s Diversity Findings

Image credit: Gerd Altmann

Ch-ch-ch-changes are happening to the US population, and time is changing us. The results from the Census Bureau’s 2020 head count are in: the country is growing more urban and more racially and ethnically diverse! And more citizens are identifying as mixed race. Put another way, the population is growing less white. White Americans are on track to make up the minority by 2042. What does this mean for a country founded on enslavement, settler colonialism, and systemic disenfranchisement? Let’s take several steps back to get perspective. These books from our catalog will be enlightening for our increasingly diverse future.


Did That Just Happen

Did That Just Happen?!: Beyond “Diversity”—Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations
Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Lauren Wadsworth

The more diverse the workplace becomes, the more we’ll need to improve cultural awareness of a variety of communities and identities to sustain inclusivity at the office. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Drs. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Lauren Wadsworth offer real-life accounts that illustrate common workplace occurrences around inclusivity and answers to questions like “How do I identify and handle diversity landmines at work?” and “What can I do when I’ve made a mistake?”


Nice Racism

Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm
Robin DiAngelo

Old habits die harder than a block of cement. Racism is one of them, whether it’s explicit or dressed up in niceness by White progressives. Don’t be surprised to see White families flocking to strictly white enclaves, especially for “better” schools and school districts. One of the moves of “nice racism” that Robin DiAngelo identifies in White progressives is pretending their preference for segregation is accidental. “It’s just a fluke,” they’ll say, or “This school is a better fit for my child.” They’re rewarded for living in White neighborhoods and, consequently, perpetuating segregation.


One Drop

One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race
Yaba Blay

The US Census has a pitiful track record, and you need to know its history. It reveals a lot about how the country thinks about race. Since the period of colonial enslavement, Blacks have been defined by the one-drop rule. Through historiographic overview and sixty individual stories with photographs, Yaba Blay proves how the rule has everything to do with preserving the country club of whiteness and its privileges and nothing to do with Blackness as an identity and lived reality.


Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate

Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination
Alexandra Minna Stern

It will be inevitable. White nationalists will freak out and shout claims of white genocide because of the growth in our communities of color. Alexandra Minna Stern takes a deep dive down the rabbit hole to uncover the source of this ideology and teaches us how to recognize it in our cultural, political, and digital landscapes when it rears its ugly head. Because it will. White supremacy is quite the Hydra.


Same Family Different Colors

Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families
Lori L. Tharps

As more individuals and families identify has mixed race, they’ll find themselves navigating colorism, color bias, and skin-color politics. Weaving together personal stories and interviews, history, and cultural analysis, Lori L. Tharps illuminates the complex and multifaceted ways that colorism affects our self-esteem and shapes our lives and relationships. She also includes a brief history of the Census Bureau and how we got the term “Hispanic” in the census in the first place.


Some of My Friends Are pb

Some of My Friends Are . . . : The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships
Deborah L. Plummer

In spite of the demographic ch-ch-ch-changes, people will still find ways of staying segregated within their social circles. Most US citizens tend to gravitate toward friendships within their own race. Plummer gives an insightful look at how cross-racial friendships work and fail. She also encourages all of us to examine our friendship patterns and to deepen and strengthen our current cross-racial friendships.



Superior: The Return of Race Science
Angela Saini

Continuing with the theme from Stern’s Proud Boys, mainstream scientists can hold fast to the idea that race is a biological reality, no matter how educated they are. The hope of finding simple genetic differences between “races”—to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores, or to justify cultural assumptions—stubbornly persists. Saini examines of the insidious and destructive nature of race science—and reminds us that, biologically, we are all far more alike than different.


Success Through Diversity

Success Through Diversity: Why Inclusive Companies Will Win
Carol Fulp

Increasing demographics in our diverse society means our workforce will grow more racially and ethnically diverse. Companies that proactively embrace diversity in all areas of their operations will be best poised to thrive. Renowned business leader and visionary Carol Fulp explores staffing trends in the US and provides a blueprint for what businesses must do to maintain their competitiveness and customer base.


When One Religion Isn't Enough

When One Religion Isn’t Enough: The Lives of Spiritually Fluid People
Duane R. Bidwell

With more people identifying as mixed race, there’s a good chance that they’ll come from two or more religious traditions. They’re part of the spiritually fluid community. No, they’re not confused or unable to commit. Duane R. Bidwell explores how they celebrate complex religious bonds, and in the process, blur social categories, evoke prejudice, and complicate religious communities. Religious and spiritual identity are not pure, static, and singular as we may assume.


White Space Black Hood

White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality
Sheryll Cashin

In spite of the growing diversity of our population, opportunity hoarding and segregation will still be a thing, because white supremacy lies at the root of the US caste system. Sheryll Cashin contends that geography is central to US caste and traces the history of anti-Black residential caste to unpack its current legacy so we can begin the work to dismantle the structures and policies that undermine Black lives.