The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

One World. Feb. 2021. 432p. ISBN 9780525509561. $28. SOC SCI
In this highly anticipated debut, political commentator McGhee, board chair of Color of Change and former president of the inequality-focused think tank Demos, uses her economic and social policy expertise to argue that structural racism and white supremacy harm everyone, not only people of color. From California to Mississippi to Maine, the narrative follows McGhee as she interviews dozens of people working in low-wage industries across the United States. Her well-researched and well-documented reporting brings their experiences together in order to fully illuminate the detrimental societal costs of racism. Balancing these personal stories with an examination of the root causes of racial and social inequality in the country, McGhee shows that solutions are not and cannot be one-size-fits-all. And the author makes a convincing case that in finding common ground with each other and rejecting the zero-sum structures ingrained in American culture, we can move forward toward mutual understanding for the betterment of everyone. The inclusion of bibliographical references is an added bonus.
VERDICT Essential reading for everyone working on incorporating more anti-racist thought leaders and perspectives into their collection.
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