CAAS Campus-Community Book Club & Study Group

Study Group Theme:

“Historicizing Inequality: The Construction of Racial Disparities in American Society”

This year’s Campus-Community Book Club & Study Group theme contributes to the ongoing work of the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Metropolitan Studies Institute. In 2018, USC Upstate’s MSI produced the “Spartanburg Racial Equity Index” for the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project. This important report drew from a range of data sources to quantitatively illuminate racial disparities in housing, income, education, environment, healthcare, criminal justice, and inclusion the law-making structures of democratic institutions within Spartanburg County. The recent wave of social justice activism following the police-involved deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of private citizens has added a renewed immediacy to the effort to remedy the racialized structural inequalities exposed by the “Spartanburg Racial Equity Index,” and racialized structural inequalities within American Society at large.

In response to the current climate’s call to action, and framed by the MSI’s “Spartanburg Racial Equity Index,” this year’s Campus-Community Book Club & Study Group will examine five scholarly texts that tell the story behind the numbers of how the histories of American institutions created the racial inequities that exist today.


2020-2021 Reading List:

Theme: “Historicizing Inequality: The Construction of Racial Disparities in American Society”

September 22, 2020

5:00 p.m-6:15 p.m

Kathleen Brady, “Spartanburg Racial Equity Index: A Review of Predictors and Outcomes.”

(USC Upstate Metropolitan Studies Institute, 2008)

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October 20, 2020

5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.

George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics.

(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998)

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November 24, 2020

5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

(New York: Liverlight Publishing Corporation, 2017)

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February 2021

TBD

Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.

(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017)

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March 2021

TBD

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness..

(New York: The New Press, 2012)

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April 2021

TBD

Harriett Washington, The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.

(New York: Anchor, 2008)

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