White Rage

My hardcover copy of White Rage has 229 pages but the prose content ends on page 164. This discrepancy is because Dr. Anderson, as the kids say, has the receipts. The last 65 pages are all notes and bibliography, the sources that back up her potent book. This short, straightforward book tells the story of America since the end of the civil war, the story of injustice after injustice being perpetrated against the black community in America by white people in America. The story she tells is succinct and damning; every time black Americans have made progress or had hope of progress since the civil war has been met with resistance from white Americans through every possible avenue of attack.

This history is our history but the shock of this book is that just as white Americans have worked to squelch black progress, we have worked to reframe the root of our actions and deny our motivations. These alternate histories are the ones taught in schools, believed in our hearts, recalled as evidence that America was once great. White Americans have told this lie long enough and loud enough. This book is a sharp antidote to our delusions. Dr. Anderson has done what should have never been necessary: used her time and immense talents to tell the history that white America cowardly denies.

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