RACE IN AMERICA
I was taught, by my parents, that the "N" word is an ignorant person -- male or female, and of any race. And I accept that to be its definition. Even though I don't believe the word is interchangeably related to all Black people, I know I would not like someone calling me that word in a negative way.
As a gay man, I used to think that I knew. I had experienced discrimination from people on the streets and in my family. I had to march in the streets for the right to get married and for equal protection under the law -- I thought that being a part of a minority gave me some insight into what other minorities felt. Turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong.
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Talking about race isn't easy. It's personal, it's political, it's visceral. That these were two of the most hotly anticipated and talked-about books of the year only underscores the power of literature to provide a window into this most difficult of subjects. Here are twelve books that have changed the way we talk about race in America.