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Tragic Investment: How Race Sabotages Communities and Jeopardizes America’s Future and What We Can Do about It

 

America’s investment in race and racial oppression was central to its early years as a nation – a theme that dates back to Europe’s earliest colonial efforts in the Western Hemisphere.

Some of the contemporary consequences for communities of color are clear: Numerous studies routinely quantify racial disparities in virtually every social arena. But are there negative consequences of this historical investment for white people? R. James Addington explores that weighty topic while seeking to answer questions such as: How do we repair the damage done to communities as a result of our racial history? Is racial oppression related to our ability to respond to ecological challenges? Does our investment in racial oppression jeopardize our nation’s future?

Addington suggests that racism harms us all, and he pays particular attention to the subtle ways white people are damaged. He also suggests that race sabotages the nation’s capacity to negotiate the challenges the future poses. Explore how overcoming racism and shaping a sustainable, resilient society are bound together in Tragic Investment.

 

 

Reviews

“Thick and deep, clear and well-resourced, Tragic Investment is an invitation into wholeness for individuals and communities steeped in the historical suffering brought by our collective racist past. If you don’t understand why some people are upset about racism, read this book. If you don’t yet see the impact racism has had on you, your family, your community, and your neighbors, read this book. If you have been looking for ways to dismantle the social architecture of white supremacy but don’t know where to begin, or as a white person you don’t see a place for you in conversations about race, start here. Read this book.” —Mary Clifford, PhD; Saint Cloud State University, Saint Cloud, Minnesota

“R. James Addington has managed to provide readers with an exceptionally well-conceived, well-researched, and well-argued analysis of structural racism in the U.S. that will be accessible and usable for scholars, community activists and organizers, for secondary and post-secondary students and for the general public. His book provides readers with historical context for understanding racial formation and ideology, a powerful analysis of systemic and structural racism, a rigorous critique of white identity, and a practical and actionable guide to organizing against racism and for sustainable, resilient communities.” —Frances Condon, PhD; Waterloo University, Waterloo, Ontario

“…a very deep look and…. a strong contribution to a growing field of analytic literature that puts the American experience of race into clearer focus. He offers a practical vision of collaborative work in communities and its relationship to interrupting long-standing patterns within society as a whole. It is a book that every organizer should read.” —Terry Bergdall, PhD; Board of Directors, Asset Based Community Development Institute, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

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R. James Addington has been an antiracism organizer and trainer for the past twenty-seven years. He is a training consultant with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, an organization dedicated to building racial justice in institutions. He has lived and worked in eight different nations as a training and development consultant. Visit his website here.

Review & Commentary