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The Citadel Diversity Reading Program

Reading to learn about diverse experiences, cultures, etc.

Recommended Books

The Hummingbirds Daughter (2006) Luiz Alberto Urrea

Into the Beautiful North (2010) by Luiz Alberto Urrea

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures (2012) by Colin Woodard

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (1998) by Anne Fadiman 

Turn Right at Machu Pichu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time (2011) by Mark Adams

The Vegetarian (2016) by Han Kang

The Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charaleston (2005) by Stephany E. Yhll

Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's right and What to do About it (2012) by Max H. Bazerman

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (2017) by Michael Eric Dyson

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting in the Cafeteria Together? (2017) by Beverly. D. Tatum

Warmth of Other Suns (2011) by Isabel Wilkerson (African American migration out of the South from late 1900 to 1970s)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2012) by Michelle Alexander

Slavery by Another Name (2009) by Douglas A. Blackmon (also PBS documentary)

Charleston in Black and White: Race and Power in the South After the Civil Rights Movement (2018) by Steve Estes

Between the World and Me (2015) by Ta-Nehisi Coats

Negroland: A Memoir (2016) by Margo Jefferson (an African American woman raised with more than enough – this did not exempt her from experiencing racism)

Book of Negroes (2010) by Lawence Hill

Julie Lipovsky's List

Multicultural Books and Movies

This list is always growing.  It is woefully incomplete and includes many works that include stereotypes and may be very unrealistic.  On the other hand, it includes many works from the perspective of people in minority and/or marginalized groups.  These inform the reader/watcher of the impact of different life and cultural experiences.  Most are works that I have read/seen and reflect my identity as a white woman.  I welcome suggestions and look forward to learning from you!


How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents                                          Julia Alvarez

The House on Mango Street                                                               Sandra Cisneros

Mountains Beyond Mountains                                                            Tracy Kidder

Make Your Home Among Strangers                                                  Jennine Capo Crucet

In the Midst of Winter                                                                                    Isabel Allende


African American

Dreams of My Father                                                                          Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope                                                                        Barack Obama

The Color of Water                                                                             James McBride

Anything by                                                                                        Toni Morrison

Mama Day                                                                                          Gloria Naylor

I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked out All the Pots                   Susan Straight

Their Eyes were Watching God                                                         Zora Neal Hurston

The Living is Easy                                                                              Dorothy West

Native Son                                                                                          Richard Wright

Invisible Man                                                                                      Ralph Ellison

Go Tell it on the Mountain                                                                 James Baldwin

The Color Purple                                                                                 Alice Walker

I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings (+other memoirs and poetry)       Maya Angelou

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou                             Maya Angelou

The Help                                                                                             Katherine Stockett

Run                                                                                                     Ann Patchett

The Blacker the Berry                                                                         Wallace Thurman

Things fall apart                                                                                  Chinua Achebe

Island Beneath the Sea                                                                        Isabel Allende

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,

an American Slave (1845)                                                      Frederick Douglass

Iola Leroy (1892)                                                                                Frances E. W. Harper

The Marrow of Tradition (1901)                                                        Charles W. Chesnutt

The Souls of Black Folk (1903)                                                         W. E. B. Du Bois

The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man (1912)                          James Weldon Johnson

Quicksand (1928)                                                                                Nella Larsen

Uncle Tom’s Children (1940)                                                            Richard Wright

Corregidora (1975)                                                                             Gayl Jones

Anything by this author….                                                                 Toni Morrison

Fences (1986)                                                                                    August Wilson

The Wedding (1995)                                                                           Dorothy West

Song Yet Sung (2008)                                                                        James McBride

There Is Confusion (1924)                                                                  Jessie Fauset

Imperium in Imperio (1899)                                                               Sutton E. Griggs

The Ways of White Folks (1933)                                                       Langston Hughes

Passing (1929)                                                                                    Nella Larsen

Slavery by Another Name                                                                  Douglas A. Blackmon

Panther Baby                                                                                      Jamal Joseph

A Hope in the Unseen                                                                         Ron Suskind

Daughters of the Dust (novel about Gullah/Geechee culture)           Julie Dash

The Warmth of Other Suns                                                                 Isabel Wilkerson

Twelve Years a Slave                                                                         Solomon Northrup

How to be Black                                                                                 Baratunde Thurston   

The Invention of Wings                                                                      Sue Monk Kidd

The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of

            Colorblindness                                                                        Michelle Alexander

Americanah                                                                                         Chimamanda Ngozi


Brown Girl Dreaming                                                                         JacquelineWoodson

House Girl                                                                                           Tara Conklin

Fire Shut Up in My Bones                                                                  Charles M. Blow

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (biracial main character)                Heidi W. Durrow

Negroland:  A Memoir                                                                        Margo Jefferson

Charleston in Black and White:  Race and Power in the

South after the Civil Rights Movement                                  Steve Estes

Between the World and Me                                                                Ta-Nehisi Coates

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl                                                   Harriet Jacobs

Go Set a Watchman                                                                            Harper Lee

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the

            Cafeteria?                                                                                B. D. Tatum

Citizen:  An American Lyric                                                              Claudia Rankine

Gang Leader for a Day:  A Rogue Sociologist Takes to

            the Streets                                                                               Sudhir Venkatesh

Just Mercy:  A Story of Justice and Redemption                               Bryan Stevenson

We are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emmanuel      Frazier, Powers &


Never Caught:  The Washington’s pursuit of their runaway              Erica Armstrong

            Slave Ona Judge                                                                     Dunbar

Tears we Cannot Stop                                                                        Michael Eric Dyson

The Other We Morre:  One Name, Two Fates                                   Wes Moore

Writings on the Wall:  Searching for a New Equality beyond          

            Black and White                                                                     Kareem Abdul-Jabbar






American Indian


Winona’s Web                                                                                    Priscilla Cogan

Anything by this author…                                                                  Sherman Alexie

Anything by this author…                                                                  Louise Erdrich

The Navajo Code Talkers                                                                   Bruce Watson

Ceremony                                                                                            Leslie Marmon Silko

Caleb’s Crossing                                                                                 Geraldine Brooks




Snow Falling on Cedars                                                                     David Guterson

Waiting                                                                                               Ha Jin

Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down                                              Anne Fadiman

The Joyluck Club                                                                                Amy Tan

The Kitchen God’s Wife                                                                    Amy Tan

Always Hiding                                                                                    Sophia Romero

Memoirs of a Geisha                                                                           Arthur Golden

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan                                                        Lisa See

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet                                            Jamie Ford

Anything by this author….                                                                 Jhumpa Lahiri

Without You, There is No Us:  A Memoir                                         Suki Kim

The Japanese Lover                                                                            Isabel Allende

The Sympathizer                                                                                 Viet Thanh Nguyen





House of Sand and Fog                                                                       Andre Dubus

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women            Geraldine Brooks

The Kite Runner                                                                                 Khaled Hosseini

Reading Lolita in Tehran                                                                    Azar Nafisi

Unaccustomed Earth                                                                           Jhumpa Lahiri

Looking for Palestine:  Growing up confused in an

Arab American Family                                                           Najla Said



Culture Clashes

Poisonwood Bible                                                                               Barbara Kingsolver

The Submission                                                                                  Amy Waldman

Caleb’s Crossing                                                                                 Geraldine Brooks

Orange is the New Black                                                                    Piper Kerman



Too many to mention but here are a few that might be of interest

Guyland                                                                                              Michael Kimmel

A Little F’d Up:  Why Feminism is not a Dirty Word                       Julie Zeilinger

In Glory’s Shadow:  The Citadel, Shannon Faulkner, and

            a Changing America                                                               Catherine S. Maegold

Love My Rifle More than you:  Young and Female in the U.S.

            Army                                                                                       Kayla Williams

 Missoula:  Rape and the Justice System in a College Town             Jon Krakauer

Soldier Girls:  The Battles of Three Women at Home and

            at War                                                                                     Helen Thorpe




She’s Not There:  A Life in Two Genders                                         Jennifer Boylan

What’s Wrong with Homosexuality?                                                 John Corvino

Warrior Princess:  A US Navy Seal’s Journey to Coming out

            Transgender                                                                            Kristin Beck

Our Time:  Breaking the Silence of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”            Josh Seefried

I am “J”                                                                                               Chris Beam

For Today I am a Boy                                                                         Kim Fu





Hand to Mouth:  Living in Bootstrap America                                   Linda Tirado



Autobiography of a Face                                                                    Lucy Grealy


White Identity/Privilege

What Does it Man to Be White?                                                         Robin DiAngelo

Privilege, Power, and Difference                                                       Allan G. Johnson

Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social & Cultural Criticism           Ruth Frankenburg

Hillbilly Elegy                                                                                    JD Vance

White Trash:  The 400-year Untold History of Class in America      Nancy Isenberg


General/multiple topics

Racism without Racists                                                                      Eduardo Bonilla

Who are We – And Should it Matter in the 21st Century                   Gary Younge

Far From the Tree                                                                               Andrew Solomon

Anything by this author…                                                                  bell hooks

Everything I Never Told You                                                             Celeste Ng

American Nations                                                                               Colin Woodard










All About My Mother

Boys Don’t Cry

Brokeback Mountain

But I’m a Cheerleader

Hedwig and the Angry Itch

If These Walls Could Talk 2

Kissing Jessica Stein

Law of Desire

Lost and Delirious

Mambo Italiano



Prayers for Bobby



Food Chains


African American/culture clashes


Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

To Kill a Mockingbird

Do the Right Thing (and many others by Spike Lee)

Slavery by Another Name

The Central Park Five – see

The Butler

The Help

12 Years a Slave

Dear White People



Real Women Have Curves


Asian Americans


The Joy Luck Club

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers


Arab Culture

Not Without my Daughter

The Visitor


White Culture

Painter – The History of White People (

Roediger – Towards the Abolition of Whiteness

James Baldwin – On Being White and other lies



The Wedding Banquet

La Haine