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Racism and Economics

How do we measure the impact of race on opportunity? How can the U.S. live up to its aspirations to be a place where all people have opportunities to thrive? And how can we come together to talk about—and change—the circumstances that limit the lives of so many of our citizens? 

Some of these questions will likely be answered, or at least, discussed, when Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures presents author Heather McGhee on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 pm, in conversation with William Generett Jr., board member for the Pittsburgh Foundation and Senior Vice President of Civic Engagement at Duquesne University. The program will center on the topics explored in McGhee’s “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.”

Books by other authors who have tackled related topics can be found in the Racism and Economics Staff Picks.  

Examinations of racism’s impact and some of the social justice efforts that seek to create a better world are gathered in a variety of other booklists on CLP’s website including Race and Social Justice Books for Kids, Race and Social Justice Books for Teens and Race and Social Justice Nonfiction, a selection of titles for adults available electronically on OverDrive and/or hoopla.  

Local organizations that tackle related issues—and can provide more information about our own community—may have been around for a while, like the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Black Political Empowerment Project. Or they may be newer groups and individuals, inspired by recent events.  

The PittEd Justice Collective, for example, collaborated with the Library to create a booklist to foster anti-racist action. And a recent interview with Kyley Coleman spotlights the work of Black Owned PGH. 

Looking for even more information and ideas? 

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at

You’re Invited to a Virtual Book Discussion: “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee

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