A State-by-State History of Race and Racism in the United States
by Patricia Reid-Merritt, Editor
December 2018, 1056pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5600-6
$198, 165€, A283
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5601-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Racism and race-related issues and incidents have shaped the history of every state in the American Union.

Providing chronologies of important events, historical narratives from the first settlement to the present, and biographies of major figures, this work offers readers an unseen look at the history of racism from the perspective of individual states.

From the initial impact of European settlement on indigenous populations to the racial divides caused by immigration and police shootings in the 21st century, each American state has imposed some form of racial restriction on its residents. The United States proclaims a belief in freedom and justice for all, but members of various minority racial groups have often faced a different reality, as seen in such examples as the forcible dispossession of indigenous peoples during the Trail of Tears, Jim Crow laws’ crushing discrimination of blacks, and the manifest unfairness of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Including the District of Columbia, the 51 entries in these two volumes cover the state-specific histories of all of the major minority and immigrant groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. Every state has had a unique experience in attempting to build a community comprising multiple racial groups, and the chronologies, narratives, and biographies that compose the entries in this collection explore the consequences of racism from states’ perspectives, revealing distinct new insights into their respective racial histories.


  • Comprises detailed narratives encompassing the first European contact to the present day of the unique racial history of all 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Provides a chronology of important racial events, achievements, and milestones for the states, plus the District of Columbia
  • Offers biographies of individuals who successfully confronted racism in America and removed obstacles to social achievement
  • Includes sidebars highlighting interesting events, individuals, and accomplishments relevant to the racial history of particular states
Patricia Reid-Merritt is Distinguished Professor of Social Work and Africana Studies at Stockton University, in Galloway, New Jersey. A renowned scholar, lecturer, and social activist, she is editor of Race in America: How a Pseudoscientific Concept Shaped Human Interaction. She is also author of Sister Power: How Phenomenal Black Women are Rising to the Top; Righteous Self-Determination: The Black Social Work Movement in America; and Tarnished Legacy: A Reluctant Memoir.


"As the set is designed for high school students, undergraduates, and general readers, most academic and public libraries will find the set a useful addition in developing more comprehensive collections on race and racism."—ARBA, March 1, 2019

"The writers of each section approach heavy topics with the implications for 21st-century America in mind, and with honest language that undergraduates will easily understand. While readers will have to piece together the larger story of racism in the U.S. from each state’s individual history, the unique organization of this work makes it a valuable and timely contribution to this field."—Choice, June 1, 2019
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