Race Relations in America
Examining the Facts
by Nikki Khanna and Noriko Matsumoto
June 2021, 284pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7400-0
$65, £49, 57€, A88
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7401-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2020, protests erupted across the nation after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death galvanized demonstrators to speak out against police brutality and the persistence of systemic racism and racial inequality in the United States.

This book is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand race in America, drawing on research from a variety of fields to answer frequently asked questions regarding race relations, systemic racism, and racial inequality.

This work is part of a series that uses evidence-based documentation to examine the veracity of claims and beliefs about high-profile issues in American culture and politics. This particular volume examines the true state of race relations and racial inequality in the United States, drawing on empirical research in the hard sciences and social sciences to answer frequently asked questions regarding race and inequality. The book refutes falsehoods, misunderstandings, and exaggerations surrounding these topics and confirms the validity of other assertions.

Assembling this empirical research into one accessible place allows readers to better understand the scholarly evidence on such high-interest topics as white privilege, racial bias in criminal justice, media bias, housing segregation, educational inequality, disparities in employment, racial stereotypes, and personal attitudes about race and ethnicity in America. The authors draw from scholarly research in biology, genetics, medicine, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and economics (among many other fields) to answer these questions, and in doing so they provide readers with the information to enter any conversation about American race relations in the 21st century as informed citizens.


  • Addresses beliefs and claims regarding race and ethnicity in America in an easy-to-navigate question-and-answer format
  • Draws from empirical research in a variety of scholarly fields and presents those findings in a single, lay-friendly location to aid understanding of complex issues
  • Provides readers with leads to conduct further research in extensive Further Reading sections for each entry
  • Examines claims made by individuals and groups of all political backgrounds and ideologies
Nikki Khanna, PhD, is associate professor of sociology at the University of Vermont, where she regularly teaches courses on race relations in America. She is author of Biracial in America: Forming and Performing Racial Identity and editor of Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism.

Noriko Matsumoto, PhD, is senior lecturer in the department of sociology at the University of Vermont, where she also teaches in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program. She is author of Beyond the City and the Bridge: East Asian Immigration in a New Jersey Suburb and a contributor to The Next Generation: Immigrant Youth in a Comparative Perspective (coauthor) and the Wiley Blackwell Companion to Sociology .


LJ Best Reference of 2021—Library Journal, March 1, 2022


"A balanced and thorough look at the United States’ most important contemporary race issues, with timely content and excellent supporting documentation."—Library Journal, October 1, 2021

Contemporary Debates

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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