Videos capturing everyday indignities and injury toward Black or Brown consumers have become media staples, showing the complexity, risk, and traumas many shoppers encounter in retail, restaurants, and other marketplaces. But each one quickly fades in the media spotlight. In Retail Racism, Michelle Dunlap helps readers understand the ongoing experiences of ordinary Black and Brown people as they navigate this reality. Based on 19 in-depth interviews with consumers across the country, Dunlap aims to create a larger discussion that engages readers and empowers them to interrupt, disrupt, and ameliorate the inappropriate and racialized handling of consumers in America today. In doing so, Retail Racism is about not only shopping, but also humane living in America, including surviving and making sense of inequitable experiences, what to do about them, and the larger issues and contexts that surround the marketplace for Black and Brown people. A portion of the author proceeds from book sales are automatically donated to The Florida Education Fund (FEF), a non-profit organization established in 1984 to help provide opportunities for educational advancement.
Michelle Dunlap has served on the faculty of the Human Development Department at Connecticut College since 1994, and also served as chair of the department and as faculty liaison to the Connecticut College Children's Program in 2000 - 2001 and 2006 - 2015. Her research specializes in families in a multicultural society and consumerism and racial inequalities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART 1: MONITORING
Poem 1: Alfreda Recalls Marshall Fields, by Tara Betts
MISPERCEIVED: “Oh Reverend, I’m So Sorry” (Alton’s story)
MISTRUSTED: “So I’m a Suspect, and It Makes Me Feel Terrible” (Balbira’s story)
MORTIFIED: “My Sense of Gravity Knows Where Your Center of Gravity Is” (Chad’s story)
MANAGED: “Fried Chicken!” (Dana’s story)
MISTOOK: “I Was Hoping to Live Long Enough to See Major Changes on Earth” (Eleanor’s story)
Monitoring: Things that Part 1’s Monitoring Can Teach Consumers and Marketers
Monitoring: Reflection Questions & Related Readings
PART 2: INEQUITIES
Poem 2: Internal Dialogue, by Micah E. Lubensky
Poem 3: “Two Friends”, by Lisa Mallory
INDICTED: “It’s Not For Sale” (Graham’s story)
INTIMIDATED: “It’s Really Painful for a Kid” (Janisha’s story)
INSULTED: “Every Kind Of Cracker That Nabisco Makes” (Tamir’s story)
INVALIDATED: “I Am The Minority, The ‘Foreigner’” (Hart’s story)
Inequities: Things that Part 2’s Inequities Can Teach Consumers and Marketers
Inequities: Reflection Questions & Related Readings
PART 3: TRAUMAS
Poem 4: #IfIWasGunnedDown, by Malik S. Champlain
Poem 5: Brown Girl Shopping, byArakcelis Gomez
TARGETED: “The Book of Robbers, Scammers, and Fraudulents” (Finley’s story)
TRAUMATIZED: “Wouldn’t You Want to Hear My Story if You’re Ready to Shoot Me?” (Kenrec’s story)
TERRIFIED: “This Is What You Put Me Through as a Mother-- as a Black Mother and Her Son-- in This Community.” (Latasha’s story)
TRIGGERED: “My DNA Remembers, Even if My Conscious Mind Doesn't”, by Michelle R. Dunlap
TORMENTED: “I Lifted My Sweater Just Enough for Them To See I Had Stolen Nothing” (Priscilla’s story)
Trauma: Things that Part 3’s Traumas Can Teach Consumers and Marketers
Traumas: Reflection Questions & Related Readings
PART 4: PHILOSOPHIES
Poem 6: The Invisible Pause, by Denise M. Keyes
Poem 7: Whitney in the Purple Dress, by Michelle Dunlap
PLAGUED: “It’s a Wonder Black People Live to Fifty” (Rekia’s story)
PRECONCEIVED: “[I’m] the Bull’s-Eye!” (Stephon’s story)
PRIVILEGED: “Just Because I’m White Doesn’t Mean It Does Not Matter” (Heather’s story)
PERTURBED: “I Am No Fan of Insurance Companies, Pure and Simple” (Vernon’s story)
Philosophies: Things that Part 4’s Philosophies Can Teach Consumers and Marketers
Philosophies: Reflection Questions & Related Readings
Poem 8: Shopping While Black, by Frances Shani Parker
Poem 9: In Her Image, by Kenneth E. Watts
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
7/8/21, Dismantle Racism show on TalkRadio.nyc: Michelle Dunlap talks about the book with Rev. Dr. TLC.
9/23/21, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education: This book was included in a list of recent titles of interest to African American scholars.
10/21/21, Two Way Talk on WEAA-FM (Baltimore): Michelle Dunlap was interviewed about the book and how consumer issues intersect with diversity and inequity issues.
4/11/22, Two Way Talk on WEAA-FM (Baltimore): Michelle Dunlap was interviewed about the book and diversity issues in the marketplace.
9/1/22, Library Journal: This book was featured in a roundup of academic bestsellers.