American Whitelash

American Whitelash

The Resurgence of Racial Violence in Our Time


"American Whitelash is indispensable. Really. It is." - Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a shocking investigation into the cyclical pattern of violence that has marred racial progress in America

In 2008, Barack Obama's historic victory was heralded as a turning point for the USA. And so it would be - just not in the way that most Americans hoped. The election of the nation's first Black president fanned long-burning embers of white supremacy, igniting a new and frightening phase in a continuous historical cycle of racial progress and white backlash.

In American Whitelash, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Wesley Lowery charts the return of this blood-stained trend, showing how the forces of white power retaliated against Obama's victory - and both profited from, and helped to propel, the rise of Donald Trump. Drawing on gripping first-hand reporting, he investigates four incidents of white violence since 2008: the killing of an Ecuadorian immigrant in a working-class town in Long Island, a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, an attack on a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, and the murder of Oscar Grant, the first in an unrelenting series of police shootings that would lead to the largest sustained protest movement in the US since the Civil Rights era.

Interweaving deep historical analysis with interviews with both victims and perpetrators of violence, Lowery uncovers how this vicious cycle is entering into ever more perilous territory, and how the country still might find a route of escape.


  • Wesley Lowery chronicles the most existential racial story of our time: the racist political violence that followed Obama's election, fueled Trump's rise, and continues to threaten our very existence. American Whitelash is indispensable. Really. It is
    Ibram X. Kendi, author of HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

About the author

Wesley Lowery

Wesley Lowery is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of America's leading journalists covering issues of race and justice. He has served as a national correspondent for the Washington Post and an on-air correspondent for CBS News and 60 Minutes. He lives in Washington, DC.
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