Walmart Rolls Back Segregation With Its Books

Coming Back Stronger:  Unleashing  the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees


                                                                                 Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy


I don’t shop at Walmart anymore.  I have a multitude of reasons why I don’t, but  I’m not going to list them here.  I’m going into the local Walmart tomorrow.  Maybe those of you who shop at Walmart have already noticed any book shelf shenanigans, and I’m a day late and a dollar short to the happenings.  I will go straight to the books section and look for the book The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama

I already own this book, but I want to try a little experiment and see if All the books by black authors are lumped together on one shelf regardless of genre. 

I want to see if Walmart has a “BLACK SECTION.”  Yes, that’s right you read it correctly.  After peeping this article titled Racial Divide shows Up on Walmart Book shelves, I want to prove that this is an isolated incident and the stores who practice this modern-day form of segregation be challenged for it.

Here’s the article, and you decide.

Racial divide shows up on Walmart book shelves

U.S. store chain segregating titles by subjects’ skin color  By Bob Dyer Beacon Journal columnist

Published on Thursday, Sep 02, 2010

At many area Walmarts, the book section is extremely well-organized.

The self-help books are here . . . the religion section is there . . . cooking and diet books farther down . . . and right over here is the black section.

You think I’m kidding?

At Walmart, apparently, skin color trumps all.

The ”black section” contains everything written by and about blacks: romance novels, self-help books, religion, sports, even an autobiography by the current president of the United States.

Now, whether or not you’re a fan of Barack Obama, can’t we at least agree that the thing that defines him is not his skin color but his job title? We have lots and lots of African-Americans in this country — about 38 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — but during this country’s entire 234-year history we have had only 44 presidents.

Yet there he is, right in the middle of six monochromatic shelves, peering out at us from the cover of The Audacity of Hope.

At the Walmart on Arlington Road in Springfield Township, you’ll find two fancy, hardcover books by people who are household names in professional football. Drew Brees, quarterback of the 2009 Super Bowl champion
New Orleans Saints, smiles on the cover of Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity. Tony Dungy, coach of the 2006 Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, smiles on the cover of The Mentor Leader.

But you won’t find those books side by side. Why? Because Brees is white and Dungy is black. The black guy goes in the black section. After all, who other than a black person would want to read a book by an insightful, ethical, inspirational football coach?  Had enough of this foolishness yet?  Read on.

By Bob Dyer can be reached at – 330-996-3580 or

Maybe this is a common practice in most bookstores.  I know they categorize books by cultures in some of the major bookstores.   I know they have a section called African-American Studies in the major bookstore chains.   Your thoughts, please.

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9 Responses to Walmart Rolls Back Segregation With Its Books

  1. Roschelle says:

    Oh. Em. Gee! I never thought about this before. I’m a Wal*Mart frequent flyer and an avid reader and this is so true.

    All the black authors are in one section. It’s so easy to accept something as subtle as this without taking into consideration the message it’s really sending.

    We’ve become so desensitized to segregation in this country it’s almost invisible at times because we fall back on the premise of that’s just the way it is


    BTW…you chics are all over the map. so proud of what y’all (cut me some slack…i’m from the south…lol) are doing!!

  2. rikyrah says:

    It happens all the time in bookstores. Seen it the few times I’ve been in Wal-Mart.

  3. Joanna says:

    Seems like SOP at most major book stores, though I have not been in a book store in a few years (thanks to Amazon). Unless of course, you are a WHITE author of a book ABOUT Black people (like the Help, or the Secret Life of Bees or the whole series of Alex Cross books) Then your books are heralded as groundbreaking and are given a most prominent place on the shelves!

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