Now is the best time to learn about racial inequality and oppression in the United States and how you can help. George Floyd was killed last month, and now protests have spread across the United States and around the world. People are talking more about how to be allies of black people.
The activists and top scholars say that in this day and age, it’s not enough for allies to say they’re “not racist,” but that they need to do more than that. Anti-racism, on the other hand, is a set of beliefs and actions that oppose racism and work to make people of all races, including people of color, more welcome and equal in society. One of the best ways to learn about anti-racism is to read about it. In this list, you will find the books that black professors and scholars think people should read right now.
So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
Ijeoma Oluo, a writer who lives in the US city of Seattle, wants people of all races to start having honest conversations about race. She gives readers phrases and questions they can use to start unpacking racism in their own social networks in this book. She talks about everything from intersectionality to microaggressions, which are small racist remarks or actions.
Incoming Columbia University master’s candidate Thomonique Moore said, “This is a good book to help white people and people of color of other races answer common and not-so-common questions about race and racism. It is also good for people of color of other races to read.”
The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
In his book, The New Jim Crow, Alexander says that “we have not abolished racial caste in the United States; we have only redesigned it.” Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They made it illegal for black people to vote and made it easier for them to be separated from white people.
This is what Moore said: “Alexander explains how slavery and Jim Crow evolved over time, and how the huge rise in incarcerations of black men is just another way to do that.”
White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
In this best-selling book, academic, lecturer, and author DiAngelo talks about the defense mechanisms white people use when they are challenged about their assumptions about race. These reactions, DiAngelo says, keep white people from having important conversations that could lead to progress.
Racism Without Racists, by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
When Bonilla-Silva wrote this book, she made a strong case against the idea that race doesn’t exist, or that being “colourblind” is a good way to deal with racism. As an associate professor of sociology and Africana studies in New York, Crystal Fleming said this book was “one of the most important books on racism.”
Among other things, Bonilla-Silva helps us understand how the rhetoric of colorblindness helps keep the status quo the way it is, she told us.
How to Be Less Stupid About Race, by Crystal Fleming
Fleming also recommends a book she wrote on the subject of racism, which is a good primer for people who want to learn more about racial oppression and white supremacy.
My goal was to help people understand the history of racism and make connections between the past and the present. The last chapter has 10 concrete steps that everyone can do to help break down systemic racism, she said.
Two Faced Racism, by Leslie Picca and Joe Feagin
This book is made up of more than 600 journal entries written by white students at 28 universities in the United States about racial events they kept. It shows that racism is still very much a part of American culture.
Fleming: “Picca and Feagin look at data from white college students’ journals that show how racism works both inside and outside of the classroom.”
The Ethnic Project, by Vilna Bashi Treitler
In this book, Treitler, a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, talks about the history of the US’s ethnic groups from the time the English came to North America to the present day. From Irish people to Chinese people, she shows how each group worked out their place in the country’s hierarchy of ethnic groups.
Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach by Tanya Golash Boza
Golash Boza talks about important issues, like how and when the idea of race came about, how it changed, and how structural racism has led to inequality. He said that Fleming’s book was a good summary of systemic and institutional racism.
White Rage, by Carol Anderson
Every time blacks have made progress in the United States, there has been a strong backlash from white people.
When Augustine Kposowa, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Riverside, talked about the book, he said that it was a critical look at why racism is still a problem in the United States, as well as things that make white people angry about racial issues.
Whites don’t seem to be interested in anything that goes on in America no matter how bad, like police killings of blacks, it is shown in the book.
Racist America: Roots, Current Realities and Future Reparations, by Joe Feagin
He includes more than 200 recent research studies and reports in his book, which shows how racism began in the United States and how it still affects white culture today.
Feagin is white, so Kposowa said that he knows what white people talk about in networks that black people can’t join.
Black Americans, by Alphonso Pinkney
Among the things that Pinkney, a well-known Afro-American sociologist, talks about are homicide as a public health problem and the prevalence of police brutality. He also talks about how different black experiences in the United States are different from one another.
In Pinkney’s book, he talks about why blacks have to stay behind in almost every area of life in America.
Code of the Street, by Elijah Anderson
In this video, a professor at Yale talks about why black teens in the US are more likely to be violent than their white peers. Anderson says that living in poor areas, not having access to economic opportunities, and being discriminated against were all linked to antisocial and violent behavior in black teens.
Mansa Bilal If you’re not black, you should read this book because it can help you understand how the world works. Mark King is an associate professor of sociology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fanon
Famed psychiatrist Fanon was born in Martinique, which is on the west coast of the Caribbean. He was a participant in a movement called Algerian Nationalist Movement, which fought for the rights of French colonisers to be extended. In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon shows how the people who were colonized thought and how they tried to get out of it.
People who aren’t black might not be able to read this book, and it might be even more difficult for them to see how it relates to African-Americans, especially those of us whose families were forced to live in Jim and Jane Crow apartheid in the United States.” That’s why people should read it, King said.