15 Best Books About Race Update 05/2022

Please have a look at this. We’re not even in February yet, and we’re discussing race. Welcome! It appears that you shared the black square photo on all of your social media platforms. With one point or another throughout the holiday season, you may have even been angry at your supposed non-racist uncle for something he said at the dinner table. Were you out every night, marching for black lives that have been tragically cut short? You’re left to worry what comes next. What more are you able to do? What should you do? Read, of course!

In order to help you on your quest to understand more about race, I’ve put up a list of resources. What does “white feminism” mean to you? What are you looking for? Have an interest in the journey that black people had to make before they could vote? What are you looking for? What if you want to learn how to bring up race with Matt? That, too, has its own book (sorry, Matt)!

Finding a place to begin is, in my opinion, the most difficult part of learning anything new. When you’re attempting to grasp the complexities of racism’s long history, it can feel insurmountable. For the past 26 years, I’ve been a black woman, yet I still don’t know everything. That’s part of the excitement of learning: You can always take up where you left off, or even start from the beginning, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. Open your mind to any of these novels. You have a reason for being here. Let’s get this done together, please.

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

This book is a huge hit, and rightfully so. However, it tells the history of the United States in a unique way. But Zinn tells this story from the perspectives of women, African-Americans, Native Americans, and others who are underrepresented in the media. This book is a must-read since he does not sugarcoat history.

Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney

With its focus on how black people have participated in US electoral elections from the time they were first allowed to vote in 1870 to President Barack Obama’s two campaigns, Blackballed examines Pickney’s focus on how black people have participated from the time they were first allowed to vote to Obama’s two campaigns. There’s something for everyone in this book, which is a mix of personal, historical reflection, and political commentary.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

All the black people I encountered in Portland were either visiting from Chicago or were from Chicago themselves. Heck, I was born and raised in Chicago! The Midwest has been home to a large number of black families for years. The cause behind this has been revealed. Wilkerson presents the experiences of three people who left the South in search of a better life for themselves and their future families in western and northern states. You’ll laugh and cry. You’ll gain knowledge, which is the most important thing.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Because of this, Kendi’s book was flying off the shelves at my bookstore before the pandemic occurred. Racism’s opposite is not simply “not racist,” as many people believe. As opposed to this, Kendi claims that the anti-racism position is the correct one. One of the many reasons why this book is a must-read is because of its exploration of ethics, history, legislation, and personal tales.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

It’s imperative that you read this book if you’ve ever referred to a neighborhood as “ghetto” or thought it was dangerous because of the people who lived there. Rothstein explains how racial zoning was used by the American government to enforce racial segregation in the United States. Think of whites-only suburbs and public housing that separates communities based on race, despite the fact that those neighborhoods were once integrated. Occasionally, it’s not a good day to be out and about.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Desmond’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning personal account of impoverished housing follows eight families in Milwaukee as they cope with dishonest landlords and inadequate living conditions in order to have a place to call home at the end of the day. Despite the fact that their identities have been changed, these are actual stories that will tug at your emotions. This is not an easy read.

Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

You can’t go wrong with this book if you want to learn more about self-segregation. The act of segregating oneself can be a way to cope, even though segregation in general is harmful. We need to freely and successfully discuss our racial identities if we are serious about establishing bridges of communication between racial differences, Tatum says in this complicated book. You know, she’s right.

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown

It’s like meeting up with your closest friends for a night of cocktails and conversation when you read Brown’s essay collections. #DisabledAndCute viral campaign creator Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy, is one of the funniest people on Twitter. It is a topic rarely discussed in the literary community, and Brown shines a light on it in her essay collection by focusing on both the sorrowful and the hilarious in a way that only she can.

Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

The truth is that, as a black woman, I tend to ignore the struggles of people of other races. One of the difficulties that I’m actively working on is my blind-spot. (We’re all busy, aren’t we?) It’s one of the most enjoyable aspects of education.))))))) I’m grateful to Hong for bringing up some of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever had to think about while reading her essays. As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Hong utilizes humor to express what she calls “minor sentiments,” which occur when you start to believe the myths and ideas about your own racial identity that you’ve been told. Any day of the week, I’d read something by Hong.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how to talk about race, but it does mean that you should. If you’ve ever wondered how to tell a friend that their jokes are racist or why you shouldn’t offer to touch someone else’s hair, this is the book for you (oh my god, please stop asking to touch my hair). Looking for a book that is both approachable and incisive to get the debate started? You’ve found it.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Eddo-Lodge, based on the wildly popular viral blog post of the same name from February 2014, sheds light on what it’s like to be a person of color in Britain today. One of the most pressing issues of our time is the need for a new way to talk about and resist racism.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Specifically for white people, DiAngelo authored this book about how they respond when confronted racially. “White fragility” is a word used to describe the presence of strong emotions like guilt and shame. Despite the fact that reading this book may be excruciatingly painful, it is an absolute must.

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad

To employ white feminism (feminism focusing primarily on white women’s concerns without addressing other types of oppression faced by nonwhite women) as a weapon of white supremacy is nothing new. White Tears/Brown Scars refers to white women’s involvement in oppression campaigns. Don’t forget: inclusive feminism is the only way to achieve true equality for women and all people.

Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

As a black woman, you have the right to feel a certain amount of frustration. According to Malcolm X, “the black lady is the most despised person in America.” The black woman is the most vulnerable demographic in the United States. The black lady is the most undervalued person in the United States.” He doesn’t have a point.

Anger is a superpower, and Cooper wants us to feel it. She becomes great at tennis because of her frustration at being racially profiled as an African-American lady. Because of this, Beyoncé is a better singer. It gives us energy in a way that other feelings do not. To live in this world, Cooper says, we need three things: articulate rage, feminist ideals, and the support of our friends. We could rule the world with this easy list.

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill

“Put your hands up! “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” became a rallying cry after a succession of police killings of black people. When it comes to high-profile cases, Hill focuses on them. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the likes of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown again. As well as government failures, he highlights the Flint water catastrophe. We have no idea how we got here. What’s the next step? But Hill does, and I put my faith in him because I don’t have the answers myself.

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