“Treat people the way you want to be treated.” I think it’s called “The Golden Rule.” It’s what everyone should do.
It’s not easy to talk about race and social justice with your family, but these issues have been around for a long time, even before the internet and what we think of as books. Books about social justice make a big push for equal opportunities for everyone, no matter what. They cover everything from healthcare and wealth distribution to systematic privilege and oppression.
Being well-informed about social justice issues shouldn’t be seen as a strong hand that changes your way of life, either. Many people think about social justice in terms of race, ability, and class in a very complicated way. But they can think of it as a way to learn about the lives of people who work hard to make money for themselves and their families, people who work hard to put food on the table for their families, and other people who work hard to get by.
It’s about respecting our neighbors because they are in a bad situation and being aware of that. These kinds of conversations may be hard to start, but they are important for us as a community and as a country to have. Books about social justice can help us move forward. This is a list of the books we have.
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
To be an American citizen, you should read “A People’s History of the United States” at least once. Howard Zinn is a historian who studies the history of the United States through the eyes and stories of “the street, the home, and the workplace.” He looks at the country’s history through the eyes and stories of people who live in poor and vulnerable communities.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Coalson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, which is about a young slave named Cora and her search for freedom. She works on a cotton farm in Georgia. The poem touches on a lot of scary stories, like the fear and prejudice that people felt in slavery, as well as stories of hope and redemption.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
Children can learn a lot from some of the best books about social justice. Our young people are the ones who will see the changes we make now. Duncan Tonatiuh tells a little-known story about the Mendez family’s fight to desegregate schools in California after World War II. This shows how the fight had an effect on the education system and racial tensions, as well as the power of youth and their ability to see fairness and equality as important.
Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller
In this book, Blueprint for Revolution, people who have been treated unfairly can learn how to start a movement and fight “The Man” for a better future, whether that’s for a better global climate or for more democracy. It’s a real David vs. Goliath story, but it’s done in a way that’s both funny and interesting. This book by Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller should make you happy and optimistic when you try to change the world for the better.
The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T.R. Reid
For over a decade, the debate about for-profit pharmaceuticals and affordable universal health care has been a big part of the news in the United States. T.R. Reid, the author of a book called “The Cost-Benefit of Healthcare,” talks about the different types of healthcare systems around the world, like single-payer, private, and universal, and how they work for the general population. Reid says that when compared to other countries that are industrialized and modern, the U.S. healthcare system isn’t as good as it should be.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
This book was named one of the “10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade” by the New York Times. Evicted is a book that talks about how wealthy people in the United States aren’t all the same. Wealth inequality is one of those things that we all hear about but don’t know how to react to. Desmond does a great job of showing how poverty affects people across the country. It’s more of a look at how bad things are than a look at how to fix them, but it’s important to talk about how our housing market is skewed against the most vulnerable people.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between the world and me, there is a gap. This is a letter written by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his 15-year-old son. In it, Coates warns him about the cultural cringing and the unfair things he will have to deal with as a Black man in the US. As you become aware, I hope you don’t feel the need to limit yourself to make other people feel better, says Coates. In this book, history in the United States is looked at as it is and how that knowledge can help us deal with today’s social tensions, which is grim.
Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta
In this book of poems, Jorge Argueta talks about a subject that has been causing a lot of trouble recently: asylum seekers who leave their home countries to come to the United States for a new start. Argueta, a refugee from El Salvador, tells these stories to show how hard it is for young men and women to find safety and a place to call home in a new country. Take a “walk in their shoes,” if you will. This is one of those books.
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis
When you talk about social justice, you can’t forget about the famous activist, philosopher, academic, and author Angela Davis, who is also well-known for her work. In this book, Davis talks about state-mandated violence and oppression, but this time from a global point of view. He talks about race relations in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Its main goal is to show that freedom is a fight that will go on for a long time, but we should always work to free all people.
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
During her investigation, Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover as a low-skilled worker in the U.S. making minimum wage. She wants to find out more about the terrible and dark situation that many of us are in in this country. Ehrenreich worked a lot of different jobs, from waitressing to working at Walmart, and soon found that many of these low-wage jobs are more difficult and skilled than they seem from the outside. She also found out that some people in the working class have to deal with a lot of hardship. Ehrenreich’s tone of privilege and disconnection only adds to the weight of her findings as she goes along.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
TV show The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling book of the same name. A lot of the themes in this book are still relevant today, which is very scary to think about. Everyone in the world is forced into a dystopian world of oppression and fear. As a society, we need to think about where we’re going and how the government has control over women’s bodies.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
In Sherman Alexie’s book, you can get as close as you can to seeing what life is like for Native Americans on reservation land, but you won’t have to go there yourself. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian looks into the life of Junior, an artist and cartoonist, as he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington state. He was born there.