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Top 10 Books On Race And Racism

The Best Books To Read On Race And Racism

The Best Books To Read On Race And Racism

As the movement for social justice and systemic equality rises across the nation, it's easy to feel intimidated about how you can do your part to ignite change. Speaking up beyond social media, donating to relief funds, and shopping from Black-owned businesses are all great ways to take action, but few things are as powerful and impactful as simply educating yourself on the experiences of the Black Community. There are so many books about race and racism out there that can help you achieve this, from beloved classics like Between the World and Me to new works like This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work. To help you get started, we've rounded up an edit of the most inspiring and informative books about race that you can dive into right now, all of which cover things like the history of racism in America, how to have constructive and useful conversations about race, and how to make change that lasts. Keep scrolling to take a peek at the selection and give that quarantine reading list of yours a much-needed update. Opening image: @penguinrandomhouse

Love our 10 Best Books On Race And Racism? Check out our 10 Best Book Club Books next!

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June 24, 2020

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The Rankings

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, And Do The Work
Rank & Style Approved


This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, And Do The Work

BEST FOR: Pick up this book to participate in self-education and personal development activities.

FUN FACT: All of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Black Lives Matter and Color of Change throughout the month of June 2020.

An American Marriage: A Novel

LOVED FOR: The insightful journies of three different people, storytelling, and profound impact

FUN FACT: This book is the winner of the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History Of Racist Ideas In America

WHAT IT DOES: This book documents the history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and are deeply rooted in American society.

USERS SAID: "This is one of the greatest history books I've ever read. I was highlighting passages on pretty much every page, mostly because so much of what's here was new to me. This book, which was undoubtedly extremely difficult to write, is an amazing resource, one I'll be referring back to probably for the rest of my life."

Between The World And Me

BEST FOR: This Ta-Nehisi Coates book is ideal for those seeking a direct and personal exploration of America's racial history. 

FUN FACT: This book is a New York Times bestseller.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth Of Our Racial Divide

BEST FOR: This book is ideal for those who prefer historical and political perspectives when exploring the many dimensions of racism in America.

USERS SAID: "This book is AMAZING. I first heard of the book via a radio interview with Anderson and she was so knowledgeable, so dynamic, and so compelling, I absolutely had to read her work. It's not a light read by any means."

Me And White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change The World, And Become A Good Ancestor

BEST FOR: This book is ideal for white allies seeking ways to combat racism and address privilege.

WHAT IT DOES: Inspired by the viral Instagram challenge, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day self-exploration using journal prompts. All you need is a pen, paper, and an open mind.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness

LOVED FOR: The extensive history, thorough research, and inspiring insights

FUN FACT: In commemoration of the book's tenth anniversary, this special edition features a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the book's impact a decade later.

So You Want To Talk About Race

BEST FOR: Pick this book for a user-friendly examination of race in America that's suitable for classrooms, book clubs, and social circles.

USERS SAID: "This is everything I hoped it would be and more. It's easy to understand, chock-full of numbered points of advice on various topics, personal anecdotes that connect to the larger picture and the inspiration to have these conversations and also take action."

How To Be An Antiracist

WHY YOU NEED IT: This mind-expanding book thoroughly explains racism as being ultimately structural. Author Ibram X. Kendi creates a personal dialogue that results in a newfound perspective using personal experience. 

FUN FACT: This book was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, TIME, and more.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism

BEST FOR: This best-seller is highly recommended for white allies seeking guidance in the fight against racial injustice.

USERS SAID: "This is the hands-down BEST of the dozen or so books I've read on race in the United States. It puts so many things in perspective, I wish I'd read it sooner. If you want to be part of the solution, this book is an excellent place to start."

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