As protests against racial injustice and in support of Black Lives Matter continue across the country, more and more people are looking to educate themselves on the subject of antiracism.
But, it can be overwhelming to choose from all of the resources out there! Which ones are the most reputable? Which books are written by Black authors? What books are autobiographical versus fictional experiences? What about age appropriate levels, if you’re looking for children?
Detroit Mom is here with a go-to list of the top regarded books to get you started on your antiracism reading. Some of these books are hot commodities right now but we promise you, these books will transform you! Check with the stores on our list of Black-Owned Bookstores In + Around Detroit, look into indie book shops, or set up swaps with your friends. Let us know if there are more that you would add to the list!
Author Layla Saad was inpired by a viral Instagram challenge that captivated the world. Me and White Supremacy invites readers on a 28-day journey, complete with journal prompts and thoughtful reading, to do the necessary and vital work it will take to improve race relations. Enjoy historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and further resources, giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases, whether you know them or not.
Austin Channing Brown details her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that surround our attempts at racial justice. These stories pay tribute to the complexity of America’s social infrastructure, from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs.
Author Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reshapes and uplifts the conversation surrounding racial injustice in America. It presents intimate and liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Rather than working with the policies and systems we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and what we can do to achieve that.
Is self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? This book addresses the natural and systematic segregation we tend to opt for. Beverly Daniel Tatum thinks that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across very apparent racial divides.
So You Want to Talk about Race
Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through intense subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action in order to “model minorities” and in order to have honest conversations about race. This book gives both white people and people of color that language to engage in clear dialogue with each other.
This book explores the notion that targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a modern day system of racial control. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”
This book explores the conversation of race from the Civil War to our combustible present. Carol Anderson helps reframe our the continued conversation about race, and chronicles the powerful forces opposed to Black progress in America to date.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
This book by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi explores the construct of race and how it has been utilized to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This vision reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is a totally unforgettable account of an idealistic and gifted young man’s coming of age. It details a moving window into the lives of those he has defended as a lawyer, and represents an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
Robin DiAngelo is an active antiracist educator who illuminates the phenomenon of White fragility. She explains that White fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence, all defensive moves that make White people feel racially challenged. Because of such behaviors, meaningful cross-racial dialogue is difficult. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how White fragility develops, and just how it protects racial inequality.