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Anti-Racist Book List for White People Exploring Race






Me and White Supremacy

Layla Saad

This eye-opening book challenges you to do the essential work of unpacking your biases, and helps white people take action and dismantle the privilege within themselves so that you can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey, complete with journal prompts, to do the necessary and vital work that can ultimately lead to improving race relations.




White Like Me

Tim Wise

Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise examines what it really means to be white in a nation created to benefit people who are “white like him.” This inherent racism is not only real, but disproportionately burdens people of color and makes progressive social change less likely to occur. Explaining in clear and convincing language why it is in everyone’s best interest to fight racial inequality, Wise offers ways in which white people can challenge these unjust privileges, resist white supremacy and racism, and ultimately help to ensure the country’s personal and collective well-being.



Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates

n a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?



How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood

Jim Grimsley

How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood is a 2015 memoir about author Jim Grimsley's racist white experiences as a white Southerner growing up in the era of desegregation in the Southern United States. The memoir recounts Jim Grimsley's racist white experience growing up and how it isolated his sentimentality with African Americans, then transitioning into a long period of hard change in which Grimsley tries to unlearn the racist lessons of his childhood. The memoir reflects on white superiority, particularly in Southern Virginia



Tears We Cannot Stop

Michael Eric Dyson

Short, emotional, literary, powerful—Tears We Cannot Stop is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read. As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. A provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.





How to Be Less Stupid About Race

Crystal M. Fleming

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.





Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. The fifth edition of this provocative book makes clear that color blind racism is as insidious now as ever. It features new material on our current racial climate, including the Black Lives Matter movement; a significantly revised chapter that examines the Obama presidency, the 2016 election, and Trump’s presidency; and a new chapter addressing what readers can do to confront racism—both personally and on a larger structural level.



Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America

George Yanc