Thursday, June 11, 2020

Recommended Reading | #BlackLivesMatter

Yesterday a page that I follow on Facebook, Unfundamentalist, recommended reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. This book is fantastic and I highly recommend reading this to pretty much every person I know.

This then got me thinking about all of the books I have read in the last couple years since #BlackLivesMatter became such a powerful movement, and how those books have furthered my own education on Black life in America - and how even I as an ally have been problematic in attempting to show the ally-ship.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I will continue to add to it as I continue to learn and change and grow. If you have books that you have found to be helpful, please leave a comment and let me know - it may already be somewhere on my TBR, or new to me that I must read.

I chose not to link to Amazon as I have in the past because I think it is extremely important now more than ever to support Black-owned businesses and of course that includes bookstores. I am working on a list of such bookstores now and plan to follow up with a variety of other resources in the coming weeks.

***EDIT*** Here is a list of Black-owned bookstores I found from Town&Country, and I will continue to add to this as well.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Chokehold: Policing Black men by Paul Butler

The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America by D. Watkins

We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America by D. Watkins

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors

No Justice: One White Police Officer, One Black Family, and How One Bullet Ripped Us Apart by Robbie Tolan

Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till by Elliott J. Gorman

How We Fight White Supremacy by Akiba Solomon (editor) and Kenrya Rankin (editor)

They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side by Eve L. Ewing

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Things that Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Tears We Can Not Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi

Race Against Time: A reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era by Jerry Mitchell

Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, INspiring Journey to Forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes

13 Days in Ferguson by Ronald Johnson

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

Murder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham by Melanie S. Morrison

Like I said, this is only the beginning of what I think could be a valuable list. There are more books I am waiting on from the library right now, and those are:

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi

If you have read any of the books I've mentioned, I would love to know your thoughts. If you haven't, let's form a reading group and do our part to be allies in this fight.



  1. That seems like a very useful and fairly comprehensive list on the subject. It's a list that white Americans in particular could benefit from reading, as we try to work our way toward a less racist and more just society.

    1. And that is my whole purpose - to educate. People have to be willing to go outside their comforts zones though also, and have to own the discomfort they feel when we have these hard conversations. I am hoping that I can do my part to help others understand and learn and grow.

  2. quite a list! hopefully readers will find these of interest...

  3. Thanks for the list. I recommend any novel by Toni Morrison and any book at all by James Baldwin.

    1. Thank you Judy! I am going to do a fiction list also, and you were going to be one of the first people I asked to contribute!

  4. This is just a great list. I had to include it into mine here. There are quite a few on that I would recommend, as well, a lot of them fiction but some also non-fiction. I would definitely recommend Alice Walker's The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart, Ta Nahisi-Coates Between the world and me and any of the Obama books.

    Same as Judy, I also think any book by Toni Morrison is great.

    1. Thank you! This list evolved into its own page in the menu above. I have broken each list down by age group and fiction vs non-fiction.

    2. Ooooh, thank you very much. I hadn't realized, stupid, stupid. I will include that link in my post. In any case, well done!!!

    3. No worries, it is easy to miss! I continue to add books to it so I can always let you know when more have gone up.

    4. Not really that easy to miss if one looks. LOL.

      That's lovely, my list is an ongoing project. So many great books on the topic that need to be read.

    5. I'm sure we have a lot of the same ones, but I am also interested in ones that look at #BlackLivesMatter from a European perspective so I will definitely be perusing your list as well!

    6. Unfortunately, most of the books on my list are American. In Germany, for example, we have a lot more books about the Nazis than about Racists though they have the same thinking. Anyone who isn't like me iks inferior. But I'll try to add some more that I can think of into that list. Thanks for getting me to think about it.

    7. That would be great, thank you! So far I have found a couple books from the UK, but not anything really from any other European countries. But we all also have our own sets of problems. I just remember so many protests around the world after George Floyd was murdered by the police, I wondered if more writers examined policing of POCs in their own countries.

    8. Well, we do have fewer people of colour but we have other problems. People who don't want immigrants, especially when they come from Muslim countries etc. But there are books about it and I'm going to look for more to put on my list.

    9. Sounds a lot like us, unfortunately. Let me know what books you find, I am interested!

    10. I have read a few by immigrants into Germany. Maybe you'd be interested in them?

    11. Yes, please send them my way when you have the time!

    12. I'll make a list in the next few days. Hopefully. LOL

    13. No rush, take your time. The next couple weeks are going to be very hectic at school again, tons of extra paperwork due to COVID, so I won't be able to get them to them for a while yet.


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