The Anti-Racist Reading List

by theSKIN


The Anti-Racist Reading List

The country-wide protests that have happened in the last week have made one thing exceedingly clear: the United States needs extensive systemic change. And the root of the problem? Racism. It’s essential that we commit to joining the lifelong fight against racism and doing the work to become actively anti-racist. That includes educating yourself, and one of the best ways to do that is to pick up a book. We’ve compiled an anti-racist reading list to get you started. Read on, and don’t forget to support Black-owned bookstores when you shop!

“Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

Her only published short story, “Recitatif” uses fiction to illuminate oppression and challenge the reader’s implicit biases and is a shining example of what makes Morrison’s writing so impactful.

This Bridge Called My Back edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga

This classic collection of personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art examines the intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality and invites the reader to explore multiple points of view in one text.

The Miner’s Canary by Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres

Professors Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres offer an academic view of why acknowledging racial inequity is a key part of confronting structural injustice and galvanizing change.

anti racist reading

Toni Morrison

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur, former member of the Black Liberation Army and target of a governmental effort to criminalize and discredit Black organizations in the 60’s and 70’s, recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism.

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness by George Lipsitz

UC Santa Barbara Professor George Lipsitz shows how “white Americans are encouraged to invest in whiteness, to remain true to an identity that provides them with structured advantages,” and is an essential read for addressing white supremacy.

A Taste Of Power by Elaine Brown

Former Black Panther Party Chairwoman Elaine Brown tells her story of activism, political involvement, and coming of age as a Black woman in America.

anti racist reading

Assata Shakur

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

This is an essential read for understanding the inherent racial divide in America’s criminal justice system and the need to reform.

Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

In her classic book, hooks’ prose addresses everything from the impact of sexism on Black women during slavery to racism among feminists.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston’s novel follows the story of Janine Crawford, a young Black woman coming of age in Florida in the early 20th century.

anti racist reading

bell hooks

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Shange combines prose, poetry, and playwriting into a piece that has resonated with and inspired Black women since 1974.

Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins

In this collection, Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers both in and outside of academia.

Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell

This extensively researched text examines the relationships between Black and white women, exposes societal challenges, and looks for ways to bridge the gap.

anti racist reading

Ntozake Shange

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Any anti-racist reading list would be incomplete without Audre Lorde. In this definitive collection of essays, Lorde tackles racism, homophobia, sexism and more from the perspective of a Black lesbian woman.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

In this influential 1963 essay, Baldwin calls upon American to “end the racial nightmare…and change the history of the world.”

Passing by Nella Larsen

Larsen confronts issues of privilege, identity, and advantage in her story of Clare Kendry, a light-skinned Black woman passing as white.

anti racist reading

Audre Lorde

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