The country-wide protests that have happened in the last week has 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 a list of anti-racist literature to get you started. Read on, and don’t forget to support Black-owned bookstores when you shop!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Former Black Panther Party Chairwoman Elaine Brown tells her story of activism, political involvement, and coming of age as a Black woman in America.
This is an essential read for understanding the inherent racial divide in America’s criminal justice system and the need to reform.
In her classic book, hooks’ prose addresses everything from the impact of sexism on Black women during slavery to racism among feminists.
Hurston’s novel follows the story of Janine Crawford, a young Black woman coming of age in Florida in the early 20th century.
Shange combines prose, poetry, and playwriting into a piece that has resonated with and inspired Black women since 1974.
In this collection, Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers both in and outside of academia.
This extensively researched text examines the relationships between Black and white women, exposes societal challenges, and looks for ways to bridge the gap.
A list like this 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.
In this influential 1963 essay, Baldwin calls upon American to “end the racial nightmare…and change the history of the world.”
Larsen confronts issues of privilege, identity, and advantage in her story of Clare Kendry, a light-skinned Black woman passing as white.