Recommended Reading

We’ve listed out our favorite resources both for understanding the hidden system of racial injustice in place in the United States, and for joining the fight for racial justice.

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates

A bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
Buy Between the World and Me at Powell’s Books

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness
Michelle Alexander

In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination — employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service — are suddenly legal.
Buy The New Jim Crow at Powell’s Books

Fire in the Heart
Mark R. Warren

Fire in the Heart uncovers the dynamic processes through which some white Americans become activists for racial justice. The book reports powerful accounts of the development of racial awareness drawn from in-depth interviews with fifty white activists in the fields of community organizing, education, and criminal justice reform.
Buy Fire in the Heart at Powell’s Books

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
Michael Eric Dyson

Short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that ALL Americans who care about the current and long burning crisis in race relations need to read.
Buy Tears We Cannot Stop at Powell’s Books

Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi

With breathtaking scope, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the slave traders of the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the Asantes’ struggle against British colonialism to the first stirrings of the American Civil War, from the jazz of twentieth-century Harlem to the sparkling shores of modern Ghana. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed–and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
Buy Homegoing at Powell’s Books

 

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