The Ally’s Book Guide for Anti-Racist Education
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The task of becoming a better ally is a lifelong endeavor that involves learning as well as unlearning. Though embarking on an educational journey such as this may seem daunting, consider that it is a privilege to learn about racism, rather than experience it. So, whether you are a race relations expert or at the beginning of your educational journey, these books provide an opportunity to not only expand your understanding of, but also continue the conversation about, systemic racism. Shop the complete list on Bookshop!
A number-one New York Times bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club pick, Caste, as explained by Oprah, “explains why we are where we are in terms of racial injustice and inequality, and it shows us how to rebuild a world in which we are truly equal and free.”
2. The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism
Focusing on the way in which sports and race intersect, Bryant’s The Heritage spotlights today’s Black athletes. As the line between politics and sports becomes more and more blurred, these athletes have engaged with an increasing number of social issues, and re-evaluated what it means to be an American patriot.
3. The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry
Shedding light on the racial hierarchy that is embedded in Hollywood, Erigha’s book examines over 1,000 contemporary films in order to illustrate the mechanisms which reinforce “the Hollywood Jim Crow.” Further, Erigha studies alternative ways for African Americans to forge their own paths in a systematically flawed industry.
4. How To Be An Antiracist
Ibram X Kendi
Take your awareness of racism and allyship to the next level with How To Be An Antiracist. Ibram X Kendi challenges your way of thinking and explains antiracism in its simplest and most complex forms.
5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Learn the story of Henrietta Lacks, a young Black woman who was hospitalized at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for cervical cancer. Researchers working with her cells discovered that, unlike most other cultured cells, Henrietta’s cells rapidly multiplied. Today, these cells, known to scientists as the HeLa cell line, are a foundational tool in many biochemical studies.
A New York Times bestseller, Lack’s story has had a profound impact on modern medicine and bioethics, and has even been retold as a feature-length movie starring Oprah Winfrey.
6. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Learn the history of the relationship between the medical field and Black Americans. This book provides shocking accounts about the mistreatment of Black individuals in hospitals, and ignites a much-needed conversation about race and medical care.
7. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness
Open your eyes to the systemic issues within America’s prison system. From the War on Drugs to the stereotyping of communities of color, Michelle Alexander exposes layers of racial discrimination in what is, as the Chronicle of Higher Education puts it, “one of the most influential books of the last 20 years.”
8. Redefining Realness
by Janet Mock
A New York Times bestseller, this book is an honest, moving, and vulnerable recounting of Mock’s experiences growing up as multiracial, poor, and trans in the United States.
9. So You Want to Talk About Race
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeouma Oluo equips you with the tools, words, and confidence it takes to address racism in your daily life.
10. Such A Fun Age
A fictional, coming-of-age story, Such A Fun Age explores issues of race and privilege while navigating the increased level of awareness that comes with each birthday.
11. Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man
Hear conversations about race like you have never heard them before. Author and host of a YouTube series by the same name, Emmanuel Acho creates an open, straightforward dialogue with white people to have conversations that, while uncomfortable at times, need to happen in order to dismantle the racial divide.
12. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Explore your own assumptions about race while becoming aware of how contentious white people can be when their assumptions are challenged. White Fragility is a New York Times best-seller that points out how white people’s defensiveness, when confronted about issues of race, actually facilitates racial inequality.