(Updated August 19, 2022)

Titles

ain’t i a woman‌‌
by bell hooks
American Slavery, American Freedom‌‌
by Edmund Morgan
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
‌‌by Alex Haley
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.‌‌
by Clayborne Carson
Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference‌‌
by David Garrow
The Beautiful Struggle‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Becoming‌‌
by Michelle Obama
Brotherman‌‌
by Herb Boyd
The Civil War as a Theological Crisis‌‌
by Mark Noll
Color of Compromise‌‌
by Jemar Tisby
Color of Law‌‌
by Richard Rothstein
Dear Martin ‌‌
by Nic Stone
Dispatches from the Race War ‌‌
by Tim Wise
The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin
Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together‌‌
by Our Human Family
Fire Shut Up in My Bones‌‌
by Charles Blow
The Hate U Give‌‌
by Angie Thomas
Heavy‌‌
by Kiese Laymon
His Truth Is Marching On
‌‌John Meacham
How to Be an Antiracist‌‌
by Ibram X. Kendi
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ‌‌
by Maya Angelou
I’m Still Here‌‌
by Austin Channing Brown
If Beale Street Could Talk‌‌
by James Baldwin
Jesus and the Disinherited‌‌
by Howard Thurman
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption‌‌
by Bryan Stevenson
The Lynching of Emmett Till‌‌
by Christopher Metress
March‌‌
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
The Miseducation of the Negro‌‌
by Carter Woodson
The New Jim Crow‌‌
by Michelle Alexander
Notes of a Native Son‌‌
by James Baldwin
A Promised Land‌‌
by Barack Obama
The Prophets‌‌
Robert Jones, Jr.
Rethinking Incarceration‌‌
by Dominique Gilliard
Slavery by Another Name‌‌
by Douglas Blackmon
So You Want to Talk About Race‌‌
by Ijeoma Oluo
Some of My Best Friends Are Black‌‌
by Tanner Colby
Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County‌‌
by Kristin Green
Stamped from the Beginning‌‌
by Ibram X. Kendi
Tears We Cannot Stop‌‌
by Michael Eric Dyson
Waking Up White ‌‌
by Debby Irving
The Warmth of Other Suns‌‌
by Isabel Wilkerson
The Water Dancer‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The White Allies Handbook
by Lecia Michelle
We Were Eight Years in Power‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria‌‌
by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD
Witness in Philadelphia ‌‌
by Florence Mars

Synopses

ain't I a woman: black women and feminism ‌‌
by bell hooks

A classic work of feminist scholarship, ain’t i a woman has become a must-read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman’s involvement with feminism, hooks attempts to move us beyond racist and sexist assumptions. The result is nothing short of groundbreaking, giving this book a critical place on every feminist scholar’s bookshelf. ‌‌—South End Press

American Slavery, American Freedom‌‌
by Edmund Morgan

Fascinating book that describes and contrasts the twin arcs of freedom and slavery in the development of the American nation and culture. The background information is intriguing with its mentions of English religious philosophies bringing to the colonies the idea that work is required by God, necessitating workers to build that shining city on a hill—and what better place to get workers than from an innocent population across the ocean? ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Autobiography of Malcolm X‌‌
by Alex Haley

The contemporary and the modern accounts of Malcolm X paint him as both a threat and a destroyer, but those who know the man know of how much he wanted a better world, and risked his life to make it. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.‌‌
by Clayborne Carson

Most people know Martin from just a few clips taken from one or two of his speeches. This book gathers his work together—writings, essays, sermons, speeches—to give a greater insight of this man. ‌‌ — Stephen Matlock

Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference‌‌
by David Garrow

One of the mysteries in life is how some people become the focal point of attention and the agents of change. How did they get there? What were the moments the got them to that point? Are they like the rest of us, or is there a commonality that we can understand, and perhaps ourselves find our own selves as agents of transformation? Dr. King was highly educated and motivated to be a church leader. Perhaps in another era he’d be a T. D. Jakes or Tony Evans. But he was fated to be alive in a time where the promises of the Constitution had been denied so long that the unrest was unresolveable, and in the milieu of chaos and urgency he found himself thrust forward—and somehow, prepared to be in the spotlight, even though there was nothing he sought so little as this.‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Beautiful Struggle
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is Coates’ first book, and while his style has evolved, his genuine love of the world and love of questioning everything comes through in this delicate, honest story of family and love and despair and success. He reaches into his own memories and his own mind to craft a story of growing up beloved and chastised by parents anxious to see him become a man in a dangerous world. It is a father-son story told from the viewpoint of a son living up to his father’s eyes.‌‌—Stephen Matlock

Becoming ‌‌
by Michelle Obama

In her memoir, now available in paperback and as a Young Readers edition, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.‌‌—Penguin Random House

Between the World and Me ‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men— bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? ‌‌—Spiegel & Grau

Brotherman‌‌
by Herb Boyd

Profoundly affecting. There is no one voice to being Black in Americathere are many, as many as there are Black men and women in America. This collection gathers more than a hundred such voices, from many generations and viewpoints of Black men. And yet there is a commonality in their voices and their experiences, in their dreams and their disappointments. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Civil War as a Theological Crisis‌‌
by Mark Noll

This answered some questions for me about the biblical text and the support of otherwise kindly Christians who would buy into such a grossly wicked and evil institution as human bondage and chattel slavery. This was a contentious issues in antebellum America, and although the answer was made through war and not with academic papers, it is still pleasing to see that Christians can come to healthy, humane conclusions while maintaining fidelity to their scriptures. ‌‌—The University of North Carolina Press

Color of Compromise‌‌
by Jemar Tisby

Of Harriet Beecher Stowe it was said by Lincoln “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” Tisby isn’t doing the same, but he has come with the earnest plea that we must face our past and confront the decisions of our ancestors if we are going to have a resolution of peace. He calls for a time of healing, and presents his ideas to achieve that conciliation between Black and white. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

Color of Law‌‌
by Richard Rothstein

A thorough examination of the hard facts about housing discrimination. Not solely a creation of a racist neighborhood association, the U.S. government by policy and law excluded Black Americans from participating in the American dream. Much of was lost to Black Americans in wealth creation and asset building has come about through the explicit red-zoning that pushed them into the worst housing stock with unregulated financial instruments for purchase. Mortgages backed by the FHA were granted to white people; loans with severe penalties for a missed payment were the leftovers for Black Americans.‌‌—Stephen Matlock

Dear Martin ‌‌
by Nic Stone

Genuinely moving and shocking, the story of a young man who is like most young men and women, attempting to navigate a hostile, unfamiliar, and unforgiving world, peopled by those who would use any error as a reason for disqualification. ‌‌—Crown Books for Young Readers

Dispatches from the Race War ‌‌
by Tim Wise

In this collection of essays, renowned social-justice advocate Tim Wise confronts racism in contemporary America. Seen through the lens of major flashpoints during the Obama and Trump years, Dispatches from the RaceWar faces the consequences of white supremacy in all its forms. This includes a discussion of the bigoted undertones of the Tea Party's backlash, the killing of Trayvon Martin, current day anti-immigrant hysteria, the rise of openly avowed white nationalism, the violent policing of African Americans, and more. Wise devotes a substantial portion of the book to explore the racial ramifications of COVID-19, and the widespread protests which followed the police murder of George Floyd.‌‌—CityLightsPublishing

Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together ‌‌
by Our Human Family

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the routine killing of Black Americans, unprecedented numbers of people are participating in peaceful marches and demonstrations across the United States. There are many more who want get involved, for whom demonstrations are not an option.And they’re unsure what to do. Fieldnotes on Allyship is an informal and informative guide to becoming an effective ally right where you are. Written by eighteen authors from the U.S. and around the world, this collection of essays covers four areas: 1) a history of how we as a nation got here, 2) the forces that maintain systemic racism, 3) preparing to serve as an ally, and 4) serving as an ally. This anthology, with an introduction by anti-racism educator and author Tim Wise, presents a different way forward: a vision in which we acknowledge, support, and celebrate the humanity in all of us.‌‌—Our Human Family

The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Timegalvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle . . . all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature. ‌‌—Modern Library

Fire Shut Up in My Bones‌‌
by Charles Blow

A wonderfully intimate and trusting account of growing up in America by someone who can say a thing or two about the experience, from his earliest years to his platform in The New York Times. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Hate U Give‌‌
by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gang-banger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. ‌‌ —Balzer + Bray

Heavy‌‌
by Kiese Laymon

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. ‌‌—Scribner

His Truth Is Marching On‌‌
John Meacham

John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family’s chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it—his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis’s commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God—and an unshakable belief in the power of hope.

How to Be an Antiracist‌‌
by Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi writes a book to audience that is willing to do the work to not just be against racism—but to take actions that break racism. Anti-racism is what he calls it, moving from the world of racism, from the world of assimilationism, to the world where people are not assigned value or given attributes simply because of the racial category they’ve been slotted into. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ‌‌
by Maya Angelou

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read. ‌‌—Random House

If Beale Street Could Talk ‌‌
by James Baldwin

Probably the easiest book to enter into Baldwin’s world, although it’s one of his later works. This is a view into the world of complex humanity and motivations. It is another evocation of our common cry as humans: “I want to live!” ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

I’m Still Here‌‌
by Austin Channing Brown

Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, ‘I had to learn what it means to love blackness,’ a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion. —Convergent Books

Jesus and the Disinherited‌‌
by Howard Thurman

If you want to understand Martin Luther King, Jr, or Black pastors and Black theology, you simply must start here. It is a revolutionary concept for America, that the empire-America is not the church, and that the Jesus of the texts lives among and rescues the oppressed. Want to know where Jesus is today? Look to the margins and the voiceless and the destroyed—that is where Jesus still dwells among us.‌‌ —Stephen Matlock

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption ‌‌
by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. ‌‌—Spiegel & Grau

The Lynching of Emmett Till‌‌
by Christopher Metress

There’s no way to grasp the undercurrent of Black identity if you don’t know about Emmett Till, a teenager lynched for a harmless offense to a white lady in the South. This book takes from contemporary letters, newspaper articles, and magazines to build the world in which Till lived and died. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

March‌‌
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

You may have heard Representative John Lewis speak about his life’s journey, whether you’ve seen him on TV or in person. But there is so much to his story he can’t speak about in the short appearance he has. These three books tell his story, in comic format, from his start as a preacher to chickens to his utter fearlessness during the Civil Rights movements in the ’50s and ’60s to his work in the halls of Congress. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Miseducation of the Negro‌‌
by Carter Woodson

Carter Woodson is the impetus behind Black History Month in modern America, which is not only a celebration of Black accomplishment but also of long-ignored Black participation in American life. This book, published in 1933, describes how so much of what we think of as “education” is designed not to inform freely but to shape how to see our world and how to think about it. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The New Jim Crow ‌‌
by Michelle Alexander

Seldom does a book have the impact that Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow has had. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. ‌‌—The New Press

Notes of a Native Son‌‌
by James Baldwin

Notes is the book that established Baldwin’s voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin’s own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American. ‌‌—Beacon Press

The Prophets ‌‌
by Robert Jones, Jr.

With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr., fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, The Prophets masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love.‌‌—Penguin Random House

A Promised Land ‌‌
by Barack Obama

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.‌‌—Penguin Random House

Rethinking Incarceration‌‌
by Dominique Gilliard

The United States has more people locked up in jails, prisons, and detention centers than any other country in the history of the world. Mass incarceration has become a lucrative industry, and the criminal justice system is plagued with bias and unjust practices. And the church has unwittingly contributed to the problem. Dominique Gilliard explores the history and foundation of mass incarceration, examining Christianity’s role in its evolution and expansion. He then shows how Christians can pursue justice that restores and reconciles, offering creative solutions and highlighting innovative interventions. The church has the power to help transform our criminal justice system. Discover how you can participate in the restorative justice needed to bring authentic rehabilitation, lasting transformation, and healthy reintegration to this broken system. ‌‌—IVP Books

Slavery by Another Name‌‌
by Douglas Blackmon

Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Slavery by Another Name unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system’s final demise in the 1940s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II.

Slavery by Another Name is a moving, sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today. ‌‌—Doubleday

So You Want to Talk About Race ‌‌
by Ijeoma Oluo

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life. ‌‌—Seal Press

Some of My Best Friends Are Black‌‌
by Tanner Colby

Frank, funny, and incisive, Some of My Best Friends Are Black offers a profoundly honest portrait of race in America. In a book that is part reportage, part history, part social commentary, Tanner Colby explores why the civil rights movement ultimately produced such little true integration in schools, neighborhoods, offices, and churches—the very places where social change needed to unfold. Weaving together the personal, intimate stories of everyday people—black and white—Colby reveals the strange, sordid history of what was supposed to be the end of Jim Crow, but turned out to be more of the same with no name. He shows us how far we have come in our journey to leave mistrust and anger behind—and how far all of us have left to go. ‌‌—Viking

Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County‌‌
by Kristin Green

Combining hard-hitting investigative journalism and a sweeping family narrative, this provocative true story reveals a little-known chapter of American history: the period after the Brown v. Board of Education decision when one Virginia school system refused to integrate. ‌‌—Harper

Stamped from the Beginning‌‌
by Ibram X. Kendi

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. ‌‌—Bold Type Books

Tears We Cannot Stop‌‌
by Michael Eric Dyson

As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man’s voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. In his 2016 New York Times op-ed piece ‘Death in Black and White,’ Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Now he continues to speak out in Tears We Cannot Stop―a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. ‌‌—St. Martin’s Press

Waking Up White‌‌
by Debby Irving

This is not only a story of how the author awoke to her own whiteness and what that meant to the world—and the people—around her. It is a workbook for those of us who are also interested in exploring our own apprehension of whiteness. Each chapter ends with a set of questions for the reader to use in their own self-discovery. ‌‌—Stephen Matlock

The Warmth of Other Suns‌‌
by Isabel Wilkerson

In this beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. ‌‌—Random House

The Water Dancer ‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer isa propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen. ‌‌—One World

The White Allies Handbook
by Lecia Michelle

You’ve read White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist, but what comes next? The answer lies in this clear, actionable guide providing an invaluable four-week program for becoming an ally who makes a real difference in the racial justice fight.

Black women have always been the driving force behind real change in this country—especially when it comes to racial justice work. But they shouldn’t have to do it alone. If you’re ready to stop standing on the sidelines and become anti-racist instead of passively “not racist,” then this book is what you need. You’ll discover: how to have difficult conversations about white supremacy, racism, and white privilege; how to listen to criticism without defensiveness; why it’s harmful to ignore race or claim to be colorblind; and how to expand your racial justice circle by joining groups led by Black women and cultivating a group of like-minded allies.

Racism can only be defeated if white people educate themselves and actively engage in antiracism work, especially in their inner circles. With this book, you’ll learn how to change from someone who defends and protects racism to someone who fights against it. And you’ll become an example to others that true allies are made, not born.

We Were Eight Years in Power‌‌
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

‘We were eight years in power’ was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s ‘first white president.’

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president. ‌‌—One World

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria‌‌
by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America. ‌‌—Basic Books

Witness in Philadelphia‌‌
by Florence Mars

On June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers―James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner―were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Florence Mars, a native of Philadelphia, recounts the grim circumstances of the killings and describes what happened to a community confronted by a challenge to long-held beliefs. ‌‌—LSU Press

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