The best 100 Race books

Race is a crucial topic that sparks ongoing discussions about diversity, inequality, and social justice. Our Race book list offers a valuable collection to deepen your understanding of this complex subject.

Explore these insightful reads to gain diverse perspectives, challenge preconceptions, and foster meaningful conversations about race. Ready to broaden your knowledge and engage with this important topic? Start delving into these impactful titles now.

The best 100 Race books
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1
Race Books: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
4.6 (102 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The New Jim Crow about?

The New Jim Crow (2010) unveils an appalling system of discrimination in the United States that has led to the unprecedented mass incarceration of African-Americans. The so-called War on Drugs, under the jurisdiction of an ostensibly colorblind justice system, has only perpetuated the problem through unconscious racial bias in judgments and sentencing.

Who should read The New Jim Crow?

  • Anyone who cares about racial justice
  • Anyone interested in sociology
  • Anyone who wants to learn about systematic oppression in the United States

2
Race Books: Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

Gang Leader For A Day

Sudhir Venkatesh
A Rogue Sociologist Crosses The Line
3.8 (17 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Gang Leader For A Day about?

Gang Leader For A Day is based on author Sudhir Venkatesh’s ten years of personal, in-depth research conducted on-site at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes public housing projects in Chicago. Ignored by city government and law enforcement, residents in the close-knit community rely only on local gangs and each other for basic services and social support.

Who should read Gang Leader For A Day?

  • Anyone interested in the influence of gangs in the United States
  • Anyone curious about what it takes to be a gang leader
  • Anyone interested in how poor communities are supported by underground economies

3
Race Books: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates
4.4 (80 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Between the World and Me about?

Between the World and Me (2015) is an open letter to the author’s 15-year-old son about the realities that Black men face in America. Filled with personal anecdotes about the author’s personal development and experiences with racism, his letter tries to prepare young Black people for the world that awaits them.

Who should read Between the World and Me?

  • Anyone interested in race and racism in the United States
  • Anyone interested in social issues
  • Anyone interested in US history

4
Race Books: How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

How To Be Black

Baratunde Thurston
3.8 (18 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How To Be Black about?

How To Be Black (2012) is the funny, revealing and insightful autobiography of Baratunde Thurston. Thurston attended private schools and Harvard University, and the experience of being black in a predominantly white milieu taught him a great deal about what white and black people have come to expect from one another. These blinks tackle a difficult subject with humor and empathy.

Who should read How To Be Black?

  • Black people who get nervous around white people
  • White people who get nervous around black people
  • Curious readers interested in a fresh perspective

5
Race Books: Engines of Liberty by David Cole

Engines of Liberty

David Cole
The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law
3.5 (17 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Engines of Liberty about?

Engines of Liberty (2016) is an exploration into the influence citizens can have on government, and the changes that can be brought about through activism, the spreading of information and the mobilization of one’s peers. When it comes to the big issues of our time, like gay marriage, guns and human rights, it’s passionate citizens who are speaking up for what they believe in and bringing about change.

Who should read Engines of Liberty?

  • Activists passionate about civil liberties
  • Lawyers and politicians interested in the history of civil rights
  • Concerned citizens who want to become more active

6
Race Books: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
3.8 (47 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation about?

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016) brings you up-to-date on the ongoing struggle for Black liberation in the United States. Discover the real reasons why racism continues to fracture America and why activist organizations like Black Lives Matter remain a much needed force for change. The fight is far from over, so find out what you can do to be part of the solution.

Who should read From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation?

  • Sociology students and people studying race relations
  • African-Americans and civil-rights activists
  • Readers interested in the Black liberation movement

7
Race Books: Ghetto by Mitchell Duneier

Ghetto

Mitchell Duneier
The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea
4.3 (13 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Ghetto about?

Ghetto (2016) traces the socio-ideological development of the word “ghetto” – particularly how it’s been applied to black neighborhoods in America – and takes an unflinching look at the complex ways in which race, prejudice, policy and sociology interact. When it comes to fighting for racial equality, there are no easy answers.

Who should read Ghetto?

  • Activists and policy makers
  • Sociology and political science students
  • People interested in American studies

8
Race Books: White Trash by Nancy Isenberg

White Trash

Nancy Isenberg
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
4.0 (115 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's White Trash about?

White Trash (2016) retells American history from the perspective of the poor whites who were by turns despised and admired by the upper classes. These blinks trace the biopolitical, cultural and social ideas that have shaped the lives of white trash Americans from early colonial days to the Civil War, through the Great Depression and up to the present day.

Who should read White Trash?

  • Readers fascinated by American sociology and the history of class
  • Students of American politics and culture
  • Those curious about alternative historical narratives for the United States

9
Race Books: We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power

Ta-Nehisi Coates
An American Tragedy
4.5 (20 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's We Were Eight Years in Power about?

We Were Eight Years in Power (2017) reflects on President Barack Obama’s two terms in power and the aftermath of the first Black presidency. These blinks take a candid look at racism and white supremacy throughout American history.

Who should read We Were Eight Years in Power?

  • Americans interested in learning about Black experience in the USA
  • Anyone who’s concerned about the state of democracy
  • Anyone interested in the history and political consequences of racism and white supremacy

10
Race Books: Go Back to Where You Came From by Sasha Polakow-Suransky

Go Back to Where You Came From

Sasha Polakow-Suransky
The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy
4.2 (24 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Go Back to Where You Came From about?

Go Back to Where You Came From (2017) takes a look at the current international political landscape and explains how the increase in refugees in Europe has contributed to the rise of the right-wing populist movement. It also explains why Muslim immigrants are the subject of such political demonization, how this issue has strengthened political extremism and why the populist movement is a serious threat to democracy as we know it.

Who should read Go Back to Where You Came From?

  • Political science students or avid news readers
  • Immigrants, refugees and activists
  • Legislators and political decision makers

11
Race Books: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.4 (110 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Born a Crime about?

Born a Crime (2016) is about Trevor Noah's childhood and adolescence in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. A child of mixed heritage, Noah details the challenges he faced and the peculiarities that existed when he was growing up.

Who should read Born a Crime?

  • Trevor Noah fans
  • Those interested in life during and after apartheid in South Africa
  • Anyone after an inspiring personal story

12
Race Books: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Reni Eddo-Lodge
4.1 (192 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race about?

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) examines the often-dismissed problem of racism in Britain and offers insight into how it might be overcome. Contrary to the title, this volume provides a starting point for productive conversations about racism in Britain today. It examines British black history, white privilege and the links between class and race.

Who should read Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race?

  • People interested in black British history
  • Workers who feel the economy and society aren’t working for them
  • Anyone who wants better race relations

13
Race Books: This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

This Will Be My Undoing

Morgan Jerkins
Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
4.1 (20 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's This Will Be My Undoing about?

This Will Be My Undoing (2018) delves into the author’s experiences as a Black woman living in modern-day America. By examining race, culture and feminism, the book demonstrates why and how Black women have been marginalized and offers suggestions on how this serious situation can be improved.

Who should read This Will Be My Undoing?

  • People interested in the marginalization of Black women
  • Feminist studies students
  • Those who want to learn about contemporary Black culture in the United States

14
Race Books: Bunk by Kevin Young

Bunk

Kevin Young
The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News
3.4 (47 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bunk about?

Bunk (2017) takes a look at the history of the American phenomenon of the hoax and identifies its inextricable relationship to racial stereotypes and US history. It also explains how the notion of the hoax has transformed since the early twentieth century and operates within the contemporary landscape.

Who should read Bunk?

  • People interested in learning about the exploitation of race
  • Those curious about where America’s obsession with “fake news” stems from
  • American cultural history enthusiasts

15
Race Books: Dreamland by Sam Quinones

Dreamland

Sam Quinones
The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
4.4 (27 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Dreamland about?

Dreamland (2015) tells the story of how the opiate crisis in the United States went from being a problem only among social outcasts and the urban poor to one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country. The background and science of the crisis are rooted in socioeconomic factors that are distinctly American.

Who should read Dreamland?

  • Non-Americans left nonplussed by the United States’ opiate problem
  • Health care professionals
  • Policy wonks

16
Race Books: Slay in Your Lane by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke

Slay in Your Lane

Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke
The Black Girl Bible
4.4 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Slay in Your Lane about?

Slay in Your Lane (2018) is a powerful broadside against the discrimination faced by black women in today’s Britain. But Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke aren’t just interested in criticizing the way things are – they also want to help improve the lives of black girls and women in the UK. Packed full of insightful advice and helpful strategies, this a blueprint for rising above prejudice and achieving great things.

Who should read Slay in Your Lane?

  • Black women and girls
  • Young women starting their careers
  • Anyone interested in what life is like for black women and girls

17
Race Books: White Fragility  by Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo
Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
4.3 (275 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's White Fragility about?

White Fragility (2018) aims to do exactly what its subtitle says: to explain why white people find it so difficult to talk about racism, particularly within an American context. The answers are surprisingly complicated and illuminating, as they tie together some of the darkest strands of American history with the most fundamental ideologies of American society.

Who should read White Fragility ?

  • White people who feel uncomfortable talking about racism  
  • People of color who wonder why white people are so uncomfortable talking about racism
  • Antiracism advocates who want to better understand that discomfort

18
Race Books: Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks

Ain’t I a Woman

bell hooks
Black Women and Feminism
4.6 (83 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Ain’t I a Woman about?

Ain’t I a Woman (1981) is a work of feminist scholarship that explores the complexities of living in the United States as a Black woman. Hooks examines the convergence of racism and sexism in major political and social movements throughout American history.

Who should read Ain’t I a Woman?

  • Women of color
  • Feminists
  • Those interested in race and gender theory

19
Race Books: Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Thick

Tressie McMillan Cottom
And Other Essays
4.2 (37 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Thick about?

Thick: And Other Essays (2019) is a collection of essays by author Tressie McMillan Cottom that centers on the experiences of African American women. Drawing on her own lived experience as well as that of others, McMillan Cottom’s smart, incisive prose provides a fresh perspective on topics as varied as race, beauty, politics, and capitalism, and sheds light on the most pressing issues of today. Part sociological tract, part polemic, the book reveals the brutal and often absurd paradoxes of modern-day America. 

Who should read Thick?

  • Feminists interested in deeper insight into the experiences of Black women 
  • Activists who want to learn more about the current state of racial inequity 
  • Social scientists and academics interested in current affairs

20
Race Books: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi
4.2 (265 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How to Be an Antiracist about?

How to be an Antiracist (2019) explores the causes of and solutions to the racism that plagues our societies. Drawing on his own experiences as well as political and historical insights, the author shines a light on what he argues is a truly antiracist perspective and explains how you can effect change in an unjust world. 

Who should read How to Be an Antiracist?

  • Anyone who cares about social justice
  • Those who want to change the world
  • Political individuals looking for fresh insights

21
Race Books: Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

Brit(ish)

Afua Hirsch
On Race, Identity and Belonging
4.4 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Brit(ish) about?

Published in 2018, Brit(ish) is a wide-ranging exploration of the relationships between British national identity, racial identity and immigration. Combining history, journalism, social analysis, cultural commentary and personal memoir, it aims to help jumpstart a long-overdue conversation about the roles that people’s races and origins play in modern British society. 

Who should read Brit(ish)?

  • Non-British people wanting insight into how race functions in the UK
  • British people wanting more context for recent debates about immigration 
  • Anyone wanting to better understand the experiences of people of color

22
Race Books: Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

Me and White Supremacy

Layla Saad
How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World
4.2 (162 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Me and White Supremacy about?

Me and White Supremacy (2020) is a guidebook to the white supremacist world we live in. It’s intended to help white people improve their understanding of racism and work to become allies to people of color.

Who should read Me and White Supremacy?

  • White people who want to understand anti-racism
  • People who’ve benefited from white supremacy
  • People interested in contemporary society and sociology

23
Race Books: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want to Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo
4.3 (80 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's So You Want to Talk About Race about?

So You Want To Talk About Race (2018) examines the complex system of racism in the United States, from police brutality to cultural appropriation to the school-to-prison pipeline. It offers clarity on ways we can approach conversations about race and take action against structural injustice.

Who should read So You Want to Talk About Race?

  • Citizens who care about social justice
  • People who want to improve their understanding of racism
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to discuss race

24
Race Books: Solitary by Albert Woodfox

Solitary

Albert Woodfox
Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope
4.6 (25 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Solitary about?

Solitary (2019) is the punishing tale of an African American man’s brutal treatment at the hands of the criminal justice system in Louisiana. In and out of prison as a young man, Albert Woodfox was framed for a murder he didn’t commit, apparently due to his membership in the Black Panther movement. He spent over 40 years in solitary confinement in a six by nine foot cell, treated inhumanely by a system that, by his account, is institutionally racist and cruel.

Who should read Solitary?

  • People who care about justice 
  • Anyone searching for a better understanding of entrenched racial inequality

25
Race Books: Natives by Akala

Natives

Akala
Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
4.6 (35 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Natives about?

Natives (2018) melds memoir and polemic to explore race and class in contemporary Britain. Drawing on his own experiences while growing up poor and Black in London in the 1980s and 1990s, musician and writer Akala crafts a vivid portrait of a society that systematically robs Black citizens of opportunities. Why, he asks, is Britain like this? As we’ll see in these blinks, answering that question takes us deep into the history of slavery, empire, and racism. 

Who should read Natives?

  • History buffs
  • Radicals and reformers
  • Brits and Anglophiles

26
Race Books: Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust by Hédi Fried

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust

Hédi Fried
4.6 (104 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust about?

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust (2019) is a survivor’s account of the darkest moment in recent European history. Hédi Fried has spent her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions. In this book, she considers those questions one by one, and paints a picture of her nightmarish experience that should act as a warning from history.

Who should read Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust?

  • Anyone worried about the rise of racism and nationalism today
  • Those with relatives affected by the Holocaust
  • People interested in modern European history

27
Race Books: I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite

I Am Not Your Baby Mother

Candice Brathwaite
What it's like to be a Black British mother
4.0 (19 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I Am Not Your Baby Mother about?

I Am Not Your Baby Mother (2020) is part memoir and part manifesto about life as a Black British mother. Drawing on Candice Brathwaite’s own journey to parenthood, it describes how she survived everything from postnatal depression to the realization that she could never protect her children from racism. These events motivated her to create space for representations of diverse experiences of motherhood online.

Who should read I Am Not Your Baby Mother?

  • Black mothers looking for narratives of parenthood that more closely reflect their own
  • Activists wanting to learn more about inequality in Britain
  • White parents who want to confront their own privilege and learn about institutionalized racism

28
Race Books: The End of the Myth by Greg Grandin

The End of the Myth

Greg Grandin
From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
3.7 (32 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The End of the Myth about?

The End of the Myth (2019) offers a revealing look at how America’s frontier mind-set has guided and protected the nation through its troubled history. You’ll see how the expansion of that frontier has served to keep fundamental problems of racism and inequality from being dealt with and find out if the myth of the American frontier has finally died.

Who should read The End of the Myth?

  • History buffs interested in the legacy of the United States
  • Anyone outraged at the mistreatment of migrants at the Mexican border
  • Students of political science and sociology

29
Race Books: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

The Souls of Black Folk

W.E.B. Du Bois
4.4 (92 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Souls of Black Folk about?

The Souls of Black Folk (1903) details the conditions of African Americans in the years after the end of slavery. By examining issues such as education, economic opportunities, and the interaction between Black and White Americans, Du Bois highlights the challenging legacy of slavery and the disempowering effects of the racism and segregation that followed.

Who should read The Souls of Black Folk?

  • People interested in African American history
  • Those who want to better understand race relations in America
  • People interested in sociology

30
Race Books: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

Caste

Isabel Wilkerson
The Origins of Our Discontents
4.5 (273 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Caste about?

Caste (2020) takes a revealing look at the caste system that continues to exist in American society, and its disturbing similarities to caste systems in India and WWII-era Germany. It explains how the attitudes of the dominant castes have become ingrained, on conscious and subconscious levels, through generations of subjugation. You’ll find out what it takes to maintain a caste system as well as what can be done to break free from it.

Who should read Caste?

  • People interested in American politics
  • History buffs
  • Those curious about how inequality can persist in a society

31
Race Books: The Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam

The Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam
How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives
3.8 (166 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Hidden Brain about?

The Hidden Brain (2010) reveals the function and effects of our unconscious lives. In our increasingly interconnected world, unconscious biases and errors influence our memories, judgments, and perceptions and shape our social, economic, and political institutions.

Who should read The Hidden Brain?

  • White people interested in understanding unconscious racial bias
  • Parents and teachers
  • Students of neuroscience or psychology

32
Race Books: My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem

My Grandmother's Hands

Resmaa Menakem
Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
4.6 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's My Grandmother's Hands about?

My Grandmother’s Hands (2017) explores how racism affects Black, white, and police bodies in the United States – and what individuals and communities can do to heal them. Trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem explains why historic, familial, and personal trauma relating to racism is often stored deep in our nervous system, and teaches body-based practices to overcome it.

Who should read My Grandmother's Hands?

  • Black people who want to begin to heal their bodies from the trauma of racism 
  • White folks who want to become better allies through a body-centered practice of anti-racism
  • Police officers and public safety officials who want to learn how to avoid violence

33
Race Books: I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown

I'm Still Here

Austin Channing Brown
Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
3.9 (40 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I'm Still Here about?

I’m Still Here (2018) is a memoir about racial justice in modern America. Racism is still all around us – even in Christian organizations that claim to champion diversity and understanding.

Who should read I'm Still Here?

  • People looking to understand what it’s like to be Black in America
  • Christians eager to learn how to be truly progressive
  • Fans of powerful memoirs

34
Race Books: The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee

The Sum of Us

Heather McGhee
What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
4.2 (72 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Sum of Us about?

The Sum of Us (2021) is a searing analysis of how white supremacy has devastated the American middle class. Public services have been decimated, millions of Americans have no healthcare, and lobbyists control political decision-making. But white Americans keep voting for politicians who make things worse while blaming immigrants and people of color for the nation’s problems. Only by tackling racism head-on can we begin to fight for economic equality for all Americans.

Who should read The Sum of Us?

  • White people wanting to educate themselves about the real costs of racism
  • Activists looking for inspiration about how to create powerful multiracial coalitions
  • Anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge of US history and how it affects politics today

35
Race Books: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Beverly Daniel Tatum
And Other Conversations About Race
4.4 (84 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? about?

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (1997) explores the reality of race in the American public education system and sheds light on racial-identity development in both Black and white people. Updated with a new prologue in 2017, it also explains how talking openly about racism is essential for cutting across racial and ethnic divides.

Who should read Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria??

  • People seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America
  • Parents and educators who want to teach children about race
  • Those interested in social justice, equal opportunity, and democracy

36
Race Books: Wagnerism by Alex Ross

Wagnerism

Alex Ross
Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
4.5 (65 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Wagnerism about?

Wagnerism (2020) chronicles how the works of Richard Wagner have influenced thinkers in the years since his death. Exploring the multitude of ways in which people have interpreted his music, it looks beyond his artistic legacy to his political influence – most of all on the Nazi party.

Who should read Wagnerism?

  • Classical music fans who want to broaden their knowledge
  • Historians interested in the role of music and culture
  • Politics enthusiasts who want to explore the history of ideas

37
Race Books: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Emmanuel Acho
4.3 (53 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man about?

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (2020) is an introduction to race and race-related issues in America. Talking about these issues can be uncomfortable, but by being unafraid of dialogue, we can learn that the difficulties Black people in America face today are best understood through US history.

Who should read Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man?

  • White people looking to understand the conversation around racism
  • Concerned citizens who want to make a difference
  • American history enthusiasts

38
Race Books: Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings

Cathy Park Hong
A Reckoning on Race and the Asian Condition
3.8 (51 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Minor Feelings about?

Minor Feelings (2020) is poet Cathy Park Hong’s searing account of life as an Asian American. Drawing on her own experiences alongside penetrating insights, it paints a picture of the purgatorial status that Asian Americans still face.

Who should read Minor Feelings?

  • Those looking to explore what it means to be Asian in the United States today
  • Memoir lovers
  • People who want to expand their understanding of racial issues

39
Race Books: This Is the Fire by Don Lemon

This Is the Fire

Don Lemon
What I Say to My Friends About Racism
4.0 (28 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's This Is the Fire about?

This is the Fire (2021) highlights the current moment as a turning point for the fight against racism in the United States. Touching on the Trump presidency, police brutality, and the global pandemic, it explores the racist history, structures, and ideas that have long plagued America, and proposes ways of using this moment to create positive change.

Who should read This Is the Fire?

  • People who want to understand racism in America
  • Those interested in social justice
  • White people looking to become better allies

40
Race Books: Wildland by Evan Osnos

Wildland

Evan Osnos
The Making of America's Fury
3.4 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Wildland about?

Wildland (2021) recounts the story of how America became unraveled throughout the first two decades of the twenty-first century. Drawing on stories from residents of three US cities –⁠ Greenwich, Connecticut; Clarksburg, West Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois –⁠ it examines the undercurrents of change that tie together the fates of these varied landscapes. Finally, it describes how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the foundation for the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021. 

Who should read Wildland?

  • Americans trying to make sense of the changes in their country
  • Students of American politics and culture
  • Activists looking for a holistic picture of the grievances of average Americans

41
Race Books: The Dying Citizen by Victor Davis Hanson

The Dying Citizen

Victor Davis Hanson
How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America
2.8 (671 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Dying Citizen about?

The Dying Citizen (2021) explores the ways in which modern American democracy is being weakened. Touching on issues like globalization and identity politics, it discusses how left-wing progressives are damaging the foundations of the United States. 

Who should read The Dying Citizen?

  • Conservatives looking for fresh insights
  • Fans of Donald Trump 
  • Anyone interested in politics and current affairs

42
Race Books: How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith

How the Word Is Passed

Clint Smith
A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
4.5 (162 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How the Word Is Passed about?

How the Word Is Passed (2021) is a travelogue that underscores how slavery has shaped America’s collective history and its reality today. Nine locations serve as gateways to important stories that are hidden in plain sight. They exemplify how communities have reckoned, or not, with their roles in the history of slavery and invite us all to dig deeper into what we believe – and why.

Who should read How the Word Is Passed?

  • Anyone who wants to better understand America’s relationship with slavery
  • Community members seeking historical context on Black Lives Matter
  • Activists and history buffs interested in how the past informs the present

43
Race Books: Nice Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Nice Racism

Robin DiAngelo
How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm
3.0 (302 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Nice Racism about?

Nice Racism (2021) challenges everything we think we know about racism. Most racists don’t belong to the far right, and they don’t consciously support white supremacy. Instead, they’re “nice” progressive white people who commit daily microaggressions because they’ve never properly confronted their own biases. By abandoning niceness and becoming accountable instead, white people can develop into better allies in the fight for racial justice.

Who should read Nice Racism?

  • White activists seeking better tools to fight racism 
  • White would-be allies who are ready to confront their internal biases
  • Black people and people of color interested in learning more about the workings of white supremacy

44
Race Books: The Reckoning by Mary L. Trump

The Reckoning

Mary L. Trump
Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal
3.2 (212 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Reckoning about?

The Reckoning (2021) is an unflinching look at contemporary American society. This sharp treatise draws informative connections between the nation’s traumas and its current issues.

Who should read The Reckoning?

  • Voters struggling to understand the contemporary political landscape
  • Citizens concerned about the future of their country
  • Anyone interested in a critical analysis of American society

45
Race Books: You Are Your Best Thing by Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown

You Are Your Best Thing

Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
4.1 (102 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's You Are Your Best Thing about?

You Are Your Best Thing (2021) is an anthology of original essays that explore Black experiences of living, loving, and parenting in America today. It examines concepts like vulnerability and shame, and shows that the key to personal healing lies in confronting white supremacy and the racist systems that make Black people feel unsafe in their communities. 

Who should read You Are Your Best Thing?

  • Black people looking for tools to heal from trauma
  • Psychology-lovers seeking new perspectives on how the personal and political intersect
  • Those who want to deepen their understanding of the impact of racism in America

46
Race Books: The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

The 1619 Project

Nikole Hannah-Jones
A New Origin Story
4.1 (533 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The 1619 Project about?

The 1619 Project (2021) is an anthology of essays investigating the origins of the slave trade in America, and how it has shaped what the country would become. It’s also an exploration of how we create history, and how these stories shape our political present. The essays are accompanied by fictional excerpts and poetry, bringing to life the experiences of enslaved people in America.

Who should read The 1619 Project?

  • History-lovers interested in learning more about cutting-edge research from the 1619 Project. 
  • Americans wanting to learn about how the slave trade has shaped their country.
  • Anyone wanting to understand the roots of institutional racism, and how to fight white supremacy.

47
Race Books: Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography by M.K. Gandhi

Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography

M.K. Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments With Truth
4.4 (247 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography about?

Narrated by Marston York

An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography?

  • Anyone interested in Gandhi’s life and personal philosophy
  • Students of history and political science
  • People cultivating leadership skills

48
Race Books: The Black Agenda by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman

The Black Agenda

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman
Bold Solutions for a Broken System
3.5 (168 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Black Agenda about?

The Black Agenda (2022) is a compilation of essays by Black experts reflecting the latest developments and challenges in diverse fields such as wellness, criminal justice, climate activism, and AI.

Who should read The Black Agenda?

  • Activists of all stripes
  • Anyone who wants to know how tech perpetuates racism
  • Anyone who wants to know how climate change and racial justice are linked

49
Race Books: Forget the Alamo by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford

Forget the Alamo

Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford
The Rise and Fall of an American Myth
4.0 (123 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Forget the Alamo about?

Forget the Alamo (2021) charts the history of the Alamo, both real and imagined. It looks at how a popular, heroic mythology sprung from the events of 1836 and came to represent both a noble version of Texas independence and a metaphor for American valor. Find out how the Alamo became a touchstone in American culture wars, and discover how the real story paints a not-so-virtuous picture of American history.

Who should read Forget the Alamo?

  • History buffs
  • People who enjoy Wild West stories 
  • Anyone who thinks they’re familiar with the story of the Alamo

50
Race Books: Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis

Women, Race & Class

Angela Y. Davis
4.5 (145 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Women, Race & Class about?

Women, Race and Class (1981) is a collection of essays that expose how racism, sexism, and classism intertwined in the struggle for women’s suffrage in the United States. With special emphasis on the historical missteps of the mainstream feminist movement, it charts a path for an anti-racist and anti-classist feminism. 

Who should read Women, Race & Class?

  • Feminists looking to understand intersectionality more deeply
  • History buffs
  • Anyone invested in the ongoing struggle for justice

51
Race Books: Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
4.6 (84 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom about?

Read to you by Twaambo Kapilikisha

Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom?

  • People interested in Nelson Mandela
  • Anyone curious about South African history
  • Proponents of social justice

52
Race Books: Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World by Claire Smith and Graeme K. Ward

Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World

Claire Smith and Graeme K. Ward
3.6 (153 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World about?

Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World (2000) examines how globalization and new technologies are affecting indigenous peoples. It provides an analysis of the many opportunities and threats that globalization entails for indigenous societies, along with success stories of how indigenous activists are using technology to benefit their communities. The book’s chapters present the perspectives of 14 authors from around the world.

Who should read Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World?

  • Citizens of countries born out of colonialism interested in their nation’s history
  • Students of anthropology and archaeology
  • Curious indigenous and nonindigenous minds looking to understand our changing world

53
Race Books: Real Self-Care by Pooja Lakshmin

Real Self-Care

Pooja Lakshmin
A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included)
4.2 (333 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Real Self-Care about?

Real Self-Care (2023) exposes the dark side of the global self-care industry by connecting the systemic inequality faced by marginalized groups like women and people of color, and the stress, burnout and chronic illness faced by so many. It offers a science-based alternative and cognitive strategies for living with ease and purpose. 

Who should read Real Self-Care?

  • Frustrated self-carers who feel they’re somehow doing it wrong
  • Tired life-optimizers who wonder why they still feel behind
  • Those looking for kinder, gentler transformation from the inside-out

54
Race Books: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
3.8 (24 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Things Fall Apart about?

Things Fall Apart (1958) was the first in the African Writers Series of 350 books published between 1962 and 2003 which provided an international audience for many African writers. It tells the story of a respected leader of an Igbo community and the problems faced by the community as white men arrive and bring with them their laws and religion.

Who should read Things Fall Apart?

  • Lovers of great story-telling
  • Anthropology students interested in understanding the cultural and religious practices of the Igbo people of Nigeria
  • History buffs interested in African history and the impact of colonialism

55
Race Books: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
4.7 (70 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I Know why the Caged Bird Sings about?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) is the first part of a critically acclaimed seven-volume autobiography by the American writer and poet Maya Angelou. A vivid account of growing up in America during the Depression, it documents Maya’s life between the ages of three and sixteen. Hailed for its unflinching portrayal of displacement, discrimination, and trauma, it is also a life-affirming study of how hope can prevail amidst death and despair. 

Who should read I Know why the Caged Bird Sings?

  • History buffs fascinated by the United States
  • Fans of true-life stories and larger-than-life memoirs
  • Anyone who loves classic literature

56
Race Books: Myth America by Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer

Myth America

Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer
Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies about Our Past
2.9 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Myth America about?

Myth America (2022) is a collection of essays that examine and dismantle some of the most pervasive myths about America: how it was founded, who’s allowed to be here, and how we define a ‘real’ American or American family.

Who should read Myth America?

  • History buffs
  • Students of American politics
  • Activists and social justice warriors

57
Race Books: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad
4.2 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Heart of Darkness about?

Heart of Darkness (1899) is a classic novella that explores themes of imperialism, power dynamics, and morality. It tells the story of sailor Charles Marlow, who becomes captain of a river steamboat for a Belgian ivory trade company Africa and witnesses the brutal reality of European colonialism. Marlow becomes fascinated with the mysterious ivory trader Kurtz – a mad genius who commands a trading post deep in the jungle. 

Who should read Heart of Darkness?

  • Fans of classic literature 
  • Those interested in critical perspectives on imperialism and colonialism 
  • Anyone who loves a good sailor’s yarn

58
Race Books: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
4.6 (266 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn about?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is often considered a landmark, if controversial, work in the history of American literature. It tells the story of a young teenager who runs away from an abusive, alcoholic father by fleeing in a raft down the Mississippi River. Along the way, he befriends a man running from slavery and becomes a reluctant accomplice to a pair of con artists.

Who should read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • People interested in stories about the antebellum South
  • Anyone who likes a good coming-of-age story

59
Race Books: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison
3.8 (142 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Bluest Eye about?

The Bluest Eye (1970) is the debut novel of author Toni Morrison. It tells the story of Pecola Breedlove and her parents, and reflects upon the familial and societal circumstances that would lead a Black girl to wish she had blue eyes.

Who should read The Bluest Eye?

  • Anyone interested in exploring themes of race and identity
  • Fans of landmark works of modern literature
  • Those seeking insight into African-American history and experience

60
Race Books: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe
4.6 (188 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Uncle Tom's Cabin about?

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) is a compelling indictment of slavery. Describing the many trials of Uncle Tom, its long-suffering enslaved protagonist, the story reveals the horrors of America’s “peculiar institution” while showing how Christian love can triumph over evil. It played a pivotal role in the abolition of slavery and remains one of the most important American novels ever written. 

Who should read Uncle Tom's Cabin?

  • Those curious about a controversial classic
  • Christians and believers 
  • History buffs

61
Race Books: Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Devil in the Grove

Gilbert King
Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
4.6 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Devil in the Grove about?

Devil in the Grove (2012) tells the true story of four young Black men falsely accused of rape in 1949 Florida. It follows lawyer Thurgood Marshall’s tireless efforts to save their lives in the face of racial hatred, obstruction, violence, and injustice at every turn. Ultimately, Marshall exposed devastating flaws in the case, achieving some semblance of justice despite a system aligned against the defendants. 

Who should read Devil in the Grove?

  • People interested in the Groveland case
  • Those curious about Thurgood Marshall’s legal career
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about the history of racial injustice in the US

62
Race Books: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas
4.1 (118 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Hate U Give about?

The Hate U Give (2017) is a critically acclaimed coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of racism and police brutality. It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates two contrasting worlds: the poor Black neighborhood where she lives and the white prep school where she studies. Starr's attempt to strike a balance between these two worlds is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, by a police officer.

Who should read The Hate U Give?

  • Social justice advocates and activists
  • Young adults exploring identity and inequality
  • Anyone interested in compelling contemporary fiction

63
Race Books: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup
4.8 (8 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's 12 Years a Slave about?

12 Years a Slave (1853) is a harrowing tale of Northup's abduction into slavery and his fight for freedom. It's a raw account of the brutalities of slave life and an insightful documentation of the American slave trade's inhumane practices.

Who should read 12 Years a Slave?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Abolitionist supporters
  • Human rights advocates

64
Race Books: A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

A Passage to India

E. M. Forster
3.8 (73 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Passage to India about?

A Passage to India explores the complex dynamics between the British colonialists and the Indian citizens in the setting of Chandrapore, a fictional city in British India. It delves into themes of friendship, culture clash, and the quest for understanding across cultural divides.

Who should read A Passage to India?

  • History enthusiasts  
  • Fans of British literature  
  • Cultural studies scholars

65
Race Books: The Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper
4.6 (7 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Last of the Mohicans about?

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) chronicles the thrilling journey of two daughters of a British Colonel, lost in Native American territory during the French and Indian War. It explores themes of racial and cultural conflict, intertwined with poignant romance.

Who should read The Last of the Mohicans ?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers keen on adventure tales
  • Individuals interested in Native American history

66
Race Books: Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane

Small Mercies

Dennis Lehane
A Novel
4.2 (76 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Small Mercies about?

Small Mercies (2023) is an intense thriller that takes place in Boston in 1974, when the city’s busing crisis was just getting started. The story centers around a single mother in the neighborhood of South Boston, whose daughter goes missing on the same night a Black man is found dead under suspicious circumstances.

Who should read Small Mercies?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Crime drama aficionados
  • Anyone craving a suspenseful story

67
Race Books: What Napoleon Could Not Do by DK Nnuro

What Napoleon Could Not Do

DK Nnuro
3.9 (65 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's What Napoleon Could Not Do about?

What Napoleon Could Not Do (2023) explores the contrasting experiences of two Ghanaians, Jacob and Belinda, and their aspirations in the United States. Jacob, an awkward computer programmer who still lives with his father, wants to join his wife in America but is foiled by visa denials. His sister, Belinda, meanwhile, has studied in the US and married an American – Wilder, a prosperous Black Texan businessman. But she, too, contends with disappointment: as she waits for her green card, her perception of America is soured by racism. Their journeys reflect the allure and letdowns of life in a foreign land, and the narrative insightfully captures how each grapples with dreams both realized and thwarted.

Who should read What Napoleon Could Not Do?

  • Readers interested in immigrant experiences
  • Fans of emotional family dramas
  • Anyone who loves character-driven stories

68
Race Books: All the Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby

All the Sinners Bleed

S. A. Cosby
A Novel
4.2 (14 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's All the Sinners Bleed about?

All the Sinners Bleed (2023) is a work of crime fiction, focused on main character Titus Crown’s efforts to investigate several recent killings in his hometown. To solve the crime, Crown must contend with the town’s racist history, a far-right group, and a long-undiscovered serial killer.

Who should read All the Sinners Bleed?

  • Anyone interested in an action-filled crime novel
  • Readers looking to explore the lingering effects of racism in the American South 
  • Fans of modern-day noir fiction

69
Race Books: Blue Hour by Tiffany Clarke Harrison

Blue Hour

Tiffany Clarke Harrison
A Novel
3.5 (8 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Blue Hour about?

Blue Hour (2023) is a novel that explores motherhood, identity, and hope in an unraveling America. The story centers around an unnamed multiracial woman in New York, who’s struggling with personal loss and ubiquitous racial violence. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she must decide what shape her future will take. 

Who should read Blue Hour?

  • Mothers and mothers-to-be
  • People who enjoy stories of love, loss, and hope
  • Those interested in themes of family, grief, and redemption

70
Race Books: Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved

Toni Morrison
4.1 (106 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Beloved about?

Beloved (1987) is a haunting and profound exploration of the enduring legacy of slavery on the African-American psyche. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, the narrative revolves around the life of Sethe, a former slave who escaped from Sweet Home, a brutal Kentucky plantation, and her struggles with the traumatic past that comes back to haunt her in the form of a mysterious and vengeful spirit.

Who should read Beloved?

  • People who enjoy award-winning fiction
  • Lovers of the literary genre of magical realism
  • Anyone who enjoys heartbreakingly profound, moving stories

71
Race Books: All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

All Boys Aren't Blue

George M. Johnson
A Memoir-Manifesto
2.8 (124 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's All Boys Aren't Blue about?

All Boys Aren’t Blue (2020) is a memoir and a manifesto aimed at young people. The author shares their experiences of growing up Black and queer in the US, reflecting on family, identity, and sexuality.

Who should read All Boys Aren't Blue?

  • People who enjoy memoirs
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Anyone interested in race and identity

72
Race Books: I'm Not Yelling by Elizabeth Leiba

I'm Not Yelling

Elizabeth Leiba
A Black Woman's Guide to Navigating the Workplace
4.5 (4 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I'm Not Yelling about?

I’m Not Yelling (2022) is part memoir, part tactical guide for Black women navigating corporate America. Filled with anecdotes and statistical data, it highlights the unique challenges Black women face in the workplace, and offers a range of reflections, strategies, and affirmations to empower you to step into your full potential. 

Who should read I'm Not Yelling?

  • Black businesswomen and female entrepreneurs 
  • Anyone wanting to educate themselves on the Black experience in America 
  • Individuals of minority groups committed to reclaiming their voice in the workplace 

73
Race Books: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin
4.3 (106 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Fire Next Time about?

The Fire Next Time (1963) explores the roots of racism and the possibility of change through two passionately argued essays on religion, justice, and the Black experience in America.

Who should read The Fire Next Time?

  • Students curious about the signature voices of the American civil rights movement 
  • Those seeking insight into the interplay of racism and religion in society
  • Anyone craving clarity and wisdom on issues of justice, faith, and reconciliation that still resonate today

74
Race Books: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson
3.0 (1 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Brown Girl Dreaming about?

Brown Girl Dreaming (2014) is a story of childhood as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s. It explores themes of family, identity, and belonging, set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement. The narrative weaves a rich tapestry of personal and historical moments, highlighting the struggles and joys of growing up in a time of social change.

Who should read Brown Girl Dreaming?

  • Students studying African American literature and history
  • Young adults exploring their racial and cultural identity
  • Anyone interested in memoirs and personal narratives

75
Race Books: Native Son by Richard Wright

Native Son

Richard Wright
3.7 (3 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Native Son about?

First released in 1940, Native Son tackles the brutal realities of living in a racially prejudiced society. Through its protagonist's story, it illustrates the devastating and tragic effects that systemic oppression can have on an individual.

Who should read Native Son?

  •  Fans of social realism
  •  Readers interested in racial themes
  •  Followers of American literature

76
Race Books: Teddy and Booker T. by Brian Kilmeade

Teddy and Booker T.

Brian Kilmeade
How Two American Icons Blazed a Path for Racial Equality
4.2 (70 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Teddy and Booker T. about?

Teddy and Booker T. (2023) tells the story of how President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, two wildly different Americans, faced the challenge of advancing racial equality in the early 1900s. When Roosevelt welcomed Washington into his circle of advisors in 1901, they confronted violent racist backlash, having risen to prominence in an era of increasing Jim Crow laws and lynching. Though coming from vastly different backgrounds, both men embodied the pioneering American spirit and believed progress was possible through collaboration. 

Who should read Teddy and Booker T.?

  • History buffs
  • Leadership readers
  • People looking to be inspired

77
Race Books: Decentering Whiteness in the Workplace by Janice Gassam Asare

Decentering Whiteness in the Workplace

Janice Gassam Asare
A Guide for Equity and Inclusion
2.5 (17 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Decentering Whiteness in the Workplace about?

Decentering Whiteness in the Workplace (2023) exposes how white-dominant norms, mindsets, and behaviors subtly perpetuate harms and constrain inclusion in policies, interactions, and cultures across organizations.

Who should read Decentering Whiteness in the Workplace?

  • Human resources professionals looking to tackle subtle biases hindering diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
  • Organizational leaders seeking fresh perspectives on barriers facing marginalized groups
  • Employees seeking solutions to dominant cultural patterns in the workplace

78
Race Books: The End of Race Politics by Coleman Hughes

The End of Race Politics

Coleman Hughes
Arguments for a Colorblind America
4.8 (12 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The End of Race Politics about?

The End of Race Politics (2024) challenges the doctrine of contemporary antiracism, arguing that fixating on race undermines the fundamental ideals of the Civil Rights movement. Drawing on personal experience and incisive analysis, it contends that race-based policies and a culture of resentment will only lead to further division, making the case for a return to the vision of a just society where race no longer defines us.

Who should read The End of Race Politics?

  • Readers interested in thought-provoking perspectives on race, politics, and culture
  • Civil Rights activists who desire a return to a colorblind approach to race
  • Intellectuals, philosophers, and social commentators interested in how to best address racial issues in America

79
Race Books: War Without Mercy by John W. Dower

War Without Mercy

John W. Dower
Race and Power in the Pacific War

What's War Without Mercy about?

"War Without Mercy" by John W. Dower explores the racial and cultural dimensions of the Pacific War during World War II. Through extensive research and analysis, the book examines how deeply ingrained racial stereotypes and prejudices influenced the conduct of the war and shaped the attitudes of both the Allied and Axis powers. It offers a thought-provoking perspective on the brutal and unforgiving nature of war.

Who should read War Without Mercy?

  • History enthusiasts who want to learn about the racial dynamics of World War II
  • Students and scholars studying the impact of propaganda on war
  • Individuals interested in understanding the cultural and psychological roots of wartime atrocities

80
Race Books: Black Marxism by Cedric J. Robinson

Black Marxism

Cedric J. Robinson
The Making of the Black Radical Tradition

What's Black Marxism about?

Black Marxism explores the history and development of Marxist thought within the context of black radicalism. Cedric J. Robinson challenges traditional Marxist interpretations and argues that the experiences of black people have been central to the development of capitalist societies. This groundbreaking book offers a unique perspective on the intersection of race, class, and capitalism.

Who should read Black Marxism?

  • Readers interested in the intersection of race, class, and capitalism
  • Scholars and academics studying Marxist theory and its applications
  • Individuals seeking a critical analysis of historical black struggles for liberation

81
Race Books: Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain by Zaretta Lynn Hammond

Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain

Zaretta Lynn Hammond
Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

What's Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain about?

This book explores the intersection of neuroscience and culturally responsive teaching, offering practical strategies for educators to create an inclusive and engaging learning environment for all students. Drawing on research and real-life examples, Zaretta Lynn Hammond provides insights into how students' cultural backgrounds and experiences can impact their learning, and offers tools to help teachers leverage this knowledge to support their students' academic success. It is a valuable resource for educators looking to enhance their teaching practices and promote equity in the classroom.

Who should read Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain?

  • Educators who want to create a more inclusive and supportive classroom environment
  • Individuals interested in understanding how cultural backgrounds impact learning and behavior
  • Teachers looking for practical strategies to engage students from diverse backgrounds

What's Feminism Is for Everybody about?

Feminism Is for Everybody by bell hooks is a powerful book that aims to demystify the concept of feminism and make it accessible to all. It provides a clear and concise overview of feminist theory and highlights the ways in which feminism benefits everyone, regardless of gender. Through personal anecdotes and insightful analysis, hooks challenges misconceptions and invites readers to join the fight for gender equality.

Who should read Feminism Is for Everybody?

  • Individuals who want to understand the core concepts of feminism
  • People looking to challenge and deconstruct societal gender norms and stereotypes
  • Readers seeking insightful and thought-provoking discussions on intersectionality and inclusivity within feminism

What's How We Fight For Our Lives about?

"How We Fight For Our Lives" is a memoir by Saeed Jones that explores his coming-of-age as a black gay man in the American South. Through lyrical prose, Jones reflects on his experiences with family, identity, and sexuality, and the ways in which he fought for acceptance and self-discovery. This powerful and intimate book delves into the complexities of race, queerness, and resilience.

Who should read How We Fight For Our Lives?

  • People seeking a deeply personal and powerful memoir
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of identity, race, and sexuality
  • Readers who appreciate honest and raw storytelling that challenges societal norms

84
Race Books: Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez

Hunger of Memory

Richard Rodriguez

What's Hunger of Memory about?

This memoir by Richard Rodriguez explores the author's experiences growing up as a Mexican-American in California and his journey to assimilate into American culture. It delves into themes of identity, education, and the complexities of cultural and linguistic assimilation. Through his personal story, Rodriguez offers a thought-provoking reflection on the challenges and rewards of navigating between different cultural worlds.

Who should read Hunger of Memory?

  • Readers interested in exploring the complex relationship between education and identity
  • Individuals seeking insights into the immigrant experience in America
  • Those who want to delve into the effects of assimilation on personal and cultural identity

85
Race Books: Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog

Lakota Woman

Mary Crow Dog

What's Lakota Woman about?

Lakota Woman is a memoir by Mary Crow Dog that tells the story of her life as a Native American woman growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It offers a firsthand account of the struggles and resilience of the Lakota people, as well as Crow Dog's own journey towards self-discovery and activism. The book provides a unique perspective on the challenges faced by Native Americans in the United States.

Who should read Lakota Woman?

  • Readers interested in Native American history and culture
  • Individuals seeking personal stories of resilience and empowerment
  • Those looking to gain insight into issues of social justice and activism

86
Race Books: My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

My Bondage and My Freedom

Frederick Douglass

What's My Bondage and My Freedom about?

My Bondage and My Freedom is an autobiographical narrative by Frederick Douglass, an African American who escaped from slavery and became a prominent abolitionist. In this book, Douglass recounts his experiences as a slave, his escape to freedom, and his journey towards self-education and empowerment. He also reflects on the broader issues of slavery, racism, and the quest for equality. It is a powerful and thought-provoking account that sheds light on the harsh realities of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read My Bondage and My Freedom?

  • Readers interested in African American history and the abolitionist movement
  • Individuals seeking a firsthand account of the experiences of a former slave
  • Those looking to gain insight into the struggles and resilience of Frederick Douglass

87
Race Books: Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Never Caught

Erica Armstrong Dunbar
The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

What's Never Caught about?

Never Caught tells the incredible true story of Ona Judge, a young enslaved woman who escaped from George Washington's household in 1796. Through meticulous research, Erica Armstrong Dunbar uncovers the untold story of Judge's daring escape and her fight for freedom. This book sheds light on the harsh realities of slavery in America and the resilience of those who sought to break free from its chains.

Who should read Never Caught?

  • History enthusiasts keen to uncover untold stories of American slavery
  • Readers interested in the perspective of enslaved people
  • Individuals curious about the hidden contributions of women in history

88
Race Books: Out of Darkness by Kate Kiesler

Out of Darkness

Kate Kiesler
The Story of Louis Braille

What's Out of Darkness about?

Out of Darkness is a beautifully illustrated children's book that tells the story of a little bat who is afraid of the dark. Through a journey of self-discovery, the bat learns to embrace the darkness and discovers the beauty and wonder that can be found within it. This heartwarming tale encourages children to overcome their fears and find the light within themselves.

Who should read Out of Darkness?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the depths of darkness and the triumph of the human spirit
  • Individuals who enjoy reflective and thought-provoking literature
  • People who appreciate strong character development and nuanced storytelling

89
Race Books: Pushout by Monique W. Morris

Pushout

Monique W. Morris
The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

What's Pushout about?

This book explores the systemic factors that push black girls out of the education system and into the juvenile justice system. Drawing on interviews and research, Monique W. Morris sheds light on the unique challenges and biases faced by black girls in schools, and offers solutions for creating a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. It is a powerful and eye-opening examination of the intersection of race and gender in education.

Who should read Pushout?

  • Parents, educators, and policymakers interested in addressing the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Advocates for social justice and equality
  • Individuals looking to understand and dismantle the systemic biases impacting young Black girls in the education system

90
Race Books: Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Somebody's Daughter

Ashley C. Ford

What's Somebody's Daughter about?

In this powerful memoir, Ashley C. Ford shares her journey of growing up as a Black girl in America, navigating family dynamics, abuse, and the search for her father. With raw honesty and vulnerability, she explores the complexities of identity, forgiveness, and the enduring love between a parent and child. Somebody's Daughter is a compelling and thought-provoking read that sheds light on the universal experience of longing for connection and belonging.

Who should read Somebody's Daughter?

  • Anyone interested in memoirs that explore complex family dynamics
  • Readers who enjoy personal stories that blend vulnerability with resilience
  • People seeking insights on identity, forgiveness, and finding one's place in the world

91
Race Books: White Teacher by Vivian Gussin Paley

White Teacher

Vivian Gussin Paley

What's White Teacher about?

In "White Teacher," Vivian Gussin Paley shares her experiences as a white teacher in a predominantly black kindergarten classroom. She reflects on the challenges and complexities of race, identity, and education, offering valuable insights and lessons for educators and parents alike. Through personal anecdotes and thoughtful analysis, Paley encourages us to confront our own biases and strive for a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Who should read White Teacher?

  • Teachers and educators looking to improve their teaching methods
  • Parents who want to better understand the dynamics of a diverse classroom
  • Individuals interested in the intersection of race, education, and empathy

92
Race Books: Zami by Audre Lorde

Zami

Audre Lorde
Essays and Speeches

What's Zami about?

Zami is a memoir by Audre Lorde that tells the story of her coming-of-age as a young black woman in 1940s and 1950s New York City. It explores themes of identity, love, and self-discovery as Lorde navigates her relationships with family, friends, and lovers. Through beautiful prose and vivid storytelling, Zami offers a unique perspective on race, gender, and sexuality.

Who should read Zami?

  • Individuals who are interested in exploring themes of identity, race, and sexuality
  • Readers who enjoy autobiographical works and personal narratives
  • People who appreciate poetic and introspective writing styles

93
Race Books: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, Judith L. Raiskin

Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys, Judith L. Raiskin

What's Wide Sargasso Sea about?

Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel by Jean Rhys that serves as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Set in Jamaica, it tells the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole woman who becomes the first wife of Mr. Rochester. The book explores themes of colonialism, racial inequality, and the oppression of women.

Who should read Wide Sargasso Sea?

  • Individuals interested in reimagined literary classics
  • Readers who appreciate complex and psychologically rich characters
  • Those who enjoy exploring themes of race, identity, and power in colonial settings

94
Race Books: Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol

Savage Inequalities

Jonathan Kozol

What's Savage Inequalities about?

Savage Inequalities (1991) by Jonathan Kozol explores the stark differences in funding and resources between public schools in affluent and low-income communities in the United States. Through extensive research and personal anecdotes, Kozol sheds light on the systemic inequalities that perpetuate educational disadvantage for marginalized students.

Who should read Savage Inequalities?

  • Individuals interested in understanding and addressing educational inequality
  • Teachers, educators, and policymakers seeking insights into the challenges facing underprivileged schools
  • Students and scholars studying social justice, poverty, and education

95
Race Books: The Color of Water by James McBride, Lainie Kazan

The Color of Water

James McBride, Lainie Kazan

What's The Color of Water about?

The Color of Water by James McBride is a memoir that tells the story of the author's mother, a white Jewish woman who married a black man in 1942. The book explores themes of race, identity, and family as it delves into the complexities of their lives and the challenges they faced. It is a powerful and moving account of one woman's journey and the impact it had on her children.

Who should read The Color of Water?

  • Readers who enjoy memoirs and personal stories
  • Those interested in themes of identity, race, and family
  • Individuals who appreciate honest and heartfelt storytelling

96
Race Books: Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle

Arc of Justice

Kevin Boyle

What's Arc of Justice about?

Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle is a gripping account of racial injustice and the fight for civil rights in early 20th century America. Set in Detroit in 1925, the book tells the true story of Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African American man who was charged with murder after defending his family against a violent white mob. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Boyle sheds light on the complexities of race relations and the legal system during this tumultuous time.

Who should read Arc of Justice?

  • Readers who are interested in the history of civil rights and racial justice in America
  • Individuals who enjoy true crime stories and legal dramas
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of race relations and systemic discrimination

97
Race Books: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Men We Reaped

Jesmyn Ward

What's Men We Reaped about?

Men We Reaped is a powerful memoir by Jesmyn Ward that explores the lives and deaths of five young men in her community. Through deeply personal stories and reflections, Ward delves into the systemic issues of racism, poverty, and lack of opportunity that contributed to their untimely deaths. It is a poignant and thought-provoking examination of the impact of social and economic inequality on individuals and families.

Who should read Men We Reaped?

  • Anyone seeking to understand the systemic issues impacting black communities in America
  • Readers who are interested in exploring themes of race, poverty, and resilience
  • Individuals who appreciate memoirs and personal storytelling

98
Race Books: White Rage by Carol Anderson

White Rage

Carol Anderson

What's White Rage about?

White Rage by Carol Anderson explores the history of systematic oppression and resistance against African Americans in the United States. From the Reconstruction era to the present day, the book examines how policies and actions have been used to maintain white supremacy and hinder black progress. It offers a thought-provoking analysis of the deep-rooted racial inequality in America.

Who should read White Rage?

  • Readers who want to understand the historical and contemporary manifestations of racism in the United States
  • Individuals who are open to challenging their own perspectives and confronting uncomfortable truths
  • People who are interested in social justice and systemic inequality

99
Race Books: Stamped by Jason Reynolds

Stamped

Jason Reynolds
Racism, Antiracism, and You

What's Stamped about?

This book explores the history of racism and its impact on society, focusing on the concept of "race" as a social construct. It offers a fresh perspective on the subject, challenging readers to rethink their understanding of race and its implications. Through engaging storytelling and thought-provoking analysis, Stamped sheds light on the complexities of racial inequality and the ongoing struggle for social justice.

Who should read Stamped?

  • Readers who want to deepen their understanding of racial inequality and its historical roots
  • People interested in learning about the history and impact of racism in America
  • Individuals who are looking for an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of race and identity

100
Race Books: They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

They Were Her Property

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
White Women as Slave Owners in the American South

What's They Were Her Property about?

This book explores the untold history of white women slave owners in the American South. Drawing on extensive research, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers reveals how these women actively participated in and benefited from the institution of slavery, challenging the traditional narrative of passive bystanders. Through compelling stories and analysis, the book sheds light on the complex dynamics of power and control within the slaveholding society. It offers a thought-provoking examination of the role of gender and race in shaping the history of American slavery.

Who should read They Were Her Property?

  • Readers interested in the history of slavery and its impact on American society
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the institution of slavery and the experiences of enslaved women
  • Individuals who appreciate well-researched and thought-provoking books on social history

Related Topics

Race Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Race book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The New Jim Crow as the ultimate read on Race.

What are the Top 10 Race books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
  • Engines of Liberty by David Cole
  • From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  • Ghetto by Mitchell Duneier
  • White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
  • We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Go Back to Where You Came From by Sasha Polakow-Suransky

Who are the top Race book authors?

When it comes to Race, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Michelle Alexander
  • Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Baratunde Thurston
  • David Cole