The best 64 Race books

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
4.6 (96 ratings)

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

Gang Leader For A Day

Gang Leader For A Day

Sudhir Venkatesh
A Rogue Sociologist Crosses The Line
3.9 (15 ratings)

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

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates
4.3 (69 ratings)

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

How To Be Black

How To Be Black

Baratunde Thurston
3.8 (18 ratings)

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

Engines of Liberty

Engines of Liberty

David Cole
The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law
3.7 (16 ratings)

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

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
3.8 (45 ratings)

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



Mitchell Duneier
The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea
4.3 (13 ratings)

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

White Trash

White Trash

Nancy Isenberg
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
4.0 (108 ratings)

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

We Were Eight Years in Power

We Were Eight Years in Power

Ta-Nehisi Coates
An American Tragedy
4.5 (19 ratings)

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

Go Back to Where You Came From

Go Back to Where You Came From

Sasha Polakow-Suransky
The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy
4.1 (22 ratings)

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

Born a Crime

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.4 (91 ratings)

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

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

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

Reni Eddo-Lodge
4.2 (168 ratings)

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

This Will Be My Undoing

This Will Be My Undoing

Morgan Jerkins
Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
4.2 (18 ratings)

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



Kevin Young
The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News
3.6 (41 ratings)

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



Sam Quinones
The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
4.4 (27 ratings)

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

Slay in Your Lane

Slay in Your Lane

Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke
The Black Girl Bible
4.3 (8 ratings)

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

White Fragility

White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo
Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
4.3 (256 ratings)

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

Ain’t I a Woman

Ain’t I a Woman

bell hooks
Black Women and Feminism
4.6 (76 ratings)

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



Tressie McMillan Cottom
And Other Essays
4.2 (36 ratings)

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

How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi
4.2 (250 ratings)

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



Afua Hirsch
On Race, Identity and Belonging
4.4 (42 ratings)

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

Me and White Supremacy

Me and White Supremacy

Layla Saad
How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World
4.3 (153 ratings)

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

So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo
4.3 (74 ratings)

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



Albert Woodfox
Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope
4.6 (21 ratings)

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



Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
4.6 (32 ratings)

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

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust

Hédi Fried
4.6 (89 ratings)

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

I Am Not Your Baby Mother

I Am Not Your Baby Mother

Candice Brathwaite
What it's like to be a Black British mother
4.0 (16 ratings)

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

The End of the Myth

The End of the Myth

Greg Grandin
From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
3.6 (30 ratings)

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

The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk

W.E.B. Du Bois
4.4 (83 ratings)

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



Isabel Wilkerson
The Origins of Our Discontents
4.5 (234 ratings)

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

The Hidden Brain

The Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam
How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives
3.8 (145 ratings)

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

My Grandmother's Hands

My Grandmother's Hands

Resmaa Menakem
Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
4.6 (39 ratings)

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

I'm Still Here

I'm Still Here

Austin Channing Brown
Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
4.0 (35 ratings)

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

The Sum of Us

The Sum of Us

Heather McGhee
What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
4.1 (68 ratings)

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

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

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

Beverly Daniel Tatum
And Other Conversations About Race
4.5 (73 ratings)

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



Alex Ross
Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music
4.5 (64 ratings)

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

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

Emmanuel Acho
4.3 (52 ratings)

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

Minor Feelings

Minor Feelings

Cathy Park Hong
A Reckoning on Race and the Asian Condition
3.7 (50 ratings)

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

This Is the Fire

This Is the Fire

Don Lemon
What I Say to My Friends About Racism
4.0 (28 ratings)

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



Evan Osnos
The Making of America's Fury
3.4 (34 ratings)

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

The Dying Citizen

The Dying Citizen

Victor Davis Hanson
How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America
2.7 (657 ratings)

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

How the Word Is Passed

How the Word Is Passed

Clint Smith
A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
4.5 (154 ratings)

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

Nice Racism

Nice Racism

Robin DiAngelo
How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm
3.1 (291 ratings)

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

The Reckoning

The Reckoning

Mary L. Trump
Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal
3.2 (210 ratings)

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

You Are Your Best Thing

You Are Your Best Thing

Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
4.2 (93 ratings)

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

The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project

Nikole Hannah-Jones
A New Origin Story
4.2 (516 ratings)

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.

Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography

Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography

M.K. Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments With Truth
4.4 (236 ratings)

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

The Black Agenda

The Black Agenda

Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman
Bold Solutions for a Broken System
3.5 (168 ratings)

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

Forget the Alamo

Forget the Alamo

Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford
The Rise and Fall of an American Myth
4.0 (122 ratings)

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

Women, Race & Class

Women, Race & Class

Angela Y. Davis
4.5 (131 ratings)

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

Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom

Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
4.6 (80 ratings)

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

Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World

Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World

Claire Smith and Graeme K. Ward
3.6 (149 ratings)

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

Real Self-Care

Real Self-Care

Pooja Lakshmin
A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included)
4.2 (295 ratings)

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

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
3.5 (19 ratings)

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

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
4.7 (39 ratings)

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

Myth America

Myth America

Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer
Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies about Our Past
2.9 (100 ratings)

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

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad
4.0 (27 ratings)

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

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
4.6 (217 ratings)

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

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison
3.7 (126 ratings)

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

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe
4.6 (169 ratings)

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

Small Mercies

Small Mercies

Dennis Lehane
A Novel

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

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

All the Sinners Bleed

All the Sinners Bleed

S. A. Cosby
A Novel
5.0 (1 ratings)

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

Blue Hour

Blue Hour

Tiffany Clarke Harrison
A Novel
3.5 (2 ratings)

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

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