Muted and reading: Anti-racist books for every #TBR list

Feature image credit: @ohhappydani

As we continue to dig deep and search for resources to help our readers understand and combat the deeply embedded racial perceptions that are heavily influencing today’s climate, we appreciate this extensive list of anti-racism resources for white people that was compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein.

The thoughtfully curated list was developed in mentorship with Black activists. Covering everything from articles and quick reads to books, podcasts, movies and more, bookmark this list to refer to when you or your friends have questions about how to further the conversation.

Here are just a few of the anti-racism books the duo recommends in their guide. Instead of linking these books using our affiliate links, we encourage you to shop online through any of these 7 Black-owned bookstores.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

A decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life, irrevocably impacted future generations and the conversations around race in our country. Through interviews with more than a thousand people, and research through new data and official records, Isabel Wilkerson provides a definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper

Taking a stand against the narrative that Black women’s anger is destructive, Brittney Cooper leads readers through her own journey of coming to understand the eloquent beauty of Black rage. In Brittney’s world, homegirls emerge as heroes and ultimately, feminism is what we need to turn things right again.

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi.  Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling, with the hope of challenging the reader to consider the weight of actual freedom.

How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

The call to be “anti-racist” has become a deafening roar in light of current events. Through his book, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. 

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

When Layla launched a 28-day Instagram challenge with the same name in 2018, she had no idea it would become an international movement. More than 80,000 people downloaded the internet guide she developed, and now that guide is the bestselling book Me and White Supremacy.

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Through her story of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, Janet writes in accessible language that drives understanding and compassion in readers. She establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community—and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

This New York Times bestseller seems to appear on any list of anti-racist books at the moment and the reason is clear. Despite all the conversations happening in the media and on social media, race continues to be a difficult thing for many people to discuss. Oluo’s book guides readers of all races through tough subjects like affirmative action, intersectionality and “model minorities.”

See the rest of Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein’s book recommendations and additional anti-racism resources for white people here.

She Reads Editors

The She Reads Editors are always scouting the best books for all your #TBR piles. We’re offering up our favorite books, from classics to debuts, bestselling to the next big thing. Read along with us on social, too!

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