8 Books to jumpstart the activist in you

books to jumpstart the activist in you

Activism isn’t reserved for those who are angry. It’s for those with concern, conviction, hope and belief in a better society. We rounded up some of the best books to inspire the activist in you – and to strengthen the voice for positive change that we all possess. These are six new books to jumpstart the activist in you.

We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

In this shockingly raw dystopian debut, one father must make a decision like never before as he chooses whether or not to get his son surgery that will make him appear less black. As police brutality rises and black men and women everywhere are suffering, they begin to invest in surgeries that will bleach their skin, slim their noses and thin out their lips to better avoid getting in trouble with the authorities. This heartwrenching novel exhibits a future that may not be far off if our society becomes ruled by hatred and an inability to accept others.


In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo

Karbo’s witty narrative explores the lessons we can take from 29 iconic women in history who forged their own unique and memorable paths in our world. She spotlights the spirited rule breakers of history, deconstructing their imperfect lives that ultimately led to great success. Being “difficult,” Karbo reveals, might not make life easier. But it can make it more fulfilling – whatever that means for you.


Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown

In Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Maree Brown discusses human relationship and change with her vision for radical self-help, society-help and environmental change. She invites readers to slow down and recognize patterns of change in order to influence the change that shapes us.


Brave by Rose McGowan

In her New York Times bestseller, Rose McGowan unapologetically exposes the entertainment industry and the misogynistic ways it marketed a sexualized version of her identity for profit. “My life, as you will read, has taken me from one cult to another. Brave is the story of how I fought my way out of these cults and reclaimed my life. I want to help you do the same,” she says.


White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

In her New York Times best-selling book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo helps readers understand racism through the emotional behaviors of white people, shedding light on anger, fear, guilt and silence. She explores how white fragility develops, how it sustains racial inequality and how we can affect change.


Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay

In Not That Bad, New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay collects notable works that address what it means to live in a world where women are routinely second-guessed, discredited, belittled, shamed and bullied for speaking out. From an exploration of the rape epidemic to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and honest. 


 

Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer

As Kayleen Schaefer relays her journey of modern female friendship, readers gain an understanding – from a sociological perspective – how the safety, trust and solidarity female relationships have evolved in pop culture and modern society.


I’m Saying No!: Standing Up Against Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Pressure by Beverly Engel

Despite the awareness the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements brought to sexual abuse against women, there’s still uncertainty when it comes to speaking up about the abuse. Lucky for women everywhere, I’m Saying No! is written for anyone who is afraid to speak up about past experiences with assault. In this timely and important book, Engel provides a plan for victims who have fallen silent and presents a solution so they can get back to living their best lives and finally get justice for themselves.

Alison Luther

Contributing Writer

Alison Luther is a freelance editor and writer based in Fredericksburg, TX, where she lives with her husband and two children. Her background is in digital consumer content and marketing strategies, but today she focuses on small business marketing, ghostwriting, and writing about all things books on She Reads. In addition to raising longhorn, chickens, and children, she loves to cook and is a voracious reader.

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