Learning to Be Actively Antiracist: Books About Racism and Black Lives to Add to Your Reading List

Photo Courtesy: Google Reviews

Supporting Black folks through action — by donating to organizations, joining protests and using your platform to amplify Black voices — is an essential part of anti-racist action. But that’s not the only work that you need to take on. It is not the job of Black people to teach white people how to be anti-racist. In addition to following willing educators, activists and other Black voices and engaging with their content online, you can read books about racism and Black experiences. Learn what you’re fighting against and understand the lived experiences of folks you’re fighting for.

While there are innumerable important works by Black authors that you should seek out in addition to the ones written about below, this list serves as starting point to lead you into taking a deeper look — there's no finish line here. Commit to actually reading the books on this and similar lists — just being aware of the works isn’t doing the work, in the same way just educating yourself, and not taking other supportive actions in addition to learning, isn’t doing the work.

Texas librarian Michelle Marve (@blkMYmorris) tweeted, "[T]he list isn’t for one type of reader but offering entry points for different readers… If I could talk to each person individually, I could offer 1 or 2 books but instead [lists] have to cover a lot of different reading levels, preferences, and experiences." To that end, we hope that, despite any inherent flaws, this list can provide an entry point to our readers.