- 31 May 20
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point for those interested in reading more about anti-racism.
First thing's first: as a white woman, it is not the time for my voice to be the loudest. That said, this list of books helped me understand issues of race, and should be used as a jumping-off point for white folks looking to educate themselves about being actively anti-racist in their everyday lives.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
Dealing specifically with race struggles in Britain, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People examines issues of race as they intersect with class and sexism and asks the reader to take a long, hard look at white privilege and its legacy on British soil. It's accessible, and holds readers accountable. Eddo-Lodge has asked via her Twitter that if you order her book, you also make a matched donation to a local anti-racist organisation, or the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Purchase via Bloomsbury.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches – Audre Lorde
"The distortion of relationship which says 'I disagree with you, so I must destroy you' leaves us as Black people with basically uncreative victories, defeated in any common struggle. This jugular vein psychology is based on the fallacy that your assertion or affirmation of self is an attack upon my self - or that my defining myself will somehow prevent or retard your self, definition. The supposition that one sex needs the other's acquiescence in order to exist prevents both from moving together as self-defined persons toward a common goal." Audre Lorde is a definitive Black writer and speaker, and this is a definitive key to living an anti-racist life.
Purchase via Penguin Random House.
Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World – Layla Saad, with a foreward by Robin DiAngelo
This book is full of practical exercises, relying on socio-political context to examine the deep-seated culture of white supremacy. If you are looking to understand white privilege and how to combat it, this book is for you.
Purchase via Waterstones.
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland – Jonathan M. Metzl
"White Americans, Metzl argues, must reject the racial hierarchies that promise to aid them but in fact lead our nation to demise." There you have it. And from a white man, no less. Metzl's examination of Trump-era policies is a must-read.
Purchase via Basic Books.
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America – Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Muhammad's book is a history from the late nineteenth century onward of racist policing, crime statistics and arrest rates. It chronicles how the idea of "black criminality" came to inform modern America's urban development and social policies.
Purchase via Harvard University Press.