Anti-Racist Reading

If 2020 is going to be remembered for anything, it’s going to be the year that racial injustice, systemic racism, and white fragility rocketed to the forefront of all our collective minds. I commited to doing the work – reading more books by authors of colors and focusing on stories, fiction and nonfiction, that feature diversity as their topic.

Please, leave comments with suggestions of books I may have missed or may be unaware of! I’m hoping to keep updating this blog post – moving titles to the “Books I’ve Read” category, as well as adding new books to the “To Be Read” category. 

While I will never complete the work, I refuse to shy away from it.

Nonfiction Books I’ve Read:

Fiction Books I’ve Read: 

Nonfiction On My TBR:

  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
  • Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  • Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
  • Choke Hold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler
  • What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays by Damon Young
  • So You Wanna Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safia Umoja Noble
  • Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  • One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • Begin Again: James Bladwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  • Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
  • Border Odyssey: Travels Along the U.S./Mexico Divide by Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
  • One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps by Andrea Pitzer
  • Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother Time, and Mine by Emily Bernard
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer
  • The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri
  • Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases by Michael Chabon & Ayelet Waldman
  • Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli
  • Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia Stahr
  • A River of Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
  • Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir by Jean Guerrero
  • How We Fight White Supremacy by Akiba Solomon
  • Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami
  • Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth
  • Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in Torn America by María Hinojosa
  • The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by Tim Madigan
  • Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir by Rebecca Carroll
  • Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
  • We Demand the Right to Vote: The Journey to the 19th Amerndment by Meneese Wall
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
  • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • American Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynocology by Deirdre Cooper Owens
  • Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
  • A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir by Jason Timbuktu Diakité
  • The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
  • Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen
  • Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice by Kerry Connelly

Fiction On My TBR:

  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
  • Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington 
  • We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds 
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
  • Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorder
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
  • In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • Apeirogon by Colum McCann
  • This Life or the Next by Demian Vitanza
  • A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake
  • Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
  • Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
  • How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
  • Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
  • Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza

Any Recommendations That Aren’t On This List?

I’d love to keep adding to this list, so please throw me some suggestions!

Updated: September 2022