How to Be a Better Ally: Books on How to Be an Anti-Racist

I haven’t read enough of these books. I will acknowledge that first and foremost, but I certainly plan to change that.

I plan to read all of these by the end of this year, as I think that it is important that I educate myself on exactly how the system props me up and leaves people of color disenfranchised. The system that lets white people profit off the backs of Black people has gone on for FAR too long. I highly recommend that my followers educate themselves in this regard. We can’t let this continue.

I have included a list of books that are written by Black authors (with the exception of two, which I will make a note of.) These also come recommended by Black content creators. At the end of this post I am also going to put a list of petitions to sign and places to donate.

All of this being said, nothing will replace listening to the experiences of Black people. Reading these books will certainly help, but this only serves as a way to educate yourself so you do not put the emotional burden of “How do I not be racist?” on Black people who already have enough to stress over. I will be including a list of Black Booktubers that you should be watching. I recommend watching them and getting further information by listening to their experiences.

Reading books isn’t going to change anything, acting will though. Educate yourself and then ACT. Don’t be silent. Silence is violence and makes your complicit.

Black Lives Matter. They have always mattered, they matter today, they will matter tomorrow and they will matter everyday after that. If you have a social media account, share information, share links to petitions and places to donate. Use your voice!

—Books I have Read—

Between the world and me- Ta-nehisi Coates

This book is a memoir of sorts that is written by the author, Ta-Nehisi Coates in the form of a letter to his son about what it means to grow up Black in America. This was a very emotional and enlightening read. Coates writes what it means to be a Black man, and how Black lives are taken for plunder in America. I highly recommend this book and think it should be required reading.

White Fragility- Robin diangelo

*The author of this book is white.*
The author Robin Diangelo writes about White Fragility which refers to the defensive moves that white make when challenged racially and exactly how we (as white people) can change that to confront our own internalized racism. It is an in-depth exploration written by an anti-racist scholar who uses her own experiences and gives herself no passes. She talks about how white fragility protects racial inequality and what we can do to engage constructively and learn how to truly be anti-racist.

—Books I PLAN to read—

How to be an antiracist- Ibram X. Kendi

This is a book where Ibram X. Kendi, a historian and professor at American University talks about how we can liberate new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. It imagines what an antiracist society would look like and how we can play an active role in building it. It combines ethics, history, law and science to bring a personal and engaging narrative. It brings an awareness for us to bring ourselves to the next step, which is contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

hood feminism- Mikki kendall

This is a book that talks about the problems that plague modern day feminism and how it ignores Black women and their needs. This is a collection of essays where Mikki Kendall draws on her own experiences to discuss how the modern day feminist movement has failed to address the needs of Black women, such as hunger, violence and hypersexualization. It comes with commentary on politics, pop culture and the stigma of mental health. I realize that the modern day feminist movement really focuses on the needs of white women and leaves women of color behind. I want to know how I can be intersectional with my feminism and think that this will be an important read.

stamped from the beginning- Ibram x. Kendi

This book argues that racist ideas are alive and well and has a long and lingering history. It goes through the history of anti-Black history in the United States. It follow the history from the beginning to today. Racist ideas and thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created and popularized dude to an effort and discriminatory policies that rationalize the inequities in everything form wealth to health. I think this one is going to be especially enlightening. It also offers tools to expose racist ideas and what we can do to combat them.

White Rage- Carol Anderson, Ph.D.

This talks about the phenomenon that the white public has when African Americans make advances towards full participation in our democracy. It looks at the history of the US from the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, the Brown v Board of education, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 respectively and how each was met with a reaction that was met with outrage and other ways to suppress Black people. Some examples would be Black Codes, Jim Crow, shutting down of schools and the war on Drugs. Anderson pulls back the veil on covered actions that have been hidden under the guise or protecting democracy.

The color of Law- Richard Rothstein

*The author of this book is white*
Richard Rothestein writes about the myth that American cities were racially divided by defacto segregation and instead shows that dejure segregation- laws and policy passed by governments, local, state and federal- are responsible for the discriminatory patterns that continue to today. It talks about the residential patterns that became deeply embedded in the 1920s with explicit racial zoning and how they continue to this day. It also shows how police and prosecutors have upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to Black families in white neighborhoods.

Why i’m no longer talking to white people about race- Reni Eddo-Lodge

This is a book written by journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge and a discussion about the cacism and Britain and the Black history being erased. It explores issue about the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism and the inextricable link between class and race. This doesn’t focus on the history of the US, but shows that just because you don’t live in the US, it doesn’t mean that racism does not exist in your country.

the new jim crow- Michelle alexander

Michelle Alexander is a former litigator turned legal scholar who argues that we have not ended racial caste in the US, we have simply redesigned it. (In the US, Black people make up 13% of the population, yet they make up over 40% of the prison population. [source] [another source] This book show that by targeting Black men and decimating communities of color, the criminal justice system functions as a system of racial control, while formally adhering to the principle of color blindness. This challenges the civil rights community — and all of us– to place mass incarceration as a new movement for justice in the US.

As stated above, I’m going to include some places to donate and some petitions that you can sign if you have not already. (Take a look at the “More Petitions/ Ways to Help, as new petitions and places to donate are added periodically)

Petition for George Floyd
Petition for Breonna Taylor
Petition for Tony McDade
Petition for Ahmuad Arbery
Petition to Stop the use of rubber bullets (Graphic Content Warning for the image associated with this petition.)
Defund the Police Petition
Life Sentence for Police Brutality
Hands Up Act
More Petitions

GoFundMe for George’s Family || GoFundMe for Breonna (and Legal Representation) || GoFundMe for Ahmaud || Minnesota Freedom Fund (Helps pay for bail for those who cannot afford it) || ACLU || The Bail Project || To The Protestors || Black Owned Businesses || Organizations || To the Victims || Other Ways to Help

I’m also going to include some of the Black Booktubers that I have been watching, I highly recommend that you subscribe (and ENGAGE) with their content.

Myonna @ Myonna Reads
Bee @ Bee But Bookish
Noria @ Noria Reads
Naya @ NayaReadsandSmiles
Jesse @ Bowties & Books
Jasmine @ L’amour De Books
Cecilia @ That Disney Chik
Mina @ Mina Reads
Mika @ Mika Auguste
Shae @ Books with Shae
Shane @ Luxurious Blu

There are SOOOO many more books and content creators out there. If you have some others, please let me know! I’m always in the mood to follow new wonderful content creators and read more diversely.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, if you are white, please educate yourself. Listen and amplify the voices of Black people. And use YOUR voice to stand up for them.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.
Keep reading,