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Jun 10

Six Books for Talking about Race Right Now

Posted on June 10, 2020 at 8:13 AM by Bobbie Clark

1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015) 

An acclaimed National Book Award winner and long-time contributor at The Atlantic, Coates is the voice of the current generation on race in America. Part history, part memoir, this book is an accessible starting point for a wide range of readers who want to know more.  

Available in print from the library catalog: 

Coates followed up with We Were Eight Years in Power (2017), which showcases some of his best writing from The Atlantic, all of which also touches on the topic of race in America. 


2. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (2018)  

In this book, Oluo provides readers with “a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America.” For many, this could be an easy jumping off point for questions about race with the goal of providing a language for having difficult conversations and increasing understanding. 

Available in print from the library catalog: 

From Overdrive: as an ebook. 


3. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (2019) 

This recent book by the author of the National Book Award winner, Stamped from the Beginning, is described as: 

[A]n electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. 

Available in print from the library catalog: 


4. White Fragility by Robin Diangelo (2018) 

Diangelo is an NY Times best-selling author and antiracist educator. In her book, the term white fragility refers to: 

[T]he defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. 

Available in print from the library catalog: 


5. How to Be Less Stupid About Race by Crystal M. Fleming (2018) 

As might be guessed from the provocative title, sociologist Fleming engages with the reader in a much different way than previous authors on this list. 

Available in print from the library catalog: The print copy of this title is currently Lost, but a replacement copy is on order. 


6. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (2020) 

Based on a 28-day challenge created by the author on Instagram, the book 

“takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources. 

Available in print from the library catalog: 

From Overdrive: as an ebook.


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