Books: anti-racist writing

The books listed below are all non-fiction, aimed at helping the reader to unlearn or combat prejudice; to understand race oppression, race privilege, and the connection between them.

Please add your comments, make your suggestions and submit or recommend reviews – use the comment form at the end.

NB books aimed at children and young people are listed separately below this list of books aimed at adults.

“And don’t call me a racist!”
A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America, selected and arranged by Ella Mazel
Amazon link.
The Anti-Racist Cookbook
A Recipe Guide for Conversations About Race That Goes Beyond Covered Dishes and “Kum-Bah-Ya”, Robin Parker and Pamela Smith Chambers
Amazon link.
Cultural Etiquette: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned
Amoja Three Rivers (1991)
From the introduction: “Racism and the racial stereotypes it spawns are so subtly interwoven into the fabric of Western society that very often, even those with the best of intentions will display bad cultural manners. This does not necessarily mean one is a bad person. Sometimes people just don’t know any better. This guide is to help people avoid some of the obvious as well as not so obvious pitfalls of unwitting racism and anti-Semitism. This does not try to talk anyone out of being racist or anti-Semitic. Rather it seeks to help those with good and righteous intentions to refine behavior and attitudes bred in cultural ignorance.”
Amazon link.
Divided Sisters:
Bridging the Gap between Black Women and White Women, Midge Wilson. 1997.
Amazon link
The Heart of Whiteness:
Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege, Robert Jensen. 2005.<
From secondwaver: “This is usa-centered, is short, pithy, and to the point. Jensen (who more recently wrote “Getting Off,” about pornography) succinctly lays out the relationship between systemic racism and white privilege, and what it has meant historically, and at present. He takes a close look at the so-called multicultural bandwagon. I highly recommend this gem of a book.”
Amazon link.
Lifting the White Veil
An Exploration of White American Culture in a Multiracial Context, Jeff Hitchcock
Amazon link.
Uprooting Racism:
How White People Can Work For Racial Justice, Paul Kivel
Amazon link.
Hate Hurts:
How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice
Amazon link
The First R:
How Children Learn Race and Racism
Amazon link
40 Ways to Raise a Non Racist Child
Amazon link
Everyday Acts Against Racism
Amazon link
Unsettling Narratives:
Postcolonial readings of children’s literature
WLU Press link
Should We Burn Babar?
Essays on Children’s Literature and the Power of Stories
From secondwaver: Very readable analysis of racism and colonialism implicit in much of classic children’s literature. Kohl examines how the books can be used to conscientize children, rather than to transmit the values embedded in them.
From the introduction: “All of the essays in this collection are about the power of stories. The first essay, ‘Should We Burn Babar?,’ centers on the question of what we should do with a children’s book that has achieved the status of a classic and yet is patently racist, colonialist, and sexist. It wrestles with the question of censorship which is a tempting, though equally troubling, way to deal with a text whose content is objectionable. The second essay, ‘The Politics of Children’s Literature: Rosa Parks and the Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,’ is about the misrepresentation of African American struggles for equality in school textbooks. It shows how the story of Rosa Parks, which is also the story of community-based struggle against segregation, has been turned into a tale of individual frustration, thereby defusing its political content. ‘In Support of Radical Children’s Literature,’ the third essay, is an attempt to answer George Orwell’s question about the absence of good radical children’s literature. It is an attempt to define what radical children’s literature might look like, provide some examples of it, and suggest ways in which people might go about creating this genre.”
Amazon link.

Books for children

The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism
Amazon link
The Colors of the Rainbow (Let’s Talk About It! Books)
Amazon link
Let’s Talk About Race
Amazon link

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