Understanding Race in America: Start Here

This year has marked a real turning point in the subject of race in America.  We’re facing some ugly truths that make us uncomfortable and talking about it is difficult. We can no longer ignore our past or remain willfully ignorant of the seriousness or depth of racial disparity in our country.  With a greater understanding of how we got to this point, we can take the individual steps to heal these wounds.

Reading is best way to learn about this sensitive issue and find the empathy and education we need to work towards a more harmonious and kind society. There are a myriad of books out there to help us comprehend the unrest and grief we’re experiencing, and we’re bringing you some of the best ones here to get started. After you’ve read them, join a book club and contribute to the discussion!

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Described as thoughtful, instructive, and comprehensive, this New York Times bestseller provides a methodical way to have the difficult conversations about race we need to have.  Author Robin DiAngelo explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged.   By examining perspectives of people of color, DiAngelo explains why white people tend to be come upset when challenged on their racial views… hence her term ‘White Fragility’.   She examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.  Readers have found this book to be honest, insightful, invaluable, and a “stirring call to consciousness”.  Start listening here!

How To Be An Antiracist

There are some who say racism is all about ignorance and hatred.  But in this compelling book by Ibram X. Kendi, he explains that racism is actually structural. He uses history, science, and ethics to describe different forms of racism, and shares experiences and events in his own life that personalize his views. This book, a New York Times bestseller, has been described as boldly articulate, sincere, and polished.  How To Be An Antiracist offers an approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in society… and in ourselves.  Enjoy it now!

Me and White Supremacy

Another book that has people talking is Me And White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad.  This book began when Saad issued the #MeAndWhiteSupremacy challenge on Instagram.  She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors…and she was surprised at the tremendous response.  Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and from the original workbook, her book takes her findings further.  In it, she challenges us to do the essential work of unpacking our biases, help white people take action and dismantle the privilege within us so we can stop (often unconsciously) hurting others. It is written as a series of reflective journaling questions, with multiple questions each day, over the course of 28 days. There is educational writing, historical and cultural contexts, moving stories and anecdotes, all with the purpose of creating awareness that leads to action, and action that leads to change. You’ll find this book to be practical, personal, and reflective. Readers have said it can not only change the world, but show us how to live and work in ways that will leave a legacy of healing and liberation… in other words, to be a good ancestor.  Check it out here… we think you’ll love it! 

But wait… we have more great titles you might like!

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum

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