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Tue Jun 16, 2020, 01:38 PM

Black Lives Matter Nonfiction Books

This is the list of books I've read that has helped me understand the topic of race. I do not include every book I've read on the topic, but the books that impacted me the most. (Watch the movie The Black Klansman, much better than the book because of Spike Lee's genius sprinkled in.) Please add your own books that you think should belong in this thread:

Crook County by Nichole Cleve

This one shows how racism runs rampant in the justice system.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge


This is about the racism that runs rampant in British society, though there is something about it that really touches upon all aspects on racism.

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

This one is about white nationalism, and gives a clear view about the racist diatribe used with old fashioned racists.

Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur.

This is about a political refugee of the United States, a former Black Panther that gets wrapped up in false allegations in order to keep her in jail and the strength she holds.

Negroes with Guns by Robert Franklin Williams

This is about another black political refugee that was firm with his right to protect himself with guns because of the racist violence around him.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

This is a slave narrative that underscores how racism is both bad for black people and white people.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.

This book is how segregation in America was done on purpose, and how racist landlords got away with it.

The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan

This is a book about the upstart of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

This is a letter to his son on how to deal with racism.

Black Boy by Richard Wright

An autobiography about his experience in the Jim Crow south.

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffith

This is about a white man disguising himself as a black person to experience the Jim Crow south.

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

This is a psychologists point of view on race.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo


This is a book explaining how racism works in society today. White people get offended at being called racist, and their outrage at being called such an ugly word helps create a bubble where they do not confront the racism they enact.

A Terrible Thing to Waste by Harriet A. Washington

Environmental Racism in a nutshell, and how poison and pollution effects peoples IQ points.

Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

How it's okay to be angry, and how intersectionality needs to be the forefront of feminism.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

His experience in Apartheid South Africa and how he was literately considered a crime.


Books I am looking forward to reading: (What is lingering on my bookshelves.)

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The Fire Next time by James Baldwin
Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
Forced Founders by Woody Holton
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
The Promised Land by Nicholas Lemann
What the Eyes Don't See by Mona Hanna-Attisha
The Poisoned City by Anna Clark
The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation by John F. Baker Jr.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
The Slaves War by Andrew Ward
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Come to Hell or High Water by Michael Eric Dyson
Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle
April 4, 1968 by Michael Eric Dyson
The Underground Railroad by William Still
Bound for Canaan by Fergus M. Bordewich
Black Chicago by Allan H. Spear
Race Matters by Cornel West
Democracy Matters by Cornel West
Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild
Never Caught by Erica Dunbar
Hanging Captain Gordon by Ron Soodalter
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Trouble in Mind by Leon F. Litwack
I Can't Breathe by Matt Raibbi
How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
The Torture Machine by Flint Taylor
Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett
The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Roots by Alex Haley
The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov
The Underground Railroad Record by William Still
Stony Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Nobody by Marc Hamont Hill
When She Was White by Judith Stone
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Going Down Jericho Road by Michael K. Honey
Queen by Josh Levin
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
One Drop of Blood by Scott L. Malcomson
The American Slave Coast by Ned Sublette
It Was All a Dream by Reniqua Allen
Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon
Becoming by Michelle Obama
The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B Du Bois
The Case of the Slave Ship Amistad by Mary Cable
Democracy in Black by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Black Against Empire by Waldo E. Martin Jr.
They Call Themselves the KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Obviously I have a lot to read. I hope this encourages people to expand their horizons.

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Reply Black Lives Matter Nonfiction Books (Original post)
Neoma Jun 2020 OP
BeyondGeography Jun 2020 #1
Neoma Jun 2020 #2
lillypaddle Jul 2 #3
Neoma Jul 4 #4
lillypaddle Jul 5 #5

Response to Neoma (Original post)

Tue Jun 16, 2020, 02:50 PM

1. Great list...thank you

I’m most of the way through Trouble in Mind right now. It’s brutal. White Southerners just kept doubling down on the cruelty, and if the “criminal justice” system wasn’t at the heart of it all it was pretty damn close to it. One could do worse to understand the moment we’re in now than to read this book.

Also recommend two other books I read recently: Common Ground, an amazing piece of work by J. Anthony Lukas on the Boston busing crisis, told from the POV of three families, from deep into their respective histories to 1960s and 70s Boston. It deservedly won a Pulitzer. And Barbara Jordan, American Hero, by Mary Beth Rogers, not least for the impact that segregated schools had on her life and how hard she had to work to catch up when she went to Boston University law school.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 16, 2020, 03:05 PM

2. Delving into history books is the best place to start.

I started reading black history and taking classes dealing with black history after the Black Lives Matters movement started. My TBR list has grown quite large since then, since it's a topic I revisit quite often. I'll look out for those books.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Thu Jul 2, 2020, 04:55 PM

3. My granddaughter just turned 8

She has friends of color, and the topic of race, per se, hasn't come up in any detail. I think it's time to introduce her to the history of race in America, including slavery. She is very bright (duh!) She leads a pretty protected life, though, her family members are liberal democrats. Weighty topic to say the least. And where to even start?

I've looked at some children's books on Amazon, but they are pretty childish for her - you know, we are all alike and it's beautiful that we have differences, blah blah blah.

I'm thinking a more realistic approach that includes slavery and the struggle for civil rights. Anyone have any suggestions? Nothing that talks down to her, but nothing so lofty that it goes right over her head.

I am going to cross post this in general discussion. Any help is appreciated.

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Response to lillypaddle (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 4, 2020, 05:57 PM

4. This is the only childrens book I am aware of.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 5, 2020, 03:23 AM

5. I'll check it out

Thanks.

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