Nonfiction Books and Racial Injustice: #NonficNov

November 11, 2019

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice #NonficNov

Nonfiction November
Image Source: Canva

I’m eager to participate in Nonfiction November this year hosted by Doing Dewey, Julz Reads, What’s Nonfiction, Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Shelf-Aware. During November, you will notice one nonfiction focused post each week:

Weekly Topics:

My Year in Nonfiction

Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings

Be the Expert (today’s post)

Nonfiction Favorites

Nonfiction TBR

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction and Racial Injustice

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

Today for Nonfiction November hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, I am sharing five books (plus one TBR) in a subgenre that I have read and can recommend. These are my favorite recommendations for books on the topic of racial injustice. I chose them because they each share a personal story and help build my understanding of racial injustice. Can you add to this list?

Please join me for Nonfiction November!

Nonfition Racial Injustice
Image Source: Canva

Nonfiction Recommendations on the topic of Racial Injustice:

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

just mercy

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (a personal experience) (MG)

Brown Girl Dreaming

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis (The Three Doctors) (MG)

we beat the street


Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Seven Fallen Feathers.jpg


Many of you have left recs in the comments here and on my instagram account, so I’m compiling them here:

Recommendations From Readers:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by by Robin DiAngelo 
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
They Can’t Kill Us All:Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
The Undefeated by Kwame Aleander (picture book)
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (poetry)
Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea Ritchie
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person Blog posted a list of books on the topic of race in America here.

….list in progress….


I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a nonfiction book that addresses the topic of racial injustice.

Fall TBR Update

Four more…

Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


  1. Hi Carol! Some good reads here, some of which I’ve read. One memoir that I liked which pairs well with Just Mercy is The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. Hinton was one of the unjustly accused men highlighted by Bryan Stevenson. He spent 27 years on death row before Stevenson finally won his release. It was a very compelling read.

  2. I haven’t read it yet (the worst kind of recommendation, I know!) but it’s gotten massively glowing reviews and commendations, and I’m pretty sure that racial injustice is a big part of it — Evicted, by Matthew Desmond. It’s around the housing market and landlords in big cities, and my understanding is that it addresses racial injustices happening in this area.

    Also seconding the recommendation above of The Sun Does Shine, it was very good.

  3. Oooh, this is a fantastic list. Thanks for sharing. I love reading social justice / activism books. In fact, I just decided to host an ongoing challenge for people to post their reviews of such books beginning right away. I couldn’t find a suitable challenge or group, and I’ve looked pretty hard. Hopefully I’m not missing anything.

  4. Great list! I loved Just Mercy and Killers of the Flower Moon was a story I had no idea of before I read that. Seven Fallen Feathers is incredible. A horrible story by Talaga does such a great job telling it.

  5. What an important topic! Thanks for rounding up everyone’s recommendations as well. You’ve added most of the books I’ve read on this topic already, but I can think of a few suggestions – Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom, Race For Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (pretty academic), The Cadaver King and the County Dentist by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington, and Solitary by Albert Woodfox.

  6. […] As the U.S. (and perhaps your corner of the world) focuses on anti-racism this week, you might be thinking about your reading life, too. Honoring the work of POC authors and hearing stories of injustice and oppression is one small step in the work of anti-racism. As I thought about the tragic events of this week and the protests, I pondered what my small role might be? One contribution I can make is to share some of my favorite diverse reads and encourage you to experience life from a different perspective through these works that include themes of racial injustice. As part of #throwbackthursday, this is an updated post that was originally published on November 11, 2019. […]

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