June 4, 2020
Nonfiction/Fiction and Racial Injustice #amplifyblackvoices #throwbackthursday
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 (not all authors are POC). As part of #throwbackthursday, this is an updated post that was originally published on November 11, 2019.
This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these posts, and today I’m re-sharing my list of nonfiction and fiction reads with a racial injustice theme. I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
If you are looking to diversify your reading, I hope this post is helpful.
This week is an opportunity to amplify black voices in literature, build understanding and compassion from a different perspective, and to share recommendations.
***A note of clarification: not all authors are POC
Nonfiction Recommendations on the topic of Racial Injustice:
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (a personal experience) (MG)
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
There is also a version for younger readers.
Tattoos On the Heart by Gregory Doyle
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis (The Three Doctors) (MG)
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga
Many of you have left recs on this post, the original post, 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
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
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Bryan at Still an Unfinished Person Blog posted a list of books on the topic of race in America.
….list in progress….
Fiction and Racial Injustice
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe
The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want To Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais
Stella By Starlight by Sharon Draper
Have I listed a few of your favorites?
Do you have recommendations to add?
I know you can help me add to this list!
I’d love to hear your suggestions for a nonfiction or fiction book that addresses the topic of racial injustice.
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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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
The book cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.
People always seem to forget that if you teach tolerance for the “other” to young children, you will raise children who are less likely to be racists, and when adults, will be more likely to get to know someone for who they are, before they judge them for how they look. This is why I read the Dr. Seuss (yes, I know, he did do some racist stuff when he was young, but he realized the error of his ways and became much more tolerant and liberal) book “The Sneeches and Other Stories” which includes the story “What Was I Scared Of”. The best way to fight racism is with education, and the sooner you can show a child that we are essentially all the same, and to judge someone by their character and not the color of their skin (or anything else, for that matter), the better!
Absolutely Davida! I couldn’t agree more! When I was teaching I used literature to build understanding and compassion…..Sneetches was in regular rotation year after year! 🙌
Great list Carol! I recommend They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowry a nonfiction book about the Black Lives Matter movement.
And Becoming by Michelle Obama
Oh yes…I forgot to add that! Thanks!
Thanks…I’ll add it!!!
David Grann’s novel is high on my TBR myself! Ever since there were plans for a Scorsese film based on that, I have been dying to get around to it. Probably just waiting for a trailer to drop first hahaha
I enjoyed the Grann novel ….. it’s compelling narrative nonfiction and will be an unforgettable film! I hope it’s a good read for you!
What a good idea to publish a list like that. I might copy you and make a list of the books I read about racism, if you don’t mind.
Im happy to be the inspiration and I’m eager to read your list! I love making them and reading them!
Same here, Carol. I will, of course, mention your list in my post. Thank you so much.
I’m eager to read your post! 👍
Thanks again for the inspiration. I included your link in my TTT which I changed so it fit my anti-racisms books.
You’re welcome! I’m hoping over now to take a look at your post!
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[…] See a previous post on books with themes of racial injustice here. […]
[…] My favorite reads: Seven Fallen Feathers was a devastating nonfiction read about racial issues, this time in Ontario, Canada, where seven Indigenous teens drown in the river over a period of 11 years, and the police do nothing about it. Talaga provides a lot of insights about the homes that these teens came from, the challenges they face, and the many ways the education and social services systems failed them. (recommended by Reading Ladies). […]