7 Books on Anti-Racism

One of my favorite things to do is read and thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a post to books on anti-racism. Reading is something I make time for every single day ( I like to do 30 minutes every morning and night, at least ). I love to learn and work on myself and try to be the best version of me that I can possibly be.

These books are ones that have ( or will ) help educate me. We all need to open our eyes, so if you’re looking for some books to get started, here are some I recommend.

Let’s get right to it.

The Skinny Confidential’s Anti-Racism Book List:

♡ Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is a book that I’ve read bits & pieces of, but Michael has read it and just can’t recommend it enough. He’s absolutely obsessed. It’s written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the realities of being Black in the United States.

“Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

We would love to have Ta-Nehisi on the podcast and are looking into booking him now. 

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

You may have heard of this book before. It’s about how white people are so defensive when it comes to confrontations about race. It’s also about how we can work together to be better, more constructive human beings.

This is a must-read in my opinion for people of privilege and as I continue to educate myself on anti-racism, I will keep referring back to this book. This one is a best-seller and actually recommended by the Anti-racist Research and Policy Center.

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

This was a recommendation from Keltie Knight of The Lady Gang. I’ve just started this and I’m liking it so far. Jesmyn writes all about her life in poverty and growing up in Mississippi and also writes about the lives of the men she lost in her community. Like I said, I haven’t finished this one yet, but it’s very eye-opening and beautifully written.

Autobiographies of Frederick Douglass

This is another one that is a huge recommendation from Michael. It’s on my ‘to-read’ list. This book is all 3 of Frederick’s books in one.

Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. Accordingly, he was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Likewise, Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.

Douglass wrote several autobiographies, notably describing his experiences as a slave in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). Following the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. ( via )

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This book is so beautiful and so well-written. The author articulates so many feelings that I feel but don’t know how to articulate myself. There is an incredible chapter on racism where Glennon talks about her perspective as a white woman and it seriously makes the whole book. It’s about how she tries to be an ally to the Black community, and she really breaks down where white women go wrong. It just made so much sense. 

I would buy this book just for that chapter if I’m being honest. Glennon Doyle is an incredible activist and author ( her book Love Warrior is also amazing ) and I’m so looking forward to getting her on the podcast. So if you buy Untamed, grab your pink highlighter to highlight the fuck out of the racism chapter.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

If you haven’t read this yet, you’ve got to. It’s not on anti-racism but Michelle is such an inspiration and this book has been recommended to me by every woman that I know. As a woman, this is a must-read.

In this memoir, Michelle really invites you into her world, which is full of accomplishments, by the way. Her storytelling is amazing and she’s totally honest through the whole book. You’ll hear about her childhood in Chicago, her motherhood journey, and her time in the white house.

Zaza books by Mylo Freeman

Also, I’ve recently bought a series of books to read to Zaza about a little Black girl and all her adventures. How fitting her name is Zaza too! We’ve been reading them to Zaza every single night. Mylo Freeman’s books for kids are so cute, you can check them all out here:

Dinnertime for Zaza

Sweet Dreams, Zaza

Calling Dr. Zaza

New Friends for Zaza

Celebrate With Zaza

Lastly, with everything that’s been going on I wanted a book that could help me understand what to do when things are getting chaotic. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön is one I’ve been dogearing and highlighting. So I just wanted to put that out there if you’re feeling like you need advice for chaotic times.

Hope some of these recommendations help you guys. Please share below what books we all should be reading to be actively anti-racist. What books or resources have opened your eyes and taught you the most about systemic racism and what we can do to fight this?

x, lauryn

+ scope the 5 components of emotional intelligence and how to practice it.

++ check out this post if you want to know more about how I deal with anxiety.

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12 Replies to “7 Books on Anti-Racism”

  1. Thank you for these links – I had heard of a lot of these books, but not all of them. Would you also consider using Mahogany Books or Bookshop instead of Amazon for the links? I’ve been trying to be more conscious of where I’m spending my money and decided to stop purchasing books from Amazon. Mahogany is black owned and Bookshop supports local bookstores across the country 🙂

    https://www.mahoganybooks.com/
    https://bookshop.org/

  2. On your recent podcast Michael was rude. He mansplained, hid behind “well intentioned whiteness” and honestly came off terribly. Michael, are you really reading these books and internalizing them, or are you just a performative ally? I hope it’s the former, and that you just admit you still have work to do. Because the podcast was cringe. Topsie deserves an apology and she deserved to be heard, in full, without interruption. What a shame.

  3. Thank you for this post! More of this, please. I absolutely agree – “Becoming” is amazing and a must-read. I am on “White Fragility” currently…

  4. Good list – I also read White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker. It’s about white privilege from a woman who learned about discrimination as a result of having a child with Down’s Syndrome. She makes parallels in the book between what she witnessed as a mother and what she has observed with our black and brown brothers and sisters. She is a Christian and has a degree in theology from Princeton, so there is also a spiritual perspective in her book.