1 / 21

20 Powerful Books About Anti-Racism to Read Right Now

As a white woman, I recognize that I occupy a place of tremendous privilege. I can wander store aisles without security batting an eye. I can walk down the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood without anyone wondering why. I can reach for my license and registration without fearing more than a monetary fine. But with privilege comes an even greater responsibility to educate myself about the internalized racism that comes with growing up in the United States in a body that looks like mine. It's not my Black friends', family members', and coworkers' responsibility to help me do that, nor should they have to take on the emotional labor of explaining why their lives are just as valuable as anyone else's.

Instead, one of the best ways to combat racism in ourselves is to read widely and deeply on the subject. These anti-racist books, culled from reading lists offered by advocates, professors, and my own self-education, address racism from a variety of angles. Some are educational texts that explain how it worms its way into so many aspects of society, largely without our noticing. Some are works of fiction that illustrate its destructiveness through story. And while this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it gives you a starting point as you embark on or continue your own journey.