Books on Race in the United States

Tears We Cannot Stop:  A Sermon to White America (5*) by Michael Eric Dyson (a very personal call to help for fighting racism in the United States that admittedly is difficult to read.  An emotional and powerful call that cannot be ignored, with specific actions identified)

How to be an Antiracist (5*) by Ibram X. Kendi (an excellent well-researched and referenced book combining history, policy, and thoughts on race with the author’s own journey through racism to anti-racism.  A call to be better.)

The Black Friend:  On Being a Better White Person (5*) by Frederick Joseph (one of the best and toughest books I have read.  I hurt for the author, I cried, and despite having good intentions, I definitely learned of moment I could have done and been more.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the Black experience in the US and be a better White person)

The Hate U Give (5*) by Angie Thomas (although written as a young adult book, I highly recommend this book to give insight into the life of an African-American teen.  While it is tough to read, it is great insight)

My Time Among the Whites:  Notes from an Unfinished Education (5*) by Jennine Capó Crucet (gives great insight to the experience of a first generation Cuban immigrant on navigating American society.  Uncomfortable, but a necessary read to improve)

The Vanishing Half (5*) by Brit Bennett (fictional story of very pale African-American twins who went different pathways, one to live undetected in great wealth in Southern California, the other returning from Washington DC after an abusive relationship to live in rural Louisiana.  It was a powerful novel about identity and the role of race)

Memorial Drive:  A Daughter’s Memoir (4*) by Natasha Trethewey (an exploration of race and loss in the US Deep South)

An American Marriage (4*) by Tayari Jones (a fictional but undeniably real story of the tragic outcomes of American racism and the crime of skin colour as a professional young couple’s American Dream is ripped apart by the husband being falsely accused and convicted of a crime)

The Help (5*) by Kathryn Stockett (a fictional and much less romantic version of the American South and slavery, giving insight to the pain and atrocities lived by the slaves at the will of their owners)