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Read to Fight Racism

The recent tragedies and subsequent protests are indicative of a long, systemic history of racism. There are many, many things we need to do on a nationwide scale to repair our inherent brokenness, but we can each do work individually.

We must work—actively work—to become anti-racist. One of the most important ways to do this, for my fellow white brothers and sisters, is to listen, really listen, to our brothers and sisters of color.

Lots of us here are bookworms. Let’s make a commitment to read the words from these men and women. It’s the least we can do (and should be the least we do).

I love this illustration from Jane Mount—below are links to the books on display:

(Note: There’s a few books in this list written by white writers. While I’m sure they’re excellent, let’s prioritize primarily hearing from BIPOC.)

I also recommend following Marla’s account White Girl Learning, where she posts about what she’s learning as she reads from BIPOC:

And this summer, we’ll be reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi together in Books & Crannies, if you’d like to join us:

We must, must, must listen. And then take these words to heart, friends:

(Links to books are from Bookshop, which both supports independent bookstores and my own work here. For no extra cost on your end, we’ll both receive a small commission instead of that behemoth online conglomerate we know all too well—thanks for supporting work that matters to you.) 

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Linda

    I was absolutely with you until the note. Th problem is that both sides need a dialogue and to only hear one side of the argument is never good.

    • Susan

      Perhaps you should start with White Fragility then as is is written by a white woman and sounds right up your alley. LMAO

  2. Belinda

    Many people do not need to be educated about ethnic or racial backgrounds. There is a general understanding of people of different races and social backgrounds. I respect diversity and to me, no one is inferior. The problem about reading the books you recommend would be the mindset of people who will not change, who will not read books to have a better understanding, and will not deviate from their thoughts. As a Latina I have never experienced racial bullying during my lifetime. I do recognize Latin American people have been put down as field workers and women who clean houses because of a language barrier. I am astounded by the prejudices. People immigrate here for a better life, yet face many racial injustices.

    • Tana Sammons

      Hi Belinda, While living the Dallas area my husband and I had many Latina friends I am white. My company gave us and hour each week to mentor a child in school. I chose a hispanic girl, 4th grade who needed help with reading and spelling. No one in her family cold help her. After a few weeks I made a list of questions like getting to know her and filled out one for myself to give her. You know her favorite color, food etc. The last question was what did she want to be when she grew up. She wrote a maid like her Mom whom she loved very much. I did not question her answer. When I got up to leave she said I would really like to be a doctor but said she could not because she was from Mexico. That week I copied articles of female doctors who were from Mexico. I was able to mentor her to the end of high school. I helped her find ways to get scholarships etc. Today she is a doctor with a family herself. We are in touch regularly. I wanted to do this in other states bit they would not allow it. I don’t know why as I was never paid just volunteered. Be happy with you God made you special and always be proud. Tana

  3. Tana Sammons

    Hi, Thank you for these books on racism. I love people of all color and have my whole life. In high school my best friend was Black American. We decided to go to the same college and were room mates. She is still one of my best friends. I have lived in different places in the South and have observed some terrible racism. I am white but not raised with prejudices. while living in Atlanta and Birmingham I met lots of ladies of color. I wanted to be better friends with them but they were never interested. So I have to say why not, what’s wrong with me? I wish I knew the answer. In a quote by a fantastic author Zora Neale Hurston the says “”Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”. I wish I knew the answer for myself. Kindly thank you for reading my post. Tana

  4. Doreen Eager

    Hello Tsh, thank you so much for posting about racial reconcilliation. It is something that has been on my heart for a while and of course now as a white woman I feel compelled to become more educated on the topic and to speak up about racism. Thank you for the list of books, it will be helpful in narrowing down what to focus on first.

  5. Jessica Maruri

    Why, oh why, after listing all these fantastic books would you only recommend one social media account and have that be a white woman? Are we, your white women readers, so childish and frail and self-absorbed that, even now, we can’t handle Black women speaking for themselves? Are we unable to hear the teachings of these brilliant BIPOC writers on racism unless they’re filtered through another White woman? This is not going to be easy… nothing worth doing is. Maybe we’ll learn to be better allies, faster, the sooner we get used to the idea that we and our feelings do not need to be the center of everything, all the time.

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