8 Essential Books To Read To Gain A Wider Understanding On Racism And Social Injustice

2 June 2020, 13:39 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 11:52

Now more than ever, people are looking to learn and understand more about racism – books are a good place to start.

There are a number of ways to educate yourself about social injustice and racial inequality, and there are hordes of books available to begin gaining more of an understanding of the experiences and history of black people.

As the world comes together to protest against the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, people are turning to black activists and creators to gain more of insight into inequality.

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Books are a great place to start in broadening knowledge, and below are just a few of the books being virally recommended.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Picture: Amazon

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race was first written as a blog by Renni Eddo-Lodge after feeling frustrated at those leading the discussions about racism in Britain weren’t those affected by it.

After publishing it online, it received an influx of comments from people who related sharing their own experiences, so Renni explored the issues a little deeper, offering a framework of how to see, acknowledge and counter racism.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age
Such a Fun Age. Picture: Amazon

A novel which became an instant Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, Such a Fun Age is a modern thought-provoking book which accurately highlights the world we live in today.

It tells the story of a young black woman who is wrongly accused of kidnapping a child she is babysitting and the events which follow.

Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla Saad

Me and White Supremacy
Me and White Supremacy. Picture: Amazon

Hailed as, ‘it should be mandatory reading’, Me and White Supremacy is a book strongly encouraged to pass on once you’ve read it.

The 2020 book is needed now more than ever as it’s an ideal resource for white people who want to challenge white supremacy but don’t know where to begin.

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

How to be an antiracist
How to be an antiracist. Picture: Amazon

How to be an Antiracist has been described as ‘transformative and revolutionary’, offering a way forward in re-thinking personal experiences and beliefs.

Written by the founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Centre, Ibram describes his own journey and in the process “punctures all the myths and taboos that so often cloud our understanding.”

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye. Picture: Amazon

Published in 1970, The Bluest Eye follows the story of Pecola who prays each night for blue eyes like those of her fellow school pupils.

Its synopsis explains: “The Bluest Eye shows how the past savagely defines the present.”

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Picture: Amazon

Author Maya Angelou recalls her childhood with her grandmother in southern America in the 1930s, learning the power of the white people living on the other side of town.

The story illustrates how strength of character and love can help to overcome racism and trauma.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want to Talk About Race
So You Want to Talk About Race. Picture: Amazon

So You Want to Talk About Race offers a modern look at the racial landscape in America, addressing privilege, police-brutality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and much more of what seems more relevant than ever right now.

The straight-forward way of Ijeoma’s writing has been hailed “a movement-building blueprint for people of all races.”

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo

White Fragility: Why It's so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
White Fragility: Why It's so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Picture: Amazon

After years of a professor of Whiteness Studies, Robin Di Angelo shows how we can start having more honest conversations instead of “anger, fear, guilt, denial, and silence” when it comes to discussing racism.

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