Antiracist Reading List


Our librarians have compiled these resources to help you explore the Black experience and understand the racism and inequality that runs through American society. We encourage you to read these books, all available in our collection in a variety of formats, as you take steps to become antiracist and effect change in yourself, your home, and your community. 


How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

This book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it."



Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

E-Book | E-Audiobook

men we reaped

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward (Salvage the Bones, Sing, Unburied, Sing) contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the risk of being a black man in the rural South.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


Beloved by Toni Morrison

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.



The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

A groundbreaking, must-read history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves.

E-Book | E-Audiobook

sister outsider

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change.


i love myself

I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean And Impressive, A Zora Neale Hurston Reader edited by Zora Neale Hurston

I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive established Hurston as an intellectual leader for future generations of black writers A testament to the power and breadth of Hurston's oeuvre, this edition-newly reissued for the Feminist Press's fiftieth anniversary-features a new preface by Walker.



The Crunk Feminist Collection edited by Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M.

Essays on hip-hop feminism.



Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker

The stories in this debut collection shatter monolithic assumptions of black womanhood.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

In Blindspot, the authors reveal hidden biases based on their experience with the Implicit Association Test, a method that has revolutionized the way scientists learn about the human mind and that gives us a glimpse into what lies within the metaphoric blindspot.


original sins

America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis and Patrick Lawlor

In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians-particularly white Christians-urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates and Dominic Hoffman

A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

Local author Alex Kotlowitz tells the story of two boys struggling to grow up and survive in a Chicago west side public housing complex.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes

In A Colony in a Nation, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes upends the national conversation on policing and democracy.


caged bird

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

A coming-of-age story regarded as both autobiographical and literary. The author writes about identity, rape, racism, literacy, family, civil rights...themes often explored by African American female authors.

E-Book | E-Audiobook


The Street by Ann Perry

Explores the life and dreams of a single black mother in 1940's Harlem who struggles to raise her son while being confronted by racism, sexism, and classism on a daily basis while striving to achieve the American dream.



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