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11 Best Books About Race

Discover a curated collection of books about race that delve into the complexities and importance of racial identity, history, and social justice.



by Isabel Wilkerson

4.8 (41838 reviews)

What is Caste about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the deeply rooted system of caste in America, exploring its origins and its impact on society. Drawing parallels between the caste systems of India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson exposes how caste divisions continue to shape our lives, perpetuating inequality and discrimination. Through powerful storytelling and extensive research, she challenges readers to confront the uncomfortable truths of our society and work towards dismantling the oppressive structures that uphold caste.

Who should read Caste

  • Individuals interested in understanding the historical roots of social inequality.

  • Sociologists and scholars studying the impact of caste systems.

  • Readers seeking insights into the complexities of racial discrimination.


My Grandmother’s Hands

by Resmaa Menakem

4.8 (4937 reviews)

What is My Grandmother’s Hands about?

In this thought-provoking book, Resmaa Menakem explores the deep-rooted trauma caused by racialization and its impact on both our physical and emotional well-being. Drawing on personal experiences and extensive research, Menakem offers a pathway towards healing and reconciliation, urging readers to confront their own racialized trauma and engage in transformative practices. With profound insights and compassionate storytelling, this book invites us to mend our hearts and bodies, fostering a more inclusive and just society for all.

Who should read My Grandmother’s Hands

  • Individuals seeking to understand and heal from racialized trauma.

  • Mental health professionals interested in addressing racial trauma in therapy.

  • Activists and educators committed to dismantling systemic racism.


Hood Feminism

by Mikki Kendall

4.8 (4689 reviews)

What is Hood Feminism about?

In "Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot," the author sheds light on the flaws within mainstream feminism and explores the urgent need for intersectionality. Mikki Kendall challenges the narrow focus of feminism, highlighting how it often overlooks the struggles faced by marginalized women. Through personal anecdotes and insightful analysis, Kendall advocates for a more inclusive and comprehensive feminist movement that addresses issues such as poverty, racism, and violence.

Who should read Hood Feminism

  • Individuals interested in exploring the intersectionality of feminism.

  • Activists seeking to address the overlooked issues within feminism.

  • Readers looking to understand the experiences of marginalized women.


How to be an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi

4.7 (25868 reviews)

What is How to be an Antiracist about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the complex issue of racism and offers a guide on how to actively combat it. Through personal anecdotes and historical analysis, Kendi challenges readers to examine their own biases and actively work towards creating a more equitable society. With a focus on self-reflection and education, this book serves as a powerful tool for individuals seeking to become antiracist and contribute to lasting social change.

Who should read How to be an Antiracist

  • Individuals seeking to understand and challenge their own racial biases.

  • Educators and activists committed to promoting racial equity and justice.

  • Anyone interested in dismantling systemic racism and fostering inclusivity.


Dreams From My Father

by Barack Obama

4.7 (8945 reviews)

What is Dreams From My Father about?

"Dreams From My Father" is a captivating memoir that delves into the personal journey of a young man searching for his identity and purpose. Written by a prominent figure in American politics, this book explores the complexities of race, family, and heritage. Through vivid storytelling, the author reflects on his multicultural upbringing, his struggles with racial identity, and the profound impact his father had on his life. This poignant narrative offers a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of self-discovery.

Who should read Dreams From My Father

  • Individuals interested in understanding Barack Obama's personal journey and racial identity.

  • Readers seeking insights into the complexities of race and identity in America.

  • Those curious about the life experiences that shaped Barack Obama's presidency.



by Michael Eric Dyson

4.7 (2010 reviews)

What is Jay-Z about?

"Jay-Z: Made in America" by Michael Eric Dyson is a captivating exploration of the life and cultural impact of one of the most influential figures in hip-hop, Jay-Z. Dyson delves into Jay-Z's upbringing, his rise to fame, and his evolution as an artist and entrepreneur. Through insightful analysis and interviews, the book offers a deep understanding of Jay-Z's artistry, business acumen, and his significant contributions to American culture.

Who should read Jay-Z

  • Fans of Jay-Z and hip-hop culture seeking an in-depth exploration of his life and career.

  • Music enthusiasts interested in understanding the cultural impact of Jay-Z's music.

  • Scholars and researchers studying the intersection of music

  • race

  • and entrepreneurship.



by Edward W. Said

4.6 (1726 reviews)

What is Orientalism about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the complex relationship between the West and the East, exploring the concept of Orientalism. Through meticulous analysis, Said examines how Western societies have constructed and perpetuated distorted images and stereotypes of the East, shaping their own identity in the process. With a critical lens, he challenges prevailing narratives and offers a compelling argument for the need to reevaluate and redefine our understanding of the East-West dynamic.

Who should read Orientalism

  • Scholars and students of postcolonial studies and cultural criticism.

  • Individuals interested in understanding the historical and cultural impact of Western representations of the East.

  • Readers seeking a critical analysis of Orientalist discourse and its implications.


Whistling Vivaldi

by Claude M. Steele

4.6 (1143 reviews)

What is Whistling Vivaldi about?

In this thought-provoking book, Claude M. Steele explores the impact of stereotypes on individuals and society. Drawing from extensive research, he delves into the psychological effects of stereotypes and how they can shape our behavior, performance, and identity. Steele offers valuable insights on how we can challenge and overcome these stereotypes, fostering a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

Who should read Whistling Vivaldi

  • Students and educators interested in understanding the impact of stereotypes.

  • Psychologists and researchers studying the effects of stereotypes.

  • Individuals seeking strategies to combat the negative effects of stereotypes.


White Fragility

by Robin DiAngelo

4.5 (40795 reviews)

What is White Fragility about?

In this thought-provoking book, the author delves into the concept of white fragility and explores why it is challenging for white individuals to engage in conversations about racism. Drawing from her own experiences as a diversity trainer, DiAngelo examines the defensive reactions and discomfort that often arise when discussing race, offering insights into how these reactions perpetuate racial inequality. This book serves as a guide for understanding and addressing the complexities of racism in contemporary society.

Who should read White Fragility

  • Individuals seeking to understand and address their own racial biases.

  • Educators and activists working towards racial equity and justice.

  • White individuals looking to engage in meaningful conversations about racism.


All Boys Aren’t Blue

by George M. Johnson

What is All Boys Aren’t Blue about?

"All Boys Aren't Blue" is a powerful memoir-manifesto that delves into the experiences of George M. Johnson. This captivating book explores themes of identity, race, and sexuality, as Johnson reflects on his journey growing up as a queer Black man. With raw honesty and vulnerability, the author shares personal stories, challenging societal norms and shedding light on the complexities of intersectionality. This memoir is a compelling and necessary read that celebrates individuality and advocates for inclusivity.

Who should read All Boys Aren’t Blue

  • LGBTQ+ youth seeking personal stories of resilience and self-acceptance.

  • Educators and parents looking to understand and support queer youth.

  • Anyone interested in exploring intersectionality and dismantling societal norms.


You Are Your Best Thing

by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown (editors)

What is You Are Your Best Thing about?

"You Are Your Best Thing" is a powerful anthology edited by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown that delves into the intersection of vulnerability, shame resilience, and the Black experience. Through a collection of essays, poems, and personal stories, this book explores the unique challenges faced by Black individuals, offering insights on healing, self-acceptance, and the importance of community. It sheds light on the strength and resilience found within vulnerability, ultimately inspiring readers to embrace their authentic selves.

Who should read You Are Your Best Thing

  • Individuals seeking to understand and navigate vulnerability and shame within the Black experience.

  • Readers interested in exploring the intersection of race

  • vulnerability

  • and resilience.

  • Anyone looking to gain insights into the Black experience and foster empathy.