Books About Racism and Injustice You Should Read

After George Floyd’s unjust killing and the nationwide protests it sparked, conversations turned toward what racism and injustice mean. The discussion hasn’t been limited to the United States. This issue has become a global issue.

Several books about these topics are worth picking up to read. Even if you don’t engage in public discussion or protests, educating yourself through the perspective of another can be an enriching experience.

When They Call You a Terrorist

This non-fiction book is called a Black Lives Matter memoir. The author talks about growing up in LA, the persecution experienced by African-Americans by law enforcement, and her brother’s jail experiences. When Trayvon Martin’s killer was set free, the stage was set to self-advocate. The pushback was immediate, with 140,000 signatures asking to label BLM as a terrorist organization.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead offers a masterpiece that won the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. It’s brilliant and devastating simultaneously. It’s the story of a young woman, trapped by slavery, escaping through a series of stations. The painful narrative is something none of us should forget.

If Beale Street Could Talk

This story is the fifth novel by James Baldwin, and it might be his best work. It follows the story of Fonny and Tish, a young couple in love and expecting their child in ‘70s Harlem. Fonny gets falsely accused of rape, gets sent to jail, and we see everything happen from Tish’s viewpoint.

My People Are Rising

This non-fiction work tells the story of Aaron Dixon. He led the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968, staying in that role for about a decade. This work tells of the challenges he faced, leaving no question behind as to how shocking life can be when you’re not in the majority.

So You Want to Talk About Race

Each chapter in this book is a question. The author covers the comments she often gets on social media about race, providing advice on how to have these conversations at home. It’s a practical book, helping others avoid being defensive or going on tangents with these discussions.

We must start having conversations about equality and justice if we’re going to heal our wounds. What happened to George Floyd is wrong. How we fix this problem can ensure his name becomes a lasting legacy.