Black history month may be over but that doesn’t mean we need to stop thinking critically about race and the effects of anti-Black racism. We’ve compiled a list of 12 books that the community can read to examine and reflect on complex conversations surrounding race, class, gender and socioeconomic status.
Reclaiming Our Space, Feminista Jones: In Reclaiming Our Space, social worker, activist, and cultural commentator Feminista Jones explores how Black women are changing culture, society, and the landscape of feminism by building digital communities and using social media as powerful platforms.
Eloquent Rage, Brittany Cooper: Far too often, Black women’s anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.
How To Be An Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi: Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
This Will Be My Undoing- Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, Feminist in (White) America, Morgan Jenkins: From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today
How To be Less Stupid About Race, Crystal M. Fleming: Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance–and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change.
Unapologetic, A Black Queer and Feminist Mandate For Radical Movements, Charlene Carruthers: Unapologetic is an inside look from an on-the-ground activist and movement leader about how to move people from the margins to the center of political strategy and practice. Carruthers’ book upends mainstream ideas about race, class and gender and sets forth a radically inclusive path to collective liberation. Her inclusive story about Black struggle draws on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions including the Haitian Revolution, U.S. Civil Rights, and Black and LGBTQ Feminist Movements.
The Skin We’re In- A year of Black Resistance and Power, Desmond Cole: A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists. The Skin We’re In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo: Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.
Bread Out Of Stone, Dionne Brand: Bread Out of Stone is an original and forceful study of race, sex and politics in contemporary culture. Personal and poetic, these essays speak of matters close to the heart of a black writer. This evocative and insightful collection has been fully updated and includes four previously unpublished essays. She turns her clear, unflinching eye to issues of sex and sexism; male violence toward women; how Black women learn the erotic; the stereotypes of Black females in popular culture and the centrality of Whiteness in definitions of Canadian culture.
Policing Black Lives- State Violence in Canada From Slavery To The Present, Robin Maynard: Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.
We Live For The We- The Political Power of Black Motherhood, Dani McClain: Following a child’s development from infancy to toddlerhood through early childhood and the teenage years, the book touches on everything from the importance of creativity and the imagination to managing a functioning relationship with authority and the law. McClain shows that how we parent, perhaps even more importantly than how we participate in direct action and advocacy, will determine how we survive these turbulent times.
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge: Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today