Books Lifestyle

My Summer Anti-Racist Reading List

Alright, I’m back to posting. I took the week off to allow more important voices to be heard. It didn’t feel right for me to post about my own calm and regulated life. Every morning I wake up and read about more death and destruction in America. It’s been hard to concentrate. But I haven’t been sitting idly. I want to be informed of the situation in America because it’s where I come from. It’s my birth place and it troubles me that even in 2020 it’s so heavily flawed. It makes my heart ache to think about the misjustice practiced there. Educating myself is the least I can do. This year my summer reading list is a somber but necessary one because it’s an anti-racist reading list.

My favorite influencers have been plugging their recommendations and I’d like to take those and pass them on too. I urge you to locate local bookstores to buy these books. Since I live in The Netherlands, I can’t make any store recommendations but it doesn’t take more than a quick Google search to find small and locally owned store fronts.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book is the one most pushed right now. It deals with discussions of white privilege to police brutality and discrimination. It also covers the Black Lives Matter movement, something I desperately need to catch up on. It’s not too old of a title so I hope it can clue me in to all the events I’ve missed since I moved to The Netherlands. I missed the Women’s March back in 2017. Now is the best time for voices to rise up against injustice and since I can’t rally with my friends and family, I’ll find other ways to fight.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People by Robin DiAngelo to Talk About Racism
DiAngelo discusses why white people become defensive when challenged against their beliefs. It tackles issues the issues that drive them to toxic and racist behavior fueled by anger, fear, guilt, and why it’s so hard to turn those emotions off. She also dives into the development of this “white fragility” and how we can make choices to prevent it.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
This book raises points and new ways of thinking on how we can build an anti-racist society. It’s not an overnight project and this book is for those who want to raise their level of awareness to stop racism in its tracks. This the first book on my list and it’s easy to digest. It’s like Kendi is a long time friend talking to the reader about his experiences and so far, I love it.

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Khan-Cullors wrote about her experiences as a Black women living in America. She talks about racial profiling and police brutality against so many Black people. Instead of giving into what others thought of her, she rose up and used her voice to empower others likes her. Her words echo a powerful message, Black lives are not expendable.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I remember this book on one of my high school reading lists but I never got around to it. As a rebel in high school, I did the bare minimum when it came to classwork. Now that I can read books for myself (and not a teacher) I have no excuses. Reading this one has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to get started. It’s the autobiography of Angelou and the struggles she faced after an older man attacked her in her childhood. It’s a book about her trials, tribulations and how after years of wandering, she was able to find love for herself and embrace the kindness of others.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
While I would love to put down another book that tackles race, I need myself allow myself a break. Black author Roseanne A. Brown shares a retelling of West African folklore in this highly anticipated title. So far it’s got fantastic reviews so I’m excited to jump into the Young Adult genre again!


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