Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Understand Being Black in America

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a freebie!

31421117Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America came out last week and, let me just tell you, it is making me woke af to my privilege as an upper-middle-class white lady, living in a liberal part of a liberal state. In an interview for The New York Times Magazine, Dyson states that the book’s ideal audience is “the ocean of white folk I encounter who are deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities — they are the ones who ask me, “What can I do, as a white person?” This is my attempt to address them in the most useful and, hopefully, edifying manner.” As one of those white folk, it’s my job to seek out and listen to black and POC voices, to hear what they are saying and understand. With me? Here are twenty-five books* I need to read asap about being black in America.

ttt_race_a

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

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

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

ttt_race_b

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

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

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith

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Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

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

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Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon

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The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, eds.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

 

* This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. And, I am always look for more suggestions!!!

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2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Understand Being Black in America

  1. Kimberley @ liveswellread says:

    What a great list! Will definitely be hunting some of these down. Another great addition is ‘By the Color of Our Skin’ by Barbara Diggs-Brown and Leonard Steinhorn. They do an excellent job discussing the reality of integration in the States, and I thought it was a super interesting read.

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