Racism and Anti-Racist Reading List

This list is a curated collection of books, recent and not, which will help folks to understand the nature and persistence of racism in the United States, not just in the southern states, but in towns, cities, courtrooms, statehouses and legislatures throughout the country. They are listed in a rough chronological order.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi 

The Racial Contract by Charles W. Mills

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

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

Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development by Sven Beckert 

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 (The New American Nation Series) by Eric Foner

The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran

The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” About the ‘Lost Cause” by James W. Loewen

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution by Eric Foner

Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903 by Lawrence Goldstone

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

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson 

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen

The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class by David R. Roediger

Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time by Ira Katznelson

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan by Kim Phillips-Fein

Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein

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

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

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

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women And Women Of Color By Andrea Ritchie

Racial Purity And Dangerous Bodies: Moral Pollution, Black Lives, And The Struggle For Justice By Rima Vesely-Flad

Beyond The Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together By Van Jones

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? By Mumia Abu-Jamal

How We Get Free: Black Feminism And The Combahee River Collective Edited By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds By Adrienne Maree Brown

The Awkward Thoughts Of W. Kamau Bell: Tales Of A 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black And Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, And Stand-Up Comedian By W. Kamau Bell