My Book Suggestions for Those Wishing to Do Effective Ally Work

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Obviously, I am not an expert on race relations by any means and I would never pretend to be. I just thought it might be helpful to other white people to create a list of books that I have personally found enlightening in understanding racism and recognizing my own privilege/participation in the racist power structure in the United States. Like I said, these are books I have read so it is certainly not an exhaustive list, either. I plan to keep reading books that will help me to grow as a person and I will share them on here and on my Goodreads as I read them.


    1. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
    2. White Rage by Carol Anderson
    3. “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity by Dr. Beverly Tatum
    4. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
    5. Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill
    6. The Fire This Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward
    7. The March comics by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
    8. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
    9. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
    10. One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson


  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Young Adult)
  2. Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Young Adult)
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by (Young Adult)
  4. Jefferson’s Sons by (Middle Grade)
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Adult)
  6. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Adult)
  7. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Adult)

I honestly thought I would have a much bigger list when I started this post because I feel like I’ve been reading a ton of great social justice books in the past couple years. I guess there haven’t been as many as I thought, though. Here are some other books that are on my radar:

  1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  2. Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
  3. Women, Race, & Class by Angela Davis
  4. You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
    by Phoebe Robinson
  5. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  6. On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope by DeRay Mckessan
  7. Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor
  8. Brother by David Chariandy
  9. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
  10. Home and Away by Candice Montgomery
  11. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  12. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

Please comment any suggestions you have!

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