Riot Recommendation

Riot Recommendation: 30 of Your Favorite Nonfiction Books About Racism and White Supremacy

Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Book Riot Managing Editor Vanessa Diaz is a writer and former bookseller from San Diego, CA whose Spanish is even faster than her English. When not reading or writing, she enjoys dreaming up travel itineraries and drinking entirely too much tea. She is a regular co-host on the All the Books podcast who especially loves mysteries, gothic lit, mythology/folklore, and all things witchy. Vanessa can be found on Instagram at @BuenosDiazSD or taking pictures of pretty trees in Portland, OR, where she now resides.

This Riot Recommendation of favorite nonfiction about racism and white supremacy is sponsored by Sourcebooks.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and nearly 100,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

Updated and expanded from the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy, takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.

Conversations about racism can be difficult and uncomfortable, but they’re absolutely essential in the dismantling of systems of oppression. Books are a great place to start in informing ourselves on these systems: their history in this country, how many of us benefit from and uphold them, and action plans for combatting their hold. That’s why we asked for your favorite nonfiction books about racism and white supremacy, and you delivered! We’ve rounded up 30 of your favorites: let’s all read up, then open up the conversation and affect meaningful change.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Black Skin, White Mask by Frantz Fanon

On Intersectionality by Kimberle Crenshaw

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnel Moore

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairburn

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Angry White People by Hsiao-Hung Pai

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

Freedom Walk: Mississippi or Bust by Mary Stanton

The Color of Water by James McBride

Black is the Body by Emily Bernard

White Fragility by Robin J. DiAngelo

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison

Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation
by Beth E. Richie

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Black Boy by Richard Wright

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

A Choice of Weapons by Gordon Parks

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan M. Metzl

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