books related to racism that have helped me

There are lots of sources of information out there on the Internet, so I usually resist the temptation to recreate the wheel. But, I’m going to go ahead and share a few of my favorite books that have informed my experience as a person who benefits from white privilege (because I pass as white*). These are books related to why I understand the #BlackLivesMatter movement is the our modern day Civil Rights Movement.

“What would you do if the Civil Rights Movement was happening today?” It is happening now. We must act with our neighbors across the country.

I won’t summarize the story/content, I’m just providing links for my white peers who are interested. There are many other books (I found great lists by googling “what white people should read about racism.” Here are a couple shared by women of color: 16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read18 Books Every White Ally Should Read) and resources online, of course. But here are a few that have helped me especially in the last few years:

Between the World and Me

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

How to Be Black









* Because “white” is a social construct, I’m exploring what it’s like to talk about myself as someone who “passes” as white. I know there is a deep and painful history of “passing” in our culture for people who are born into black and brown families, so I’m not sure if I will stick with this phrasing; I don’t want to minimize those experiences as I pass as white without any effort. My thought is if I don’t just say “I’m white,” then perhaps I’m pointing out the fact that it’s really only because of our country’s foundation (slavery) that we have such a divide based on “race;” that identifying as white and being able to pass as white (without any effort and only positive consequences).

1 thought on “books related to racism that have helped me

  1. My mother of European descent had mixed kids around her for 30 years. In that time, people assumed their anti-black statements would not be welcome and refrained from sharing them. When my little brother moved away to finish college, she started “passing” white again. It shocked her. Well, it still does what people are willing to say to her as a fellow white person.

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