12 Insightful Books On The Effect Of Racism And White Supremacy

Brittney Cooper, the author of Eloquent Rage that talks about racism and white supremacy (Photo credit: Twitter/@ProfessorCrunk)

Arguably, Blacks suffer the most racial discrimination around the globe. Asians tend to face the same fate when they travel to locations where they are minorities. The inhuman treatment of people from Africa and Asia is often blamed on white supremacy.   

The death of George Floyd and the ensuing #BlackLivesMatter protests renewed the discussion on racism and racial inclusion. The protest which began in the United States quickly spread around the world. Currently, there is a spike in demand for books that teach about racism and white supremacy.

It is not surprising because most of the people that are guilty of racism and white supremacy do so out of ignorance. To help educate our readers on all they need to know about these racial vices and how it impact the victims we have put together these resources. 

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Some of the books on our list are New York Times bestsellers. Is there a book that should be on this list that we missed? Suggest it in the comments section below.

1. So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo (Get It Here)

Ijeoma Oluo (Photo credit Samuel Engelking UUA.org)

In this book, Ijeoma Oluo explores racism and all the realities that come with it. This book describes and explains racial issues such as white supremacy, white privilege, police brutality, the black lives matter movement and more. Ijeoma Oluo strives to address these issues head-on without sugarcoating any of these explanations.

In writing this book, Ijeoma daringly provides answers to questions that readers are afraid to ask and the racial concepts that elude people, especially in the United States. This book teaches about racism in a way that is easy to understand.

2. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robert DiAngelo (Get It Here)

Robin DiAngelo (Photo credit: The Guardian)

The New York Times best-selling book explores racism conversations from the white person’s perspective. When white people are faced with anti-racist conversations, they either respond with argument or silence.

This comes from a place of racial comfort being the standard of humanity while people of colour are not. Therefore, White fragility has developed because White people do not face the reality of racism.

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Thus, they become defensive when faced with this truth. With this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how this fragility develops, and how to tear it down with better education.

3. How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi (Get It Here)

Ibram X Kendi (Photo credit: The Washington Post)

This is a non-fiction book where Ibram Kendi discusses racism and the concepts that drive it. Concepts such as colourism, scientific racism, and how they also affect demographics like gender and sexuality. The book also contains Kendi’s propositions on how to end racism and racial issues.

Kendi details stories from cases with racial undertones as well as his personal experiences with racial injustices. This is a good read for you if you’re looking for a book on racism and white supremacy that also contains relatable facts.

4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Get It Here)

Ta-Nehisi Coates (Photo credit: The Atlantic)

‘Between The World And Me’ details the conversation that every black parent must have with their young sons. This book prepares young black men for life in the United States from the perspective of Ta-Nehisi, a black father.

In this letter to his son, Ta-Nehisi explains racism, racial discriminations and answers questions about racial realities. Ta- Nehisi draws from personal experiences as he seeks to teach his son how to navigate life in the United States. Although the letters appear personally directed to his sons, there is a lot you can learn from it too.

5. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (Get It Here)

Richard Rothstein (Photo credit: The University of Virginia)

This book talks about the US government’s involvement in US housing segregation. While this book is not classified as “law”, it identifies the policies that enable discrimination. The racial divide, segregation and discrimination seem to be an individual problem, perpetuated by White people dissatisfied with having people of colour in their neighbourhoods in America.

Richard Rothstein puts together an extraordinary, well thought out arguments that expose the US government as the actual perpetrators of segregation. Pick this book up if you love arguments and theories backed up with historical facts.

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6. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism. Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad (Get It Here)

Layla F. Saad (Photo credit: Pande Lecture Management)

Published in January 2020, ‘Me and White Supremacy’ is a book targeted at white readers. This book is a guide to help the White reader recognize how White supremacy affects their lives and others around them.

Structured as a step by step 28 day workbook, the book teaches the White person to see White privilege for what it is and helps them build the courage to battle and help dismantle racial structures.

This is a good gift for your White friends who recognize that there is a societal racial imbalance that favors their race and want to help ‘level’ the playing field.

7. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors (Get It Here)

Patrisse Khan-Cullors (Photo credit: The Sun)

This memoir explores what it is to be named terrorist for standing up and saying “enough!” When saying that “Black Lives Matter” is labelled terrorism, follow the journey of three women demanding justice in America for the lives of black people that were needlessly lost. If you’re looking for a book that teaches about racism and white supremacy, here is one for you!

8. Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson (Get It Here)

Michael Eric Dyson (Photo credit: The Ringer)

Written as a sermon to white people, this emotionally gripping book speaks about the racism and the racial divide. The book speaks to the ways that White people respond when confronted with racist realities. The book also addresses how black people respond to racism.

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These are dysfunctional and contribute to the racial injustices being faced by black people. Unless we are brutally honest about racism, Black people’s realities will always be ignored.

9. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (Get It Here)

Reni Eddo-Lodge (Photo credit: The Guardian)

Here, Reni Eddo-Lodge crafts a book about race and racial conversations in Britain. In a blog post written in 2014, she expresses her displeasure about the fact that conversations about racism were led by people who were actually not affected by racism. In this book, Reni discusses class, gender and race in Britain.

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10. Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey (Get It Here)

Jennifer Harvey (Photo credit: LIFT Economy)

‘Raising White Kids’ helps white parents, schools churches raise children who are racially aware. The average parent wants to raise a child who has empathy and is kind to others. However, how would you raise your White child as a White parent? Would you raise them to be “colour blind” or “not to notice race”?

Raising White Kids teaches that you should not shy away from the conversations about race, and encourages parents to have them. The book also helps with pointers on how to have these conversations and where to begin.

11. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper (Get It Here)

Brittney Cooper, the author of Eloquent Rage that talks about racism and white supremacy (Photo credit: Twitter/@ProfessorCrunk)
Brittney Cooper (Photo credit: Twitter/@ProfessorCrunk)

Eloquent Rage is a memoir by Britanny Cooper. This memoir covers her journey through life, from just activism to feminism, citing key experiences. This memoir is a very personal account of Cooper’s life and teaches you what to do with your rage—use it to change the world.

12. I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin (Get It Here)

James Baldwin (Photo credit: The New Yorker)

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ was to be a revolutionary book by James Baldwin called “Remember This House”.  The book was to detail the lives and assassinations of his three friends.

His friends were; Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. However, at the time of his death in 1987, he had only completed 30 pages of the manuscript. Raoul Peck a filmmaker, draws from this unfinished book to create a documentary called “I Am Not Your Negro”.


As you continue to educate you will certainly get to the point where you will start asking questions. Perhaps, the only way to defeat this menace is through honest conversation about racism and white supremacy.  We can eradicate racism. The progress may seem slow but certain.

Learning about racism and white supremacy is a good first step. How many books on our list have you read? If there is any other book you think deserves to be on this list, let us know in the comment box below.

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