10 Books You Should Read to Educate Yourself About Racism

If you are wondering what you can do to stay conscious about racism, we recommend you read the following books:

1. Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved is about Sethe, who was a former slave and lived in 1870s Ohio. This book will explain to you the harsh reality and how cruel humanity can be. It discusses how slavery was meant to dehumanize Black lives, and it is essential for you to read if you are still trying to understand what is going on.

2. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DeAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson

For those of you who have seen Good Trouble, you know that Davia ends up reading White Fragility after the events of what happens in this video. To summarize what this book is about: the urgent need for white people to understand race, but we believe this is also a good book for non-Black Muslims to read too.

3. Shuri : A Black Panther Story by Nic Stone

This book is for the younger readers to read and it was recommended by one of our Black Muslim writers, Binta. Nic Stone is also the author of Dear Martin, which is a book I would recommend for high schoolers or older readers. Stone’s Shuri has a mix of Black Panther’s movie version and Stone’s own twist.

4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (for anyone in high school and older )

This is an essential YA novel to read if you want to understand what is currently going on in the news. In the book, Starr is a young Black girl who lives in a Black community, but attends a private school with predominately white students. It also talks about the Black Lives Matter Movement and police brutality, as Starr is a witness to her friend being murdered by a police officer. This will leave an impact on your life.

5. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Another required book is So You Want to Talk About Race. This is a book to read and discuss with friends, co-workers, relatives, and other important people in your life. It will be an uncomfortable conversation, and it’s not going to be easy.

6. Bismillah and Bean Pies: How Black Americans Crafted an Islamic Nationalism by Asad el-Malik

Bismillah & Bean Pies: How Black Americans Crafted An Islamic Expression Through Nationalism by [Asad Malik, Willie Muhammad]

In his book Bismillah & Bean Pies: Islam and Black Nationalism, Asad el Malik discusses Black nationalism and Islam. He brings in teachings from Elijah Muhammed and talks about the Nation of Islam.

7. Malcolm X: An Autobiography as told to Alex Haley

Cover art

We can learn a lot from Malcolm X’s autobiography. The book talks about his journey to converting to Islam, and the racism that he went through as a Black person. Malcolm X stated, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”

8. The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means To Be Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic In Britain Today edited by Nikesh Shukla

The Good Immigrant is a book Binta suggested for non-Black people who want to educate themselves. Shukla has compiled essays and various narratives from people who are often called a terrorist just because of their race or religion. It is a book to read for those who want to do better.

9. American Muslim Women: Negotiating Race, Class, and Gender Within the Ummah (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity) by Jamillah Karim

Furthemore, this is another book that Binta recommended to read. It talks about the fine line between race and religion. A must-read for all Muslims!

10. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime depicts the story of a young boy who later becomes a man, and the struggles he goes through as he realizes that he’s living in a country that makes him feel like he isn’t supposed to exist.

If you are still confused, please watch the video below:

Happy reading! (And learning!)