Published on July 30, 2020

23 Books About Racism to Inspire You to Embrace Race and Do Good

23 Books About Racism to Inspire You to Embrace Race and Do Good

Written by some of the most influential authors in the world, these books about racism will touch your heart in the most unexpected way. With a focus on different angles of racism and its effects[1] on society, each book would surely instill in you the significance of the Black movement and why it is essential to put an end to racism in order to contribute to the wellbeing of humanity.

Hopefully, after reading one of the books I’ve listed, you’ll find in yourself the desire to push the conversation around race in a positive direction.

This list incorporates such worthwhile books that have been included on the highly esteemed New York Times Best Seller list. Furthermore, these books have enjoyed their fair share of glory as they were deemed profoundly insightful and motivational by the likes of magazines such as Publishers Weekly.

Educating and enlightening our readers on how to deal with racism has been my primary aim of creating this list. The books included here inspire individuals to embrace their skin color so that they can prompt others to stand up against racism and collectively work their way to completely uproot it.

1. How to Be an Antiracist

    A New York Times Bestseller, this book by Ibram X. Kendi lays out a practical methodology to eradicate racism and completely uproot it from our chauvinist society.

    Buy this book!

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

      This compelling book by Michelle Alexander accentuates the devastating truth about the US criminal justice system and how it discriminates and disregards the African American community of the US.

      Buy this book!

      3. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

        One of the Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2017, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein exposes the US government and how it carried out racist segregation in the many metropolitan areas of the United States.

        Buy this book!

        4. White Rage

          This riveting piece of work by Carol Anderson, which happens to be a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, singles out the powerful mass forces that were antagonistic towards the development of the African American community in the US.


          Buy this book!

          5. Between the World and Me

            Another New York Times Bestseller, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book outlines the critical elements for enabling the reader to understand the history of the United States and what factors led to the ongoing racial crisis.

            Buy this book!

            6. Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

              Stamped From the Beginning is a deeply researched account in which the author, Ibram X. Kendi, jots down the story of anti-black racist ideas and their tremendous effect on the African American community throughout US history.

              Buy this book!

              7. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

                Beverly Daniel Tatum illustrates a veracious picture of a typical high school where students of different races are clustered in their own groups, thus, emphasizing that interracial communication is vital.

                Buy this book!

                8. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

                  This book by Reni Eddo-Lodge highlights how futile it is to discuss racism with individuals who are ignorant about its severity. Furthermore, the author offers an essential framework to tackle racism.

                  Buy this book!

                  9. So You Want to Talk About Race

                    Ijeoma Oluo offers her perspective on racism in the US and addresses issues such as police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and privilege.


                    Buy this book!

                    10. The Color of Water

                      In this book by James McBride, the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, the author re-enacts his mother’s story, depicting her journey and all the hardship she had to endure when she migrated to America.

                      Buy this book!

                      11. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row

                        This book by Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin features a compelling story of a man who was wrongfully incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. The book showcases that, in the end, love trumps all.

                        Buy this book!

                        12. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

                          This enthralling chronicle by Maya Angelou depicts the gut-wrenching story of the author, what she had to deal with when she was sent off to live with her grandmother, and how fitting words can make everything right.

                          Buy this book!

                          13. The Autobiography of Malcolm X

                            In one of Time’s ten most influential nonfiction books by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, Malcolm X narrates the remarkable story of his life, the augmentation of the Black Muslim movement, and his take on the restrictions and lies of the American Dream.

                            Buy this book!

                            14. The Bluest Eye

                              Toni Morrison wrote this gripping account of a young black girl who yearns for blond hair and blue eyes to fit into society. This book offers a much-needed reality check and asks some essential questions around race.


                              Buy this book!

                              15. Becoming

                                This book enjoyed a staggering first spot on New York Times Bestseller’s list. Michelle Obama, one of the most influential women of our era, narrates the mesmerizing experiences that molded her persona and enabled her to be the first African American First Lady of the US.

                                Buy this book!

                                16. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

                                  From the New York Times Bestseller’s list, this book by Bryan Stevenson is an indelible account of a young lawyer and his commendable efforts in pursuing true justice. His first case was that of an innocent young man who was on a death row for a murder he didn’t commit.

                                  Buy this book!

                                  17. The Underground Railroad

                                    Winner of the deemed Pulitzer Prize, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead features the life of Cora, a slave, and the hurdles she had to face, particularly when she decided to escape.

                                    Buy this book!

                                    18. The Warmth of Other Suns

                                      This book by Isabel Wilkerson happens to be a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. In this chronicle, Isabel Wilkerson relates the stories of black citizens of the US and their search for a better life.

                                      Buy this book!

                                      19. The Nickel Boys

                                        Winner of the Kirkus Prize, this story by Colson Whitehead is an account of Elwood Curtis, a black boy who was unjustly incarcerated in a juvenile center known as Nickel Academy, and how, consequently, his life became a living hell.


                                        Buy this book!

                                        20. The Souls of Black Folk

                                          This book by W.E.B. Du Bois is the pioneering edifice that helped pave the foundation of African American literature. It played a pivotal part in the development of strategies that orchestrated the early 20th-century black protests in the US.

                                          Buy this book!

                                          21. Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

                                            This book by Jennifer L. Eberhardt explores the issue of racism and deduces how racial bias has failed American society. It is a pivotal read for anyone who is even mildly interested in the current Black movement in the US.

                                            Buy this book!

                                            22. Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

                                              Claude M. Steele renders the first-hand experience of his research on American stereotypes, such as the athletic superiority of black men, and provides a means of reshaping American identities.

                                              Buy this book!

                                              23. 12 Years a Slave

                                                This book by Solomon Northup tells of the real-life encounter of Solomon Northup, a free man in New York, and how he was kidnapped, drugged, and sold as a slave. This book also proved to be the edifice on which the Academy-Award winning movie 12 Years a Slave was produced.

                                                Buy this book!

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                This comprehensive list incorporates some of the most acclaimed books on racism, offering in-depth insight on these issues. Furthermore, these books will cultivate the fervor you need to fight racism and completely curb it.

                                                More Insightful Books

                                                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via


                                                [1] Journal on Race, Inequality, and Social Mobility in America: Investigating Vigilance: A New Way to Account for the Account for the Effects of Racism on Health Inequities

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                                                Anna Chui

                                                Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                                                1 How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life 2 How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide) 3 How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion 4 What To Do If My Wife Doesn’t Respect Me 5 13 Simple Ways To Express Gratitude Daily

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                                                Last Updated on April 14, 2021

                                                How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                                                How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

                                                We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

                                                Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

                                                Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

                                                Expressing Anger

                                                Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

                                                Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

                                                Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

                                                Being Passive-Aggressive

                                                This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

                                                Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

                                                This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.



                                                Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

                                                An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

                                                Ongoing Anger

                                                Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

                                                Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

                                                Healthy Ways to Express Anger

                                                What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

                                                Being Honest

                                                Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

                                                Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

                                                Being Direct

                                                Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.


                                                Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

                                                Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

                                                Being Timely

                                                When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

                                                Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

                                                Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

                                                How to Deal With Anger

                                                If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

                                                1. Slow Down

                                                From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

                                                In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.


                                                When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

                                                2. Focus on the “I”

                                                Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

                                                When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

                                                3. Work out

                                                When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

                                                Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

                                                Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

                                                If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

                                                4. Seek Help When Needed

                                                There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.


                                                5. Practice Relaxation

                                                We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

                                                That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

                                                Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

                                                6. Laugh

                                                Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

                                                7. Be Grateful

                                                It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

                                                Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

                                                During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

                                                Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

                                                More Resources on Anger Management

                                                Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via


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