I’m so happy to be back on the Mama Bear Blog, this time with book suggestions centering on race, race relations, and race in America. February is Black History Month, so we thought it would be appropriate to share with you some of the books I have recently read surrounding the topic. The current political climate and the Black Lives Matter movement have opened my eyes to issues of race in a way they they hadn’t been previously. Why? Because they didn’t have to be, thanks to my white privilege and the fact that I live in a mostly white town. However, I don’t want to be willfully ignorant to the issue any more.
Last year, I made a conscious effort to read both fiction and nonfiction focused on race. This post include a list and short description of some of my favorite. By no means is this a comprehensive list and in no way do I want to paint myself as an expert. I am just a white lady trying to get woke and this is where I’ve started. If you’re in the same situation, maybe one of these books will spark your interest and lead you to an understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement or what people mean when they talk about white privilege.
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain, by Phoebe Robinson: Funny and insightful, full of pop culture references, also a strong feminist viewpoint.
Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah: About his upbringing in South Africa and fully relevant to our current political situation.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson: An absolute must read about our justice system. I said MUST read.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates: If you’re ready to get a hard lesson in what it’s like to be black in America, read this.
How to Be Black, by Baratunde Thurston: He uses a humorous voice to describe what it’s like to always be the “representative of blackness.”
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett: The secret that all the characters in this book revolve around is an abortion, so it may not be for everyone, but I was mesmerized by this book.
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Mesmerizing observations on race in America from the viewpoint of non-American Blacks.
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead: This book takes a good, hard look at our history as it re-imagines the underground railroad as an actual railroad.
All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely: Not perfect, but a great place for white tweens to start thinking about the subject matter.
Lindsey Sinnwell is a married mother of four living in the suburbs in Iowa and will be contributing a monthly literary reflection on the Mama Bear Blog. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, she is returning to her alma mater to pursue her teaching certification in English. She is much cooler than she sounds and is always looking for new book-loving friends. You can find her on Instagram at @mrssinnwellreads.