Get us in your inbox

best books of 2016
Photograph: Shutterstock

These Black women are sharing anti-racism reading lists on Instagram

Add all these titles to your must-read list.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

There are a multitude of ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but—arguably—none will be as effective as educating ourselves on the topic.

To that intent, we've gathered a few reading lists offered on Instagram by a variety of Black women who run radical literary accounts, are literary professors and/or host podcasts exploring the subject of racism. Because who better than them to tell us what to delve into to truly understand the scope, vision and intent of the movement?

We suggest adding all these titles to your reading list and, perhaps, ordering them from Black-owned bookstores. Here is a map of over 60 of them throughout North America.

Without further ado, here is your summer reading material.




View this post on Instagram

LINK IN BIO! *feel free to share!* As we head into #blackouttuesday , thank you to each and every one of you who has reached out this week to check in, ask how they can help, ask what they can learn, vent, console, and support. With the amount of incredibly insightful questions I have received, I decided to make this Anti-Racist Resource Guide to support folks on their journey to allyship and anti-racism, as well as empower folks to be active agents of anti-racism in their day-to-day lives. I hope that you will share this widely with your friends, family, students, and colleagues so that this information can achieve maximum impact. Within this guide, please find information related to implicit bias, structural racism, community organizing, how to find protests and rallies, where to donate/sign petitions/volunteer, how to prepare for Election Day 2020, articles and books to read, videos shows and movies to watch, podcast to subscribe to, and Black businesses to support. Hopefully this guide is comprehensive enough to cover most questions but if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! Anti-racist education is part of my professional role and a core research focus for me as a PhD student; it is something I am deeply passionate about sharing with others. Please use me as a resource, HOWEVER, if you are not Black please do not ask the Black people in your life to perform the labor of teaching you about racism; that is not their responsibility. Please use this guide and the resources within it as a jumping off point for your own research and work toward anti-racism. Thank you for being an ally 💛✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 . . #antiracism #ally #allyship #blacklivesmatter #blm #blmla #blmboston #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonnataylor #justiceforbreonna #antiracistbookclub #nojusticenopeace #rally #protest #protestsign #icantbreathe #howtobeanantiracist #howtobeanally #problack #sayhername #amplifymelanatedvoices #restinpower #citeblackwomen #citeasista #blackowned #blackownedbusiness #buyblack #uprising

A post shared by Victoria Alexander (@victoriaalxndr) on


View this post on Instagram

Here’s the thing, you should’ve been reading Black authors before now. There’s really no excuse. But you’re here now, find somewhere to get started. And whatever you buy, buy it from a Black-owned bookstore, I personally recommend @sankofadc and @harrietts_bookshop. The books you keep seeing in every stack are sold out everywhere (great), but honestly, there are other options, like Assata’s autobiography. Read people’s lived experiences and then read more of what they wrote, listen to their speeches, listen to their interviews. Hold yourself accountable to a community so that you don’t read it and move on. The work to be anti-racist is lifelong and one book won’t help you reach that point, neither will one list of resources. And because of my friend @beingabookwyrm’s encouraging words, I will continue to share what I am reading because there is always room for joy, which books bring me. I am grounded and uplifted when I read stories of resistance and survival, but I am also filled when I am able to read stories of Black people just existing and loving each other. Our books are not just depictions of our pain and if that’s what you’re focused on as you’re purchasing books, back away and re-evaluate your purchase. Or maybe buy a book a Black person wants to read so you can redistribute your wealth. Anyway, this was what I read in May. Every single one in the stack has its own post if you scroll back.

A post shared by Antonia-BlackGirlThatReads (@blackgirlthatreads) on


View this post on Instagram

#Blackout Reading List⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ #WellReadBlackGirl is a radical act of resistance 🖤 We stand in solidarity with the activists who are fighting against unrelenting state violence and oppression. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Our founder, @guidetoglo, collected her favorite essays, poems, interviews, and speeches that have influenced her understanding of Black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ As you read & educate yourself on the legacies of previous Black liberation movements, remember to support community organizers in their efforts - vote - donate to bail & mutual aid funds. ⁣ ⁣ Go beyond the book and make a tangible difference in the lives of Black people.⁣ ⁣ Last year's WRBG festival theme was “Reading for Resistance, Reading for Revival,” an evergreen theme for 21st century - what does it mean to arm ourselves with literary tools that serve as both resistance and revival? ⁣ ⁣ If you’re able please donate to our mission ✨ We’re preparing for a virtual literary festival in the fall ✨ 🖤 Link in bio. ⁣ ⁣ #wellreadblackgirl #wrbg #blacklivesmatter #wellreadblackgirls ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣ Freedom Is a Constant Struggle⁣⁣ Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King Jr⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation⁣ by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Counting Descent by Clint Smith⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Futures of Black Radicalism⁣⁣ Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin - Editors⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines ⁣⁣ Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens, Mai'a Williams - Editors⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We're On: A June Jordan Reader⁣⁣ Christoph Keller, Jan Heller Levi, Rachel Eliza Griffith - Editors⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy⁣⁣ Book by Carol Anderson⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN/Radical WRITING⁣⁣ Erica Hunt and Dawn Lundy Martin - Editors

A post shared by Well-Read Black Girl (@wellreadblackgirl) on


View this post on Instagram

It’s hard to say which books are the “best” that we read on a particular subject. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ I usually judge books based on how deeply I resonate with them and am changed by them. This by @esglaude is one that changed me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ As many Americans have grown tired of the empty promise of equality, Glaude issues a call for a revolution of value that dismantles the value gap—the belief that black lives are less valuable than others. The black experience with COVID-19 has revealed inequalities that have been there all along—in health care, power, wealth, education, income, and incarceration. And then there is Ahmaud, Breonna, and Sean—all young, brilliant, black and murdered. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ As we deal with this present racial nightmare, Glaude’s manifesto—to change our view of government, black people, upend racial habits, and what matters to us as Americans— is as relevant today as it was in 2016. I bought it in 2017 and as you can see, it is well worn. It changed my life and I believe it will change yours as well. He is our James Baldwin.⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #democracy #democracyinblack #race #racism #ahmaudarbery #breonnataylor #seanreed #blacklivesmatter #politics #penguinrandomhouse #hope #faith #love #justice #readersofinstagram #blackwriter #keepfighting

A post shared by Danté Stewart (Stew) (@stewartdantec) on


View this post on Instagram

I don’t even know where to start. • • We have to stop being ok with the White terrorism that is America. We have to stop being ok with executions of black bodies becoming a normal part of our social media feeds. We do ourselves a disservice if we don’t understand our history. If we think this is new. If we think this is normal. • • If you’re Black: I see you. I feel you. I’m exhausted too. We are beautiful. We are worthy. We matter. If you’re not Black: stop the performative solidarity and figure out what you can do. Work on yourself. Work on your community. Support the people who are doing the work. Get okay with the idea that if change is to come, you’re going to have to readjust your relationship to your privilege. • • I just put together a list of 50+ nonfiction books that deal in anti-Black racism and anti-racism. This stack is just the tip of the iceberg. • • Please share your favorite books that deal in anti-Black racism. • • Keep reading. Do the work. #thestacks

A post shared by The Stacks (@thestackspod) on

Most popular on Time Out

Get paid $20,000 (plus free beer and gear) to hike the Appalachian Trail next year
A new Harvard study advises couples to wear masks and avoid kissing while having sex
How to donate to bail-out funds in 30 different U.S. cities
Turks and Caicos will reopen for tourism on July 22
The future of restaurant dining is reservation-only

You may also like
You may also like