24 Books for Anti-Racist Teachers – White Fragiles Beware!

Ok, so you want to start a book club and you want to talk about race. But which books do you read? And how do you make sure you aren’t falling victim to white fragility? Check out these 24 books for anti-racist educators!

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Inspired by White Fragility

I was inspired by a recent teacher book list, that was supposed to “change your life.” But that shit was whiter than the Andy Griffith show.

Sorry, but that will NOT change your world.

Lots of books will make you feel comfortable with your whiteness and whiteness in general, even for people of color. Authors have been sparing your feelings and treating you like porcelain, but it’s time to let the bull loose in the proverbial china shop. White fragility needs to take a back seat. It’s time to talk about dismantling white supremacy culture and bring folks of color to the center.

Check out my 4 part article series on the book White Fragility.

Culturally responsive leaders, we are trying to change your mindset, so your actions change. If that happens, we might actually change the world for students of color and finally close the opportunity gap.

With hate crimes on the rise, not to mention mass shootings, police brutality, and our current conservative politics, there is NO time to waste.

Chris Emdin in his dope book writes, “The work for white folks who teach in urban schools, then, is to unpack their privilege and excavate the institutional, societal, and personal histories they bring with them when they come to the Hood.” People of Color have to decolonize their minds as well, because we have been socialized to colonize as well.

Change starts with the right books. Check these out!


24+ Anti-Racist Books for Educators

  1. We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina Love
  2. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond (here’s what I learned about leading CRT)
  3. Pushout by Monique Morris
  4. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  5. How We Fight White Supremacy by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin 
  6. Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools by Howard Stevenson
  7. Multiplication is for White People by Lisa Delpit
  8. How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi
  9. Courageous Conversations about Race by Glenn Singleton
  10. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood by Chris Emdin
  11. Everyday Anti-Racism by Mica Pollock
  12. Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Tatum
  13. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (here’s my review)
  14. Subtractive Schooling by Angela Valenzuela
  15. Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching by Sharroky Hollie
  16. Blind Spot by Banaji & Greenwald
  17. The Trouble with Black Boys by Pedro Noguera
  18. Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele
  19. Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies by Paris & Alim
  20. Culturally Responsive Teaching by Geneva Gay
  21. Black Youth Rising by Shawn Ginwright
  22. Write Rage by Carol Anderson
  23. Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates
  24. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  25. The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys by Moore, Michel & Penick-Parks
  26. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  27. Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

Reflection Questions

Regardless of what you read, there are some critical questions to consider while you read and as you think about taking action:

  • What does this have to do with me?
  • What can I change about my practice, curricula, relationships, policies?
  • How can I use this to center my teaching on my most marginalized students?
  • How do I take this last the grad school pontification and theorizing?
  • How does this connect with last things that I’ve learned?
  • How much more is there to learn?
  • Who can I share this with?
  • How can I lead my colleagues in taking up this work?

Conclusions – Book Clubs are Like Free Grad School

Educators want to be treated as professionals, up to date with the latest research. We want to be in control of our continued learning, and we want to connect with others. This is why book clubs are so powerful. By the way leaders, they can and should be teacher-led. It helps to have someone who is remotely familiar with the topic, but you can get by if everyone is exploring too.

Book Clubs are collaborative, help to construct knowledge, and build community.

Oxytocin, collectivism, and lots of chew time.

Sounds like they are culturally responsive teaching too. It’s good practice for kids too! The groups can be big or small. Teacher Librarians are great at spearheading these. Your districts might even give educators extra hours for attending a book club. The point of the book club is to talk, and you can either make it comfortable or be comfortable with discomfort. You will need some norms, protocols, and some sort of an agenda.

Good luck culturally responsive (anti-racist) leaders!


Other Lists:

Here’s my list from last summer and my leadership starter list.

Cult of Pedagogy List


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