White allies can form reading groups to educate ourselves about the history, systems, and other realities of racial oppression in this country; and to equip ourselves with knowledge and skills to be more effective and proactive anti-racists. Having these discussions within an affinity group of white people pushes us to take responsibility for educating ourselves, rather than assuming people of color will carry that full burden. A reading group across racial difference can also be of great value, given clear ground-rules regarding white people's commitment to doing our own work, and an expectation that people of color will bring their full selves, without trying to protect the feelings of white folks.This page contains both suggested readings, and potential discussion questions to accompany those readings.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need. JUST MERCY is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.