How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
Racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value, a warped logic that regards one skin color, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation as being above another. Antiracism is a transformative concept that points us towards new ways of thinking and forming a just and equitable society.
Love Thy Neighbor
Ayaz Virji, M.D.
After Dr. Ayaz Virji moved to Minnesota, the political climate in the working-class county shifted, and he and his children faced anti-Muslim bullying. But when a local church invited Dr. Virji to speak, addressing misconceptions about Muslims, he found hearts and minds opening in beautiful ways.
Justyce McAllister is a good friend and an honor student but the cop putting him in handcuffs only sees a black kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, Justyce begins to write a journal addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., seeking his advice and counsel for the modern era.
Tell Me Who You Are
Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi deferred college admission to travel around the U.S. talking to people about their race and identity. Telling our stories—and listening deeply to the stories of others—are the first and most crucial steps we can take towards negating racial inequity in our culture.
The Line Becomes a River
The grandson of a Mexican immigrant, Francisco Cantú eventually grows up to join the Border Patrol. After years of hunting his fellow men, he quits. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú explores the violence the border wreaks, on both sides of the line.
Juliet Takes a Breath
This YA novel tells the gutsy story of Juliet, a Puerto Rican college student from the Bronx, who, on the night before heading to Oregon to intern with white feminist author Harlowe Brisbane, comes out to her family as a lesbian—and it does not go well.
Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition, Adapted for Young Adults)
Adapted for young adults, Bryan Stevenson’s bestselling book tells his story of founding the Equal Justice Initiative—dedicated to defending those most in need—and the young man sentenced to die for a murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case transforms Stevenson’s understanding of mercy forever.
It’s no question the United States is divided over many issues—but books can create common ground and understanding. These seven political books illuminate some of today’s controversial topics in illustrative and discursive ways.
Featured image: Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash