These are the bestselling books about racism you can read right now


bestselling books racism, How To Be an Antiracist
(Image credit: Getty)

#GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #TrayvonMartin. They’re just some of the names that led to the prominence of the movement we’ve all seen everywhere over the past few weeks. And for many, these names have inspired us to read more and do better. If you are on a self-educating mission, then this list of best-sellers about social justice and race is a great place to start...

Amazon's best-sellers list changes hourly. It's usually dominated by critically acclaimed award-winning novelists. But not right now, it's dominated by Black voices and books about racism, after the social injustices that have plagued the lives of Black communities across the world for generations are finally coming to the forefront of conversations everywhere.

The horrific murder of George Floyd, a Black American man who lost his life at the hands of a white police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has ignited millions to get behind the movement, #BlackLivesMatter, which was started in 2013. It was launched after unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighbourhood watch coordinator.

MORE:This is why we can’t ignore Belly Mujinga’s story - and how you can help fight for justice

The news of George Floyd's murder came just weeks after the merciless killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was murdered while out for a jog.

These tragic events have given people a glimpse at the racism and injustice that Black people face. Understandably, many people want this to change and are starting by trying to understand the problem and their role in it.

So here are 14 recommended reads for non-Black people about race and white privilege

14 best-selling books about racism to read right now

#1. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

Not only is it an eye-opening read, this incredible book just made history. Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race topped Nielsen BookScan’s UK top 50 in the week to 13 June, making her the first black British author to take the top slot since Nielsen began recording book sales in 2001.

Based on a 2014 blog post by the author, this looks back at the history of Black people living in the UK and how class movement resulted in disconnected conversations about race between Black people and white people.

An essential read for anyone who wants to better understand race relations in Britain today.

SHOP NOW: Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, £4.53, Amazon

#2. Me and White Supremacy, Layla F Saad

me and white supremacy, books on race

A useful guide into how to recognise your own privilege and understand how to challenge white supremacy.

SHOP NOW: Me and White Supremacy, £4.99, Amazon

#3. Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire, Akala

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

By touching on his own personal experiences with racism, award-winning musician Akala identifies the social, historical and political factors that have lead to today’s society.

SHOP NOW: Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire, £4.99, Amazon

#4. How To Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

how to be anti-racist, books on race

‘Not being racist is not enough. We have to be antiracist’. It’s a saying that we’ve seen all over in the past few weeks as the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been rising up.

The vital read aims to open our eyes on how everyone, whether we mean to or not, can be complicit in racism and explores how to identify and tackle it.

SHOP NOW: How To Be An Antiracist, £2.99, Amazon

#5. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow, books on race

Civil rights lawyer and activist Michelle looks at the mass incarceration of Black men in the USA during a when racial discrimination has simply changed its face, rather than been abolished.

SHOP NOW: The New Jim Crow, £4.99, Amazon

#6. Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X

Malcom X, books on race

The historic figure’s autobiography tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement in America and his own fight for equality of Black men and women in the country.

SHOP NOW: Autobiography of Malcolm X, £8.53, Amazon

#7. Long Walk To Freedom, Nelson Mandela

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

Another important autobiography from an historic figure, this memoir of resilience and hardship will help readers develop an understanding into the history of Black people in America and their excruciating journey towards a time when things are still so broken.

SHOP NOW: Long Walk To Freedom, £11.99, Amazon

#8. They Can’t Kill Us All, Wesley Lowery

they can't kill us all, books on race

A crucial piece of literature to help us all understand the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, this account tells the story of the brutal police killings that have continued to spark activism across America.

SHOP NOW: They Can’t Kill Us All, £3.99, Amazon

#9. So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo

so you want to talk about race, books on race

A modern account that addresses all of the issues that face Black people in today’s America.

SHOP NOW: So You Want To Talk About Race, £6.99, Amazon

#10. Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine

citizen, books on race

This collection of different creative forms explores the effects of racism on a Western society that is supposedly progressive and past looking at colour.

SHOP NOW: Citizen: An American Lyric, £5.49, Amazon

Other important books to read on race

#11. Brit(ish), Afua Hirsch

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

A personal exploration of what it is to be a Black person living in Britain and trying to identify your own identity and belonging.

SHOP NOW: Brit(ish), £5.49, Amazon

#12. The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

A collection of essays bringing together Black, Asian and ethnic minority voices.

This discussion explores what it means to be an ‘other’ in a society that doesn’t always truly accept you.

SHOP NOW: The Good Immigrant, £3.49, Amazon

#13. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

James Baldwin’s two essays discuss the role of race in the history of American, as well as its connection to religion.

SHOP NOW: The Fire Next Time, £7.99, Amazon

#14. Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

bestselling books racism, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.jpg

A delve into fiction that follows the struggle of mostly female and mostly Black people living in Britain in an effort to understand today’s society.

SHOP NOW: Girl, Woman, Other, £5.99, Amazon

Other useful resources to read

By listening, learning and educating ourselves and those around us, we’ll all be in a better position to try and fight against the unacceptable prejudice that is racism.

•Information correct at the time of original publishing

Aleesha Badkar
Digital Beauty Editor, woman&home

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products—with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. In the past, she has worked as Shopping Writer at woman&home, gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team, contributed to Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto and earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London.