Books about Race Relations

  1. The Years of Rice and Salt

    by Kim Stanley Robinson
    Alternate history of a world without Europeans, where new cultures and civilizations rise.

    The story is divided into ten parts. Book One, Awake to Emptiness , begins with Bold and Psin, scouts in Timur 's army, discovering a Magyar city where all the inhabitants have died from a plague. ... (Wikipedia)

  2. Go Down, Moses

    by William Faulkner
    A collection of interconnected stories about the McCaslin family and their relationship with the land and African Americans in the South.

    “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion ... (Goodreads)

  3. Cry, the Beloved Country

    by Alan Paton
    A journey of faith in a divided land, seeking justice and reconciliation.

    In the remote village of Ndotsheni, in the Natal province of eastern South Africa , the Reverend Stephen Kumalo receives a letter from a fellow minister summoning him to Johannesburg . He is needed ... (Wikipedia)

  4. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

    by Dee Brown
    An in-depth account of the displacement of Native American tribes by the US government.

    Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history The New York Times called "Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking...Impossible to put ... (Goodreads)

  5. The Sellout

    by Paul Beatty
    An outrageous satire of race and civil rights in modern America.

    The novel concerns a narrator, referred to by his childhood nickname "Bonbon" or his last name, "Me," who attempts to reintroduce segregation and keep a slave named Hominy in Dickens, his Los Angeles ... (Wikipedia)

  6. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    An exploration of the Obama years, and the racial injustices that still plague America.

    "We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. ... (Goodreads)

  7. The Sympathizer

    by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    Vietnam War refugee returns to his homeland and struggles to reconcile conflicting loyalties.

    It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be ... (Goodreads)

  8. Race Matters

    by Cornel West
    A critique of the structures of racism and prejudice in society and how they shape our lives.

    In this essay collection, many of which have previously appeared in journals, West, the director of Afro-American studies at Princeton & author of several books, addresses a number of issues of ... (Goodreads)

  9. Imago

    by Octavia E. Butler
    A journey through a post-apocalyptic future, exploring the power of human connection and love.

    The stunning conclusion to a postapocalyptic trilogy about an alien species merging with humans—from “one of science fiction’s finest writers” (TheNew York Times). Human and Oankali have been mating ... (Goodreads)

  10. Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

    by Ron Hall
    A story of unlikely friendship and redemption, set in the backdrop of racial and economic divides.

    A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so ... (Goodreads)

  11. Little Fires Everywhere

    by Celeste Ng
    A story of two families clashing over the custody of a Chinese-American baby in a suburban Ohio town.

    The story starts in 1998 where the Richardson home in Shaker Heights, Ohio catches fire. Arson is suspected, as there were multiple small fires. The previous year, 1997, Elena Richardson rents her ... (Wikipedia)

  12. The Fire Next Time

    by James Baldwin
    Reflection on the plight of African Americans in a candid and deeply moving essay.

    A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James ... (Goodreads)

  13. March: Book Three

    by John Lewis
    The civil rights movement recounted through the eyes of Congressman Lewis and other activists.

    Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins ... (Barnes & Noble)

  14. Ragtime

    by E.L. Doctorow
    Interweaving stories of disparate individuals as they navigate the changing social and cultural landscape of early 20th century America.

    The novel centers on a wealthy family living in New Rochelle, New York , referred to as Father, Mother, Mother's Younger Brother, Grandfather, and 'the little boy', Father and Mother's young son. The ... (Wikipedia)

  15. The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson

    by Jeffrey Toobin
    A detailed account of the O.J. Simpson trial, exploring the legal strategies and social dynamics that shaped the case.

    A behind-the-scenes look at the crime of the century and the legal proceedings that followed sheds new light in the arrest and trial of O.J. Simpson, the evidence in the case, and the role of the ... (Goodreads)

  16. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    by Isabel Wilkerson
    An exploration of the life-changing journeys of the millions of African-Americans who migrated from the South to the North, Midwest, and West from 1915 to 1970.

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black ... (Goodreads)

  17. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

    by Carol Anderson
    Examination of systemic racism in the United States and its effects on African Americans.

    From the Civil War to our combustible present,, White Rage r,eframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America–now in paperback with ... (Goodreads)

  18. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

    by Heidi W. Durrow
    A young black girl's story of survival, resilience, and self-discovery in a world of racial prejudice.

    "The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, can actually fly." —,The New York Times Book Review, , Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a ... (Barnes & Noble)

  19. Little Fires Everywhere

    by Celeste Ng
    Unexpected tensions arise between two families in a small American town.

    The #1, New York Times, bestseller! “Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel.” —Paula Hawkins, author of, The Girl on the Train, and, A Slow Fire Burning,“To say I love this book is an understatement. ... (Barnes & Noble)

  20. Bluebird, Bluebird

    by Attica Locke
    A Texas Ranger investigates a double homicide in a town full of secrets and racial tensions.

    A powerful thriller about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice from a writer and producer of the Emmy winning Fox TV show, Empire,. When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays ... (Goodreads)

  21. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

    by Charles J. Shields
    A biography of Harper Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," exploring her life and the inspiration behind her iconic novel.

    "A fine, well-rounded portrait of Harper Lee. Mockingbird is good reading."—Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) To Kill a Mockingbird —the twentieth century's most widely read American novel—has sold thirty ... (Goodreads)

  22. Boy, Snow, Bird

    by Helen Oyeyemi
    A retelling of Snow White set in 1950s America, exploring themes of identity, race and family.

    Boy Novak, a young white girl, is born to an abusive father who works as an exterminator and whom she refers to as the rat catcher. In the winter of 1953, when she is twenty years old, Boy runs away ... (Wikipedia)

  23. Chains

    by Laurie Halse Anderson
    A young girl's mission to secure her and her sister's freedom from enslavement.

    As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become ... (Goodreads)

  24. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

    by Ayana Mathis
    A multigenerational story of an African-American family's struggles and successes.

    “A remarkable page-turner of a novel.” —,Chicago Tribune, In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd, swept up by the tides of the Great Migration, flees Georgia and heads north. Full of hope, she ... (Barnes & Noble)

  25. Hidden Figures

    by Margot Lee Shetterly
    The untold story of the African-American women who made invaluable contributions to NASA's space program in the 1960s.

    The #1 New York Times Bestseller. Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space ... (Goodreads)

  26. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

    by Manning Marable
    A biography exploring the life of Malcolm X, civil rights activist and leader.

    Selected by, The New York Times Book Review, as a Notable Book of the Year Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figure in twentieth-century ... (Goodreads)

  27. Knife Edge

    by Malorie Blackman
    A gripping tale of love, betrayal, and family secrets. Two teens from different worlds are brought together by a shocking revelation.

    WHEN TRUTH AND JUSTICE ARE NO LONGER BLACK AND WHITE ISSUES . . . Sephy is a Cross, one of the privileged in a society where the ruling Crosses treat the pale-skinned noughts as inferiors. But her ... (Goodreads)

  28. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America

    by Gilbert King
    A gripping story of racial injustice in the Jim Crow-era America and the fight for justice.

    Devil in the Grove is the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of ... (Goodreads)

  29. Another Country

    by James Baldwin
    An exploration of race and identity, examining the lives of a diverse group of characters.

    The book uses a third-person narrator who is nevertheless closely aware of the characters' emotions. , :,219, The first fifth of Another Country tells of the downfall of jazz drummer Rufus Scott. He ... (Wikipedia)

  30. God Help the Child

    by Toni Morrison
    A dark tale of the consequences of childhood trauma and its effects on identity and relationships.

    A young girl with blue-black skin is neglected and abused by the light-skinned parents who are ashamed of her. Lula Ann Bridewell, who calls herself "Bride", is blue-black beautiful, the kind of ... (Wikipedia)

  31. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877

    by Eric Foner
    A comprehensive analysis of the Reconstruction era in America, exploring the political, social, and economic changes that occurred after the Civil War.

    This "masterful treatment of one of the most complex periods of American history" ( New Republic ) made history when it was originally published in 1988. It redefined how Reconstruction was viewed by ... (Goodreads)

  32. Jasper Jones

    by Craig Silvey
    An Australian coming-of-age story, exploring racial prejudice and the power of friendship.

    The protagonist Charlie Bucktin is a quiet, book loving, 13-year-old boy who lives in the fictitious rural town of Corrigan, Western Australia. On a summer evening in 1965, Charlie receives an ... (Wikipedia)

  33. Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements

    by Malcolm X
    A collection of speeches and statements by Malcolm X, showcasing his powerful and controversial views on race, religion, and social justice.

    These are the major speeches made by Malcolm X during the last tumultuous eight months of his life. In this short period of time, his vision for abolishing racial inequality in the United States ... (Goodreads)

  34. Pink and Say

    by Patricia Polacco
    A powerful story of friendship and courage between two Civil War soldiers.

    The story begins during the times of the Civil War. Sheldon Russell Curtis or "Say", a white Union Soldier is badly wounded on the battlefield. He tries to escape with an injured leg, but cannot due ... (Wikipedia)

  35. China Dolls

    by Lisa See
    Three young Chinese women struggle for identity and independence during WWII.

    China Dolls centers on three young women who are attracted to the San Francisco nightclub scene right before American involvement in World War II . At first Grace Lee, Helen Fong, and Ruby Tom seem ... (Wikipedia)

  36. The Mis-Education of the Negro

    by Carter G. Woodson
    A critical analysis of the education system's failure to properly educate African Americans, leading to a perpetuation of inequality and oppression.

    The Mis-Education of the Negro is one of the most important books on education ever written. Carter G. Woodson shows us the weakness of Euro-centric based curriculums that fail to include African ... (Goodreads)

  37. Detroit: An American Autopsy

    by Charlie LeDuff
    An in-depth examination of the decline of Detroit, focusing on the people and stories behind the city's fall.

    In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age—mass production, ... (Goodreads)

  38. Sycamore Row

    by John Grisham
    A lawyer in Mississippi must unravel a mysterious will and its secrets.

    The title refers to a row of sycamore trees in the countryside near the fictional town of Clanton, in fictional Ford County, Mississippi . The trees play an important role in the book's plot, though ... (Wikipedia)

  39. Comanche Moon

    by Larry McMurtry
    A story of the waning days of the Comanche warriors, set in 19th century Texas.

    THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER The second book of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove tetralogy, Comanche Moon takes us once again into the world of the American West. Texas Rangers August McCrae and Woodrow ... (Goodreads)

  40. The Lover

    by Marguerite Duras
    A young French girl's exploration of passion, love, and relationships in French Indochina.

    Set against the backdrop of French Indochina , The Lover reveals the intimacies and intricacies of a clandestine romance between a pubescent girl from a financially strapped French family and an ... (Wikipedia)

  41. Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories

    by Flannery O'Connor
    A collection of stories that explore themes of race, faith, and morality in the South.

    Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she ... (Goodreads)

  42. Telegraph Avenue

    by Michael Chabon
    Two friends navigate life's obstacles to keep their record store afloat in a changing neighborhood.

    Set in 2004, Archy Stallings, who is black, and Nat Jaffe, who is Jewish, are proprietors of Brokeland Records, a record shop located in north Oakland for twelve years. Their used vinyl business is ... (Wikipedia)

  43. The Blind Side

    by Michael Lewis
    Story of an underprivileged African-American teen who is rescued and mentored by a wealthy white family.

    The #1 New York Times Bestseller "Lewis has such a gift for storytelling…he writes as lucidly for sports fans as for those who read him for other reasons." —Janet Maslin, New York Times When we first ... (Barnes & Noble)

  44. Child of All Nations

    by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
    A young girl navigates life in colonial Indonesia, facing poverty, injustice, and the struggle for independence.

    The story continues where This Earth of Mankind leaves off, shortly after Annelies has departed by ship to the Netherlands with Panji Darman secretly in tow. Having promised to watch over Annelies, ... (Wikipedia)

  45. A Man in Full

    by Tom Wolfe
    A portrait of Atlanta's elite and the racial and economic divides that plague society.

    The setting is Atlanta, Georgia — a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a ... (Goodreads)

  46. Nigger

    by Dick Gregory

    "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night..." ... (Goodreads)

  47. Towers Falling

    by Jewell Parker Rhodes
    A young girl learns about the events of 9/11 and how it affected her family and community.

    From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks in a classroom of students who cannot remember the event but live through the aftermath ... (Barnes & Noble)

  48. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

    by Annette Gordon-Reed
    The story of the Hemings family, enslaved by Thomas Jefferson, and their complex relationship with him and his family.

    This epic work tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal ... (Goodreads)

  49. Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

    by Beverly Daniel Tatum
    Exploration of racial identity and the role of schools in creating and maintaining racial divides.

    Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly ... (Goodreads)

  50. The Story of Ruby Bridges

    by Robert Coles
    Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African American girl, becomes the first to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.

    "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, They don't know what they're doing." This is the true story of an extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape ... (Goodreads)

  51. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

    by Lisa See
    A memoir of four generations of a Chinese-American family, from the Gold Rush era to modern times.

    When she was a girl, Lisa See spent summers in the cool, dark recesses of her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown. There, her grand-mother and great-aunt told her intriguing, colorful ... (Goodreads)

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