There are PLENTY of resource recommendations out there for those interested in learning more about racism and anti-racism (just Google “best X (books, movies, podcasts, etc.) on racism,” “antiracist reading list,” etc.).
However, I’m worried that, especially for people who are not used to working their way through lengthy reading lists, getting so many recommendations at once will lead to nothing due to the paradox of choice. I’d much rather recommend a single book that someone will actually read than 100 books they won’t!
With that in mind, here is the reading, viewing, and listening shortlist that I am starting with. I’ve been biblically and theologically opposed to racism for awhile now, but I was convicted by the Rev. Canon Dr. Esau McCaulley recently when he said, like a good professor, that “we can tell when you haven’t done the reading.” I’ve done a bit of the reading (mainly The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race by Willie James Jennings, A Black Theology of Liberation by James Cone, and How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi), but not nearly enough.
So, if you’re looking for a place to start, I recommend the following as a beginning. Within each category, take a brief look at all 3 and then start with the 1 that interests you the most.
- The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby (Also, if you have Amazon Prime, there’s a free “Color of Compromise” video teaching series by Jemar Tisby)
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (I’ve listened to this on Audible, but I need to revisit it, along with Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
- Just Mercy (Amazon)
- I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon)
- 13th (Netflix)