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How to Be an Anti-Racist: Audiobook Picks

Self-educate with these audiobooks about racism, antiracism, white fragility, and more.

Playlist Tags: topic: diversity topic: antiracism topic: black lives matter

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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“An incredibly generous, tender, and searingly honest book. Kiese Laymon is hands down one of the most talented American writers publishing right now. HEAVY overflows with deep love and deep pain. Laymon holds up a mirror to the US past, present - "We did not have to be this way. We will not ever have to be this way." I'm going back to read everything Laymon has ever written. {I listened to the audio book (highly recommend - it's read by the author).}”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Alex Neff, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute... Read more »

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Negroland

A Memoir

By Margo Jefferson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac-here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of Margo Jefferson's rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself... Read more »

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Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century

By Dorothy Roberts
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 14 hours 53 minutes

An incisive, groundbreaking book that examines how a biological concept of race is a myth that promotes inequality in a supposedly "post-racial" era. Though the Human Genome Project proved that human beings are not naturally divided by race, the emerging fields of personalized medicine, reproductive technologies, genetic genealogy, and DNA... Read more »

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The Condemnation of Blackness

Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America

By Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Narrated by: Mirron Willis
Length: 12 hours 43 minutes

Lynch mobs, chain gangs, and popular views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow South are well known. We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society. Following the 1890 census—the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery—crime statistics, new... Read more »

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Locking Up Our Own

Crime and Punishment in Black America

By James Forman, Jr.
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 8 hours 39 minutes

n original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law Today, Americans are debating our criminal justice system with new urgency. Mass incarceration and aggressive police tactics-and their impact on people of color-are feeding outrage and a consensus that something must be done. But what if we only know half the story? In Locking... Read more »

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition

By Michelle Alexander
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 16 hours 56 minutes

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexanders The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of... Read more »

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love... Read more »

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The Bluest Eye

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so... Read more »

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Charged

The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration

By Emily Bazelon
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 13 hours 1 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out.

“An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration.”—Bryan... Read more »

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Native Son

By Richard Wright
Narrated by: Peter Francis James
Length: 17 hours 45 minutes

Now an HBO Film!

“If one had to identify the single most influential shaping force in modern Black literary history, one would probably have to point to Wright and the publication of Native Son.” – Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was... Read more »

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Redefining Realness

My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

By Janet Mock
Narrated by: Janet Mock
Length: 8 hours 14 minutes

With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s... Read more »

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When Affirmative Action Was White

An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America

By Ira Katznelson
Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
Length: 8 hours 20 minutes

In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms designed by... Read more »

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Racism

A Very Short Introduction

By Ali Rattansi
Narrated by: Bill Andrew Quinn
Length: 5 hours 47 minutes

From subtle discrimination in everyday life and scandals in politics, to incidents like lynchings in the American South, cultural imperialism, and 'ethnic cleansing', racism exists in many different forms, in almost every facet of society. But what actually is race? How has racism come to be so firmly established? Why do so few people actually... Read more »

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