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Five Books that help you learn more about U.S. History, regarding racial relationships:

The United States’ History classes and its books are not always covering everything that happened in the past. In those cases, it is down to the individual to start learning and acknowledging the lost stories of minorities. So, I created a small but powerful list of some books that are a must-read in order to learn more about racism and minority history throughout the United States!

#1: A People’s History of the United States

Book by Howard Zinn

This historical book written by Howard Zinn is simply one of the most powerful books you can read in order to get an unbiased view of history that might have not been discussed in your high school history classes! The book begins with Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas and his mistreatment of the indigenous people and goes on to emphasize the different forgotten stories throughout our history. The book utilizes very reliable primary sources as evidence of what the author claims. In these times, it’s very important for everyone to begin educating themselves on serious matters, and looking at social history is a great way to start!

Where you can find the Book:

#2: Can We Talk about Race?

Book by Beverly Daniel Tatum

This book is another great source to start learning about different racial groups and how to strive to be more anti-racist in your everyday life. In this publishment, University ProfessorTatum discusses the different discussions that must be done between racial groups and how to get more comfortable talking about these difficult topics! Remember that race should not be a topic to feel embarrassed or afraid to discuss, it is part of our life and thus should not be ignored.

Where to find the Book:

#3: Between the World and Me

Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This amazing autobiography discusses the life of Ta-Nehisi Coates, an African-American who goes through hardships as a result of systemic racism, and the story exposes the realities of how Black people are treated in the United States. This book documents real-life situations in which the author had to go through from his childhood, all the way to his adulthood. This magnificent piece of literature is a must-read as it was only published in 2015 and shows how racism is not something of the past but very much in the present as well.

Where to find the Book:

#4 White Like Me

Book by Tim Wise

So far, all the authors that have been mentioned are people of color and have experienced racism first hand... Want to learn about the obligation of those who have white privilege? Then reading Tim Wise’s memoir would be a great start for you. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Wise and he’s simply an amazing speaker who shows how fighting racism is everyone’s responsibility but especially important to those who help uphold it (knowingly or unknowingly). He discusses how white privilege and racism is something most White people are not aware of, especially to those growing up in less diverse environments. Wise based his book title on the book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin if you would like to check that out as well!

Where to read the book:

#5 Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Book by Bryan Stevenson

The astonishing bibliography follows the life of a recent Black law graduate from Harvard who struggles in his work field as he fights to uncover the injustice and mistreatment that Black people have to go through as a result of a corrupt justice system. This amazing publication has been adapted as a movie featuring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan.

Where to read the book:

Check out the movie as well:

This concludes our list, however, do not forget that there are many more books and movies out there that can help you be more educated about how race relations have played out in American history and its significance. This is simply a list to begin with, that I hope can offer some guidance, especially to kids and teenagers who never got the chance to learn about racism and social history!

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