In a nutshell, this is what white privilege is: white privilege refers to a societal opportunity that benefits white people over non-white people in some societies, especially if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. In other words, while you may have hardships in your life as any human being does–the color of your skin is not one of the factors.
If you are here, that means you want to learn more about your privilege in the world, and that’s great! Honestly, more people need to be like you. There is nothing wrong with educating yourself and unlearning thoughts and ideas that were taught to you, which is why I made this easier on you by compiling ten white privilege books that can bring you to a better understanding.
So You Want To Talk About Race
This book is a New York Times bestseller and is written by Ijeoma Oluo. Why is this book so highly recommended? The book is user friendly. I know, a weird way to put it, but she describes white supremacy in a way that anyone can understand it. She talks about everything, including police brutality, the mass incarceration of black people in America, and even topics that are uncomfortable to talk about, like how some jokes are insensitive or why you shouldn’t touch a black person’s hair. A definite must-read.
The New Jim Crow: Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness
This is a popular book. You might’ve even seen a few of your friends reading this, and there is a reason for it. The author, Michelle Alexander, talks about the system in the United States and how there are a lot of Black people are in jail/prison. The book also talks about how Black Americans are denied their rights continuously and treated as if they are nothing in the world.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism
This book was written by Robin DiAngelo, who is challenging people to work against and understand their white fragility. She talks about how white people tend to react as if someone is attacking them when spoken to about racism. As a diversity and inclusion training facilitator, she has encountered many people and talks about how they each see racism in the world. DiAngelo makes points about how everyone perceives racism differently in the book and how we should see it as one type of racism.
How To Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, And The Racial Divide
This book, by Crystal Marie Fleming, is pretty much a book that doubles as a guide. According to The Book Table, Fleming discusses the misconceptions and the corrupted teachings of race in the classroom, the media, politics, and even in pop culture. Racial issues in this country are not new. The Book Table also states that Fleming provides a fresh, accessible and “irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our national conversation about race,” a conversation that the world needs.
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth Of Our Racial Divide
This book brings to light how white privilege is prevalent in our country in a way that anyone can understand–white rage. The author, Carol Anderson, talks about how structural racism exists whenever Black Americans have any type of social power, as there is this huge outcry. She talks about the Jim Crow Era. She talks about the Brown V. Board of Education, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the war on drugs. She also talks about all the ways America has tried to disenfranchise Black voters.
Witnessing Whiteness: The Need To Talk About Race And How To Do It
Shelly Tochluk invites her readers to try and realize what it means to be white in America. She describes and critiques how whites have the privilege to ignore racial issues that are happening around them. Tochluk paints a picture of white people uncomfortable talking about their privilege or talking about what issues people of color face in their day to day lives. This book isn’t just a tell-all. It also gives examples with well-known people and provides personal statements and stories. The last few chapters even give you some ideas on how to continue learning and how to keep the discussion going.
The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism To People Who Don’t Want To Know
This is more for people (especially anyone in a leadership position) who want to be more informed about racism and how to speak to others who don’t understand. The author, Tema Okun, offers theoretical and practical approaches that can effectively address racism and oppressive constructs. Okun offers her own experience in teaching and advocating for race and racism in the classroom and the community. She starts off explaining how, in the western world, racism in our day-to-day lives is still alive and continuing. She addresses how other educators, activists, and researchers teach others, and she incorporates that in her own day-to-day life.
Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways To Authentic Relationships Across Race
Understanding White Privilege goes into the complex interplay between race, power, and privilege in both our everyday lives and our daily professional lives. Frances E. Kendall allows readers to think personally about race, how they were affected–if they were–and how they can use others’ experiences to learn from it. The book sparks a “just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen” kind of discussion.
Understanding And Dismantling Racism: The Twenty-First Century Challenge To White America
Published in 2007, this book ism’t exactly brand new. This book is author Joseph R. Barndt’s replacement volume to his original Dismantling Racism book that was published in 1991. He traces the history of racism–especially in America–revealing a lot in personal, institutional, and cultural forms. Without demeaning any race, he tries to bring about a conversation that is needed to be had. He talks about how we, as a whole, can end racism. He also talks about the difference in equality people of color face when it comes to housing, education, income, and health. He brings real peoples’ lives into this book.
We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America
This book highlights a bunch of writings that give detail of the grassroots actions of social and political activists dating back to the civil rights era. It provides significant points on white supremacy and the war machine through history. The wide range of voices from scholars to activists gives the book a personal feel without being too personal.
Whether you have been an ally, or you just started to learn about the racism that plagues this country, reading more into this topic is a great start. Continue to do so and continue to grow.
Do you have white privilege books that illustrate what’s going on? How do you start the conversation with people who don’t want to listen? Let us know in the comments!
Hey! My name is Pauline and I'm from Los Angeles! Super nice to have you all read my articles! A little about me: I am a college graduate. I received my B.A. in Journalism and New Media in 2019. I have a passion for writing anything about lifestyle. If there is a story to tell; I'll tell it!