BIPOC black lives matter books

Allyship begins with understanding, and understanding starts with education.

The global protests and Black Lives Matter movement that followed the murder of George Floyd – and countless other Black Americans at the hands of police – have been nothing short of groundbreaking. They have shifted not only they way we view the world, but how we conduct ourselves. How we see others. How we treat others. How we can help others.

While it’s only the very tip of the iceberg, the best way to get informed about racism and white supremacy is by opening your mind to film, TV and literature. There are so many critical books to read, so many films to watch.

BIPOC black lives matter books

Watching and listening and reading Black voices isn’t allyship or antiracism, but it’s a step in the right direction. Let the poems of Audre Leon move you. The films of Spike Lee shock you. The essays of James Baldwin haunt you. These are the voices we should be listening to right now. These are the voices that will educate you – us – on the black experience in America – and the world – in a way so profound, so powerful, they will leave an indelible mark forever and hopefully, spark change.

READ: What We’re Watching: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Is Rich In Hope

While by no means a definitive list, this edit of books by Nicole Richie is a pretty good place to start. Richie recently shared some of her favourite BIPOC books on Instagram with this poignant note:

“Here are some of my books I want to share with you. Fill your house, your mind & your heart with Black stories. Black lives matter. Black stories matter.”

BIPOC black lives matter books

Below, a reading list to start with, and where to find them. if shipping is available to your country, please try these black-owned, independent bookstores first.  

Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid

Grand Union, Zadie Smith

I Am not your negro, James Baldwin

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo, Deckle Edge

feel free, Zadie Smith

Beloved, Toni Morrison

Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde

The water dancer, ta-nehisi coates

the bluest eye, toni Morrison 

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel, jesmyn ward

Stay with Me, Ayobami Adebayo

The color purple, alice walker

girl, woman, other, Bernardine Evaristo

there are more beautiful things than beyoncé, Morgan Parker

the weary blues, Langston Hughes

Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams

their eyes were watching god, Zora Neale Hurston

nickel boys, colson whitehead

behold the dreamers, Imbolo Mbue

a burst of light: Essays, Audre Lorde

native son, richard Wright

the black unicorn: poems, Audre Lorde

Shadow and Act, Ralph Ellison

We Were Eight Years in Power: an american tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Buck: A Memoir, M.K. Asante

The Last Interview: And Other Conversations, James Baldwin

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

song of Solomon, Toni Morrison

Baldwin: Collected Essays, James Baldwin

Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, Glory Edim

The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

the fire next time, james baldwin

swing time, zadie smith

the black unicorn: Poems, Audre Lorde

And Still I Rise, Maya Angelou

Zami: A New Spelling of my Name, Audre Lorde

Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine

Martin Luther King, Jr. The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Martin Luther King Jr.

All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks

Tar Baby, Toni Morrison

The Mothers, Brit Bennett

Here comes the sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn

Tambourines to Glory, Langston Hughes

BIPOC black lives matter books