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Cover of So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Oluo gives us -- both white people and people of color -- that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases
- Jenny Bhatt, The National Book Review

Cover of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.
- Ibram X. Kendi, The New York Times

Cover of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

In “Stamped From the Beginning,” Kendi’s engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America, almost everyone is some kind of racist, whether wielding a whip or unfurling a protest banner.
- Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post

Cover of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L Moore

In No Ashes in the Fire, Darnell Moore writes a deeply personal memoir of growing up in the cross hairs of racism and homophobia in Camden ... But despite the shocking cruelty depicted in this book, Moore also infuses the pages with great humanity — humanity capable of great horror and even greater beauty. Moore’s descriptions of parental hands that could be a source of love as well as pain reminded me of some of the most beautiful scenes in Moonlight ... The reader will arrive at the end of this book with a respect for Moore and the many levels of self-realization he has reached, excited to see his already admirable career as a writer.
- Ijeoma Oluo, The New York Times

Cover of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’
- Ericka Taylor, NPR

Cover of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo

The value in White Fragility lies in its methodical, irrefutable exposure of racism in thought and action, and its call for humility and vigilance.
- Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

Cover of How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming

An essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and misconceptions that have corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media and politics, this book represents a sobering and urgently needed call to action for everyone who wants to challenge white supremacy and intersectional oppression.

Cover of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry's forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves. . . . Citizen throws a Molotov cocktail at the notion that reduction of injustice is the same as freedom.
- Holly Bass, The New York Times

Cover of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I had to read Between the World and Me twice before I was able to decide whether Coates actually did what I expected and hoped he would. He did not. Maybe that's a good thing…maybe, just maybe, this is what is most needed right now—a book that offers no answers but instead challenges us to wrestle with the questions on our own. Maybe this is the time for questioning, searching and struggling without really believing the struggle can be won…Whether you agree or disagree, one of the great joys of reading Ta-Nehisi Coates is being challenged in ways you didn't expect or imagine.
- Michelle Alexander, The New York Times

2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Cover of The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead continues to make a classic American genre his own. . . . The narration is disciplined and the sentences plain and sturdy, oars cutting into water. Every chapter hits its marks. . . . Whitehead comports himself with gravity and care, the steward of painful, suppressed histories; his choices on the page can feel as much ethical as aesthetic. The ordinary language, the clear pane of his prose, lets the stories speak for themselves. . . . Whitehead has written novels of horror and apocalypse; nothing touches the grimness of the real stories he conveys here
- Parul Seghal, The New York Times

Cover of Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser

A skilled, lively, prodigiously researched book that, in the main, neither whitewashes nor rebukes its subject: It works hard to make the reader see Sontag as the severely complex person she was. [Moser] writes vividly of a woman of parts determined to leave a mark on her time; and makes us feel viscerally how large those parts were — the arrogance, the anxiety, the reach! No mean achievement.
- Vivian Gornick, The New York Times

Cover of The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown’s The Tradition pays off on the first page (which opens with “Ganymede,” in which he reimagines the Greek myth: “I mean, don’t you want God / to want you?”) and just keeps on giving… As I read, I became a Jericho Brown fan for life. Writing is good words in good order; poetry is the best words in the best order. Brown’s words are in the best order possible.
- Vox

Cover of The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care by Anne Boyer

Anne Boyer’s radically unsentimental account of cancer and the 'carcinogenosphere' obliterates cliche. By demonstrating how her utterly specific experience is also irreducibly social, she opens up new spaces for thinking and feeling together. The Undying is an outraged, beautiful, and brilliant work of embodied critique.
- Ben Lerner, author of The Topeka School

Cover of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin

The End of the Myth aims, in part, to reposition race-based violence to the center of the frontier narrative [and] situate today’s calls to fortify our borders in relation to the centuries of racial animus that preceded them... A vital corrective to popular conceptions
- The New Yorker