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Books on Race, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Race Relations for Adults and Children


Children’s books about cultural diversity and inclusion

Audiobooks on race and education in America

Cincinnati Black Authors who authored books about race relations

Books on equity and inclusion in the workplace


The recent Black Lives Matter and social justice movement across the United States and around the world is not new. In part, based on systemic and systematic racism, the intersection of race, race relations, and racial prejudice have plighted African and Black Americans, LatinX, indigenous people and people of color for centuries.


This current movement had reached heightened levels in many societal areas. One manifestation is in the field of police activities and community relations. To try to understand these topics, as well as the intertwining of the issues of race and race relations on a local, regional, and national level, Eric Jackson, Ph.D., professor of African American Studies at Northern Kentucky University, identified twenty must-read books for adults, college students, teens and grade-school students.


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Adults Books:

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism without Racist. This book explores the type of racism that exists in contemporary America. More specifically, the author defines this new type of racism as “color-blind racism” because it involves the perpetuation of white dominance and privilege more passively than racism was carried out in the past. Often those who display color-blind racism think they are not racist.
Buy Racism Without Racist


Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought. In this outstanding volume, the author explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African American women outside the academe. The author provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde.
Purchase Black Feminist Thought


History of African Americans in Cincinnati


Angela Davis’ Women, Race, and Class. In this classic book, the author creates a compelling study of the women’s liberation movement in the United States, from abolitionist days to the present, which demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.
Purchase Women, Race, and Class


bell hooks’ Killing Rage. In this compelling volume, the author argues that eradicating racism and sexism must go hand in hand.
Purchase Killing Rage


Martin Luther King, Jr’s Why We Can’t Wait. In this classic book, the author explores, in great detail, the various events and forces behind the Civil Rights Movement, especially the situation that led to the author’s writing of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
Purchase Why We Can’t Wait


Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man. This classic book examines the plight of a nameless narrator of the novel who describes growing up in a Black American community in the South, attending a Historically Black college from which he is expelled. He moves to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of  “the Brotherhood” and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the “invisible man” he imagines himself to be.
Purchase The Invisible Man


Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In this emotional story, Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later, she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened.
Purchase Beloved


Mamie Till-Mosley’s Death of the Innocence. In this powerful and emotional book, the author displays the mother of Emmett Till recounting the story of her life, her son’s tragic death, and the dawn of the civil rights movement.
Purchase Death of the Innocence


Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. In this powerful and emotional book, the author, a brilliant lawyer, tells a true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of criminal justice.
Purchase Just Mercy


Carter G. Woodson’s The Miseducation of the Negro. First published in 1933, this class study illustrates that Black Americans of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, the author concludes, caused Black Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part.
Purchase The Miseducation of the Negro


Must-Read Books by Black Authors in Cincinnati


K to 12:

Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun. This book displays the epic story of a young girl who is torn from her African village, sold into enslavement, and stripped of everything she has ever known, except hope.
Purchase Copper Sun


Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s Grandma’s Purse. In this charming picture book, the author shows that when Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats, and her purse for her special her granddaughter.
Purchase Grandma’s Purse


Cheryl Willis Hudson’s We Rise We Resist We Raise Our Voices. In this captivating volume, the author collects the writings and views of fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators to answer the question “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?”
Purchase We Rise We Resist We Raise


Varian Johnson’s What were the Negro Leagues. This outstanding book chronicles the history of the Negro Baseball leagues.
Purchase What were the Negro Leagues


Learn the Value of Our History at These African American Museums


Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book about Racism. In this book, you will find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens.
Purchase A Kids Book about Racism


Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe. In this critically acclaimed book, the author follows the story of a young girl who wishes for her dark skin to be lighter. The story is ultimately about colorism and learning to love oneself, no matter one’s skin tone.
Purchase Sulwe


Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. This book helps us better understand why we are where we are based on the issue of race.
Purchase Stamped


Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures. This book tells the phenomenal true story of the Black American female mathematicians at NASA, whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.
Purchase Hidden Figures


Megan Stine’s Who is Michelle Obama? This book chronicles the life story of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Purchase Who is Michelle Obama


Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer. This inspiring book tells the story of three sisters who travel to Oakland, California, in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them.
Purchase One Crazy Summer



About the author, Eric R. Jackson:

With twenty-eight years of academic experience at the university level, Dr. Eric R. Jackson teaches in the fields of American and African American History/Studies, Race Relations, and Peace Studies. He has published over 50 publications, including journals such as Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, the  Journal of African American History,  and the  International Journal of World Peace. Dr. Jackson also  received the Goodwill Ambassador for the Golden Rule Award in 2016 and the Second International World Civility Award from IChange Nations in 2017.


Dr. Eric R. Jackson
Professor of History – Director, Black Studies Program
Northern Kentucky University
Phone- 859-572-6146
[email protected]


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Written by Latoya Stiggers

Writer, The Voice of Black Cincinnati