Wanderful’s Anti-Racism Reading Club was a community-led reading and discussion circle for our Wanderful community to be better informed and educated on issues around anti-racism, white supremacy, and racial justice.
Each reading consisted of a book or article selection, and a volunteer facilitator to guide the discussion. This group was intended for anyone working to be better informed and educated on critical issues around racial justice. Wanderful offered a safe space with an open and honest conversation among women who want to do better. Our reading club meetings are never recorded in order to respect privacy.
Since running our Anti-Racism Reading Club, we opened up our monthly reads to the Conscious Traveler Reading Club. Catch up on all the books from our Anti-Racism Reading Club and join our global membership community to continue these conversations with us!
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The Fire This Time
By Jesmyn Ward
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Edited by two-time National Book Award winner and Women’s Prize shortlisted-author Jesmyn Ward, a timely and groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race in America In this bestselling collection of essays and poems, Jesmyn Ward gathers a new generation of writers and thinkers to speak on race.
From Claudia Rankine to Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Kiese Laymon to Carol Anderson, these voices shine a light on the darkest corners of American history, wrestle with the struggles the country faces today and imagine a better future.
Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, The Fire This Time considers the black experience in modern America. Significant progress has been made in the fifty years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long distance away from a post-racial society – a truth that must be confronted if the country is to continue to work towards change.
Baldwin’s ‘fire next time’ is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about. Sage, urgent and impassioned, this is an essential collection edited by one of America’s greatest writers.
The Skin We’re In
By Desmond Cole
In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.
Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We’re In. Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year—2017—in the struggle against racism in this country. It was a year that saw calls for tighter borders when Black refugees braved frigid temperatures to cross into Manitoba from the States, Indigenous land and water protectors resisting the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, police across the country rallying around an officer accused of murder, and more.
The year also witnessed the profound personal and professional ramifications of Desmond Cole’s unwavering determination to combat injustice.
Month by month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We’re In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.
Motherhood So White
By Nefertiti Austin
In America, Mother = White.
That’s what Nefertiti, a single African American woman, discovered when she decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system. Eager to finally join the motherhood ranks, Nefertiti was shocked when people started asking her why she wanted to adopt a “crack baby” or said that she would never be able to raise a Black son on her own. She realized that American society saw motherhood through a white lens and that there would be no easy understanding or acceptance of the kind of family she hoped to build.
Motherhood So White is the story of Nefertiti’s fight to create the family she always knew she was meant to have and the story of motherhood that all American families need now. In this unflinching account of her parenting journey, Nefertiti examines the history of adoption in the African American community, faces off against stereotypes of single, Black motherhood, and confronts the reality of raising children of color in racially charged, modern-day America.
Honest, vulnerable, and uplifting, Motherhood So White reveals what Nefertiti knew all along―that the only requirement for a successful family is one raised with love.
Between the World and Me
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis.
Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder.
Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
By Yaa Gyasi
A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery.
Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial first novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control. Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience, not to be missed, by an astonishingly gifted young writer
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
By Robin DiAngelo
Anger. Fear. Guilt. Denial. Silence. These are the ways in which ordinary white people react when it is pointed out to them that they have done or said something that has – unintentionally – caused racial offense or hurt. After, all, a racist is the worst thing a person can be, right? But these reactions only serve to silence people of color, who cannot give honest feedback to ‘liberal’ white people lest they provoke a dangerous emotional reaction.
Robin DiAngelo coined the term ‘White Fragility’ in 2011 to describe this process and is here to show us how it serves to uphold the system of white supremacy. Using knowledge and insight gained over decades of running racial awareness workshops and working on this idea as a Professor of Whiteness Studies, she shows us how we can start having more honest conversations, listen to each other better and react to feedback with grace and humility.
It is not enough to simply hold abstract progressive views and condemn the obvious racists on social media – change starts with us all at a practical, granular level, and it is time for all white people to take responsibility for relinquishing their own racial supremacy.
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