Tasha and the Be the Bridge Ambassadors wanted to share with you our favorite books we read in 2017.  There are so many amazing books out there related to the work of racial reconciliation, but of all the ones we read this year, these are the ones we most recommend.

Clicking on the picture of each book will take you directly to a link where the book can be purchased.

Tasha’s Picks

A painful telling of American history and the ways in which a cycle repeats itself: Black progress is met with White rage.

A truly definitive work of the history of racist thought throughout the entire history of America.  It digs into not only the actions taken, but the mindset that allowed it.

This book is insightful, funny, and a great way to learn about how racial dynamics have played out in South Africa.

Elizabeth’s Picks

I was completely undone.  Jesmyn Ward is known for her fiction writing, and this memoir reads much the same way, but its reality.  She brilliantly unpacks the deaths of Black men in her world with nuance and care.

So much of the focus of conversations about race are about Black and White, so the Latinx experience was less known to me.  I loved how Gonzalez broke down the history of different Latin American countries by using the stories real life families and immigrants.

April’s Picks

Dr. Tatum uses a psychological approach to discuss a racial identity and it’s stages as well as the effects of white supremacy on non white ethnic groups. For me, this book has been instrumental for me in understanding why, even as a young girl, I felt the way I did.  I think any person of color can find spots in this book that make them say “That was me!” I think it should be required reading for those wanting to teach as early as Kindergarten and required for students entering the 9th grade.  This book was simply amazing

Pastor Daniel Hill discusses his journey to becoming aware of his white identity and lays the groundwork for white Christians who are on the same path.  I honestly believe this book should be required reading, particularly in seminaries and Christian education institutions.  Daniel Hill is straightforward but sensitive in his description of how to move through the discovery of white identity.  It really is a must read for ANYONE looking to start the path to racial reconciliation.

Faith’s Pick

In a letter to his son, Coates is brutally honest about what it means to navigate this world in a Black body.  “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

Whitney’s Pick

In this book of real-life stories, the issue of mass incarceration and systemic injustice in our legal system come to life in a brutally painful way.  The stats can feel distant, but when you come to know the people they represent, its impossible to turn away.

Claire’s Pick

At a time when the church feels so divided in so many ways, Christena Cleveland gives us a breakdown of what is ruling our thinking and behavior, but also how to overcome our differences and be a united Church under the banner of Jesus.  In a beautiful mix of theology, sociology, and psychology, a path forward is laid out for us to walk down.