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Anti-Racism Booklist and Resource Guide

Defining racism and anti-racism

Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.


Note: A common, incorrect definition of racism is the colloquial definition: “racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone.” This is NOT an accurate definition nor the one used in most anti-racist circles. It highlights individuals' thinking and actions but ignores embedded institutional and cultural systems.


Anti-Racism is strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race.

(Source: Simmons University Anti-Oppression Libguide:


While this guide will classify resources in a particular category, it is important to note that these categories are reductive and that racism permeates every aspect of society - education, gender dynamics, housing and zoning, policing, healthcare, criminal justice, economics, and the environment. Therefore, it is helpful to interpret racism through the lens of intersectionality. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who first coined the term in 1989, used this lens to examine the complex realities of black women experiencing both racism and sexism simultaneously.