Advocates say that one of the most important ways to be an ally to marginalized people is to educate yourself on the systems that oppress them and your role in sustaining them.
From what the Amazon best-sellers list suggest, many Americans are taking that step.
As of Wednesday, 15 of the top 20 bestselling books are about race, racism and white supremacy in the US. Sales surged following the last eight days of protest after George Floyd’s death in police custody.
The best-selling books, which include the nonfiction “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” novel “The Vanishing Half” by black author Brit Bennett and the children’s picture book “I Am Enough,” are in such high demand that many of them are temporarily out of stock or only available in ebook or audio form.
Ibram X. Kendi, a historian of racial inequality at American University, appears on the list twice, for his books “How to be an Antiracist” and “Stamped from the Beginning.”
“This doesn’t happen every day,” Kendi tweeted Tuesday. “It is fitting it happens on the day we are Blacking Out for Black lives and hopefully supporting our local independent bookstores too.”
Most every book in the top 20 best sellers list contains historical context about the role of racism in poverty, mass incarceration, health care, politics and more. And many of them probe their readers to examine their role in upholding systemic racism.
Educating yourself on the history and current state of racism is one way to show positive allyship, as reported in CNN’s guide to being an ally.
Influencing the people in your circle is another – and part of that can include sharing books about racism with friends and family and discussing how oppression affects marginalized groups.
Amazon Best Sellers on Race
1. “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” Robin Diangelo
2. “So You Want to Talk About Race,” Ijeoma Olua
3. “We’re Different, We’re the Same,” a Sesame Street picture book, Bobbi Kates
5. “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” Richard Rothstein
6. “How to Be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi
9. “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” Michelle Alexander
10. “The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett
11. “Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates
12. “Stamped from the Beginning,” Ibram X. Kendi
14. “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” Bryan Stevenson
15. “The Day You Begin,” Jacqueline Woodson
16. “Becoming,” Michelle Obama
17. “I Am Enough,” Grace Byers
18. “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Beverly Daniel Tatum
19. “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor,” Layla Saad
CNN’s Harmeet Kaur and Seth Fiegerman contributed to this report.