Ep. 132 What We’re Reading: Antiracist Books

We’re back from an unplanned break! In this “What We’re Reading” episode, we take a break from romance to highlight some of the antiracist books that have been most impactful to us recently. We discuss our own paths to becoming better allies and ways we can all be doing a better job of examining how racism shapes our lives. We discuss how important it is to be actively antiracist as opposed to being passively “not racist,” and how that work begins with deep self-reflection.

Please note, this conversation is primarily aimed at our white listeners and may be particularly triggering to our Black listeners. We don’t want to add to the burden of anyone who has already been dealing with the trauma of racism in their lives, but we think these conversations need to be happening more between white people. If we have said something problematic, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

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Books we discuss:

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi [Highly recommend the audiobook read by the author!]

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Me and My White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Other books we highly recommend:

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi [Note from Jenny: I’m buying this for all the young kids in my life!]

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

White by Law: The Legal Construct of Race by Ian Haney López

We Live in the Shadow: Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs by Elaine Bell Kaplan [Note from Jenny: This was written by one of my professors at USC (the one I reference in the episode!). She does incredible work with inner-city kids in LA.

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Lama Rod Owens

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry [Note from Jenny: This book floored me. It’s so striking and powerful.]

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Time of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander [Note from Jenny: We should all be paying more attention to the way Blackness is criminalized and how our criminal justice system is weaponized to oppress Black people.]

Anything from this list that Ibram X. Kendi assembled for the New York Times!

About the Author
Jenny Nordbak earned a B.A in Interdisciplinary Archaeology from the University of Southern California. After graduating, she spent two years leading a double life, working in healthcare construction by day, while secretly working as a Dominatrix at a dungeon in LA by night. Her memoir, The Scarlett Letters: My Secret Year of Men in an LA Dungeon (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), is a candid look into that time in her life. Jenny is an advocate for sex positivity and female empowerment. She writes the Stocks and Bondage column for Penthouse and has been featured as a sex expert on The Doctors. She contributes to Men’s Health and has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and Redbook. She is currently working on developing her memoir for TV and finishing her next book, a romance novel. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.