Antiracist books are selling out on Amazon as the nation tries to process the pandemic of police violence against African Americans, Slate reports.
Customers are snapping up books that aim to educate Americans about racism, including Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be an Antiracist, Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Interest in the books was stoked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Demonstrations against police brutality—frequently met by police violence—have taken place in cities across the United States since late last week.
On Amazon, DiAngelo’s book was the No. 1 bestseller as of Tuesday afternoon, with Kendi’s book at No. 2. Alexander’s book was No. 10, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Mec laimed the No. 12 spot. All four books were temporarily out of stock at the retailer.
The situation was similar at Barnes and Noble’s website, where Kendi and Jason Reynolds’ YA “remix” Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You was the No. 1 bestselling book, followed by the book upon which it was based, Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The store’s list of bestselling books also included Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness and James Baldwin’s 1963 classic, The Fire Next Time.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.