10 Books to Read to Understand Racism in America

Click to read suggestions for understanding the history and present-status of racism in America from the My Life With Him and Them Blog

If you’re an avid reader and need suggestions for understanding the history and present status of racism in America, check out this list. Affiliate links included.

It’s no secret that we are in the midst of a crisis in America. The racial divide is difficult to navigate as a parent, a college instructor, and just as a citizen. I believe that we need to start to have honest and serious conversations with ourselves before true change can occur.

As an avid reader, here’s a list of books that I recommend for anyone who wants to understand the historical and present implications of racism. Ironically, some of the books were required reading when I was in college but I believe they give great insight to the current state of our country.

America’s Original Sin

Between the World and Me

Uprooting Racism

White Privelege

Racism From a Non-White Perspective

White Rage

Racism Without Racists

Coming of Age in Mississippi

Mississippi Harmony: Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter

The Miseducation of the Negro

jamie foxx quote (1)

Here’s a list of books related to teaching your children about racism and violence, because I’ve realized in my conversations with my kids about the violence in this country, we have to talk about the racism. Our conversations are far too frequent, and as of late, they are riddled with emotion and as a mom, I don’t always know what to say. Hopefully these books can help your family like they have helped ours.

The Answers: A Parent’s Guide to Discussing Racism With Children

Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom

A Kid’s Guide to African American History

Amazing Peace

Do I Look Odd to You?

To Be a Kid

Mixed Me

Has your family used books to discuss the current state of our country? What were they?

In the Wake of Horror.


This is where I live. This is where I’m raising children. The children of a DART police officer who stayed up all night because they were worried about their father. That college is where I teach. It’s now the site of an active shooter crime investigation. This is my life.

Yes we’re divorced. Yes he does things I don’t like. But for the past 12 hours he’s had to experience some things I could never imagine. Staying awake with your teen children who experience a fury of emotions behind an event like this that directly affects their father is hard.

Today, this is where we are. It is a very painful place to be.


What I Learned From The Coffee Shop Couple

For those who hang out in coffee shops a lot, you are prone to hear the conversations of others. Read how one blogger overhead the painful demise of of a relationship and what she learned from it.

I had the unique privilege of eavesdropping listening to an uncomfortable conversation in a relationship while I was working at my local coffee shop the other day.

The couple didn’t actually break up right there, but they argued, and they single handedly made me want to apologize to any guy I’ve ever dated. Because I saw the games they were both playing and I recognized myself in some of those scenes.

Yes friends, it was that bad.  Continue reading

How I Get My Extroverted Mind to Rest

When an extroverted entrepreneur and busy mom of three tries to embrace the sleep revolution, but struggles to achieve her calm

It’s 11 pm on any given night in our house. My alarm will go off at 7 am, so I believe there’s more than enough time for me to get an adequate night’s sleep.

I put on my comfy pajamas, kiss my kids goodnight and tell my dog I’ll see her in the morning. The exact moment I lay my head on my pillow, there’s a bit of a problem and the battle begins. My mind starts racing and all of a sudden I’m instantly thinking of things to put on my to-do list for the next day.

I kind of thought I handled all of this before I got ready for bed (that was kind of the point of me going to bed and thinking that I was done for the day), but apparently I wasn’t.  Continue reading

Dads We Love – Rickey

Rickey Smiley

This week on the blog we are honoring real-life dads who have imparted wisdom, protected us from the monsters, and given lots of hugs through the years. Today we are celebrating Rickey Smiley. Rickey is an entertainment mogul and father of five. Rickey Smiley enters our home once a week via Rickey Smiley For Real, his popular reality show on TV One, but his parenting advice helps me daily through his wit and the way he manages to spend individual time with each of his kids and adjust his parenting style to meet their physical and emotional needs.  Continue reading

Dads We Love – Jacob

This week on the blog we are honoring real-life dads who have imparted wisdom, protected us from the monsters, and given lots of hugs through the years. Today we honor Jacob Mosely, book author and father to Maddison, 10, Donovan, 5, and  Cassie, 4.  Here’s to you Jacob!

Jacob Mosely-2


Our Summer Manifesto

Summer Manifesto

No more pencils, no more books.

No more teacher’s dirty looks.

But if you ask my children, they will say they are prone to getting dirty looks from their mom. After all, our word for the summer is structure, need I say more?

Wait. what? A word for the summer that has absolutely nothing to do with fun or sleeping late or recording Snapchat videos in the middle of the night?  Continue reading

Dads We Love – Rudolph

This week on the blog we are honoring real-life dads who have imparted wisdom, protected us from the monsters, and given lots of hugs through the years. Today we honor Rudolph Brown. From a boy born in a small town in Georgia, raised on the west side of Chicago, to living in segregated small college towns, today he is  a man who is highly revered by his peers and those who walk under him. Here’s to you Rudolph!

rudolph brown

Judging the Pain Away

In light of the tragedies that are occurring in our country, one mom encourages others to look past the tendency to judge.

The scene on social media that has become all too familiar lately played itself out again in the past few days. On the heels of a heinous event that defies what we have come to know and appreciate as humans – as Americans – we seem to forget what’s really needed to recover from devastation.

Empathy. Compassion. Love. Communication.

Instead, we’re using judgement to escape the pain.

Like many parents, I’ve had to have very difficult conversations with my children recently  surrounding gun violence, racism, sexual assault, the GLBTQ community, animal rights, the challenges of parenthood, and politics. I remember having the same types of conversations with my parents 30 years ago without the extra voices that social media can lend to our conversations. The voices that are the exact opposite of what I’m trying to teach my kids, no matter how old they grow.  Continue reading