A lot of people are looking for antiracist reading lists right now. And it's important, in the face of systemic oppression and police brutality, to stand up for what's right, seek education, and learn to change. But right now, when it feels like so many Americans are looking for the same handful of titles, it can be hard to find what you need.
So if you aren't able to get your hands on educational titles like this and want to learn, what should you do? The answer is simple: read anyway. Invest in diverse books for the children in your life. Antiracism is a practice, not a fad, and learning a journey. Read Black authors like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Be intentional about the stories and ideas you bring into your life. Because Black lives matter, and so do Black stories.
Since July 2020 when this list was first published, we've expanded it to include more diverse book boxes. Antiracist book boxes are listed first and after those, you'll find boxes that celebrate BIPOC writers, the LGBTQ community, and feminism.
What are the best diverse book subscription boxes?
Founded and run by a librarian at Purdue University's Black Cultural Center, this quarterly subscription box features a thoughtfully selected fiction or nonfiction book by a Black or African-American author every 3 months, plus a "library packet" (a catalog card, spine label, label protector, and logo sticker) for each title. We need diverse books now more than ever, and founder Jamilah has the expertise to curate books that may be harder to find in mainstream publications. Subscribers can choose whether they would like the book only or an additional 2-4 products curated to go along with the featured book, like art prints, notebooks, and more.
For: Kids and adults
Every month, BlackLIT sends subscribers a mix of lifestyle items and a featured book by Black authors and entrepreneurs. Choose between fiction; nonfiction like memoir, self-help, social science, and business; Christian books; books specially curated for male readers; and children's books (even board books like Woke Baby) to support Black creators and businesses! You'll also receive 3-5 high-quality lifestyle products from independent Black-owned small businesses, for a total value of over $100+ in every box. And best of all? BlackLIT is owned and curated by an educator, so each box comes with 5 thoughtful questions about the book to foster discussion. We think BlackLIT is well on their way to their goals of increasing representation in literature and closing the literacy gap.
For: Girls in 3rd-8th grade
Black Girl MATHgic is the only subscription box based around instilling math confidence in girls. Founded by a math tutor with 15+ years experience, this small business aims to shrink the prevalence of math anxiety in girls and women -- particularly Black girls -- and narrow the racial and gender gaps when it comes to STEM. "Math is the foundation of STEM," founder Brittany explains. And while Brittany makes clear that the box is for all girls, "no matter their racial or ethnic background," math anxiety hits women and girls of color the hardest. Girls who subscribe to Black Girl MATHgic will receive real-world math lessons in each box, as well as related games and activities to drive home what they learn, fun bonus items, and a "Caring Adult Guide" to help parents support their children in learning.
For: Toddlers and little ones
About the Box: This children's book subscription teaches kids about music -- and music history -- through picture books and related products about different genres and historical trailblazers in music. Young readers and their families can learn musical history from the stories of people like "mambo king" Tito Puente, American history through the lens of songs like "We Shall Overcome," and life lessons of perseverance, inspiration, and creativity from titles like Because by Mo Willems & Amber Ren. Founder Shannon curates each box to come with additional activities and bonus items to learn more (and practice!) the genre of music featured in that month's book.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on the 20th of the month
For: Babies to 13-year-olds
Jambo Book Club features carefully-chosen, diverse children's books for readers young enough for storytime and old enough for chapter books, with different box options for kids 0-13 years old. Every month, children receive two brand-new books appropriate for their age level, featuring a child of color as the protagonist, and a personalized letter about the books. For families with children at different ages, Jambo offers an option to receive books for two different age ranges in their monthly box as well. Previously featured picture books have included stories as varied as Lucia the Luchadora, named one of 2017's best books by NPR; the beloved board book I Like Myself; and Last Stop on Market Street, winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal.
For: Kids and teens
This diverse book subscription focuses on stories for young children and young adults that educate readers on life lessons like bullying or instill positive role models and images like strong female protagonists, nontraditional family structures, and different cultures. Families can choose to receive 1, 2, or 3 thoughtfully-curated picture books in each box, or 1 young adult novel, from titles both modern and classic. Previous picture books selected by Momo include the #1 New York Times bestseller Ada Twist, Scientist; popular baby-shower pick The Peace Book by Todd Parr; and immigration story Mama's Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat.
For: Teens and adults
Take a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic YA book, or immerse yourself in a fantasy world with this book subscription box featuring books by diverse authors. With a focus on wellness and comfort, each box includes an exciting and immersive read to add to your bookshelf, as well as 2-3 bookish items like bookmarks, teas, fuzzy socks, and candles to add coziness to your reading experience.
For: Toddlers and school-aged kids
Want to raise conscious kids, but don't know where to start? With a focus on increasing literacy and representation, this monthly subscription box aims to teach kids about diversity, acceptance, kindness, and love. Each box comes stocked with at least three high quality picture books and an educational coloring activity that highlight diverse characters and themes of tolerance. Plus, this subscription box gives back! For every three books sent, The Equal Opportunity Book Box donates three books to kids living in a book desert.
Did you know only 31% of children's literature feature a female character, and only 13% feature people of color? The Little Feminist Subscription Box sends 1-2 children's books each month, curated by teachers and librarians, that showcase female characters, and characters of color. This box not only diversifies your child's bookshelf, but it also includes a hands-on science or art activity, and discussion questions to help foster thoughtful conversations about inclusion, diversity, and acceptance.
The Heady Mix Box features the best books by underrepresented authors covering women, race, disabilities, and LGBTQIA. This quarterly subscription box is great for book lovers and includes fascinating fiction selected to challenge stereotypes and open minds. Each box also includes an introduction letter that outlines the current theme, and provides interesting context and background information about the books and authors.
For: Teens and adults
This monthly book box has a goal to support the trans community, and features new and exciting books written by, and focusing on trans representation. Every box includes a new book, as well as extra goodies like handcrafted art, tea, ceramics and more, with every single item made by a trans person. Subscribers also get access to a vivid book club community, bi-monthly newsletters, and opportunities to meet with the authors.
For: Teens and adults
Whether you're a long-time manga reader, or want to expand your literature medium, the LGBTQ Manga Box is a great way to explore new titles. This subscription service offers new, not-used manga that highlights stories of boy-love, girl-love, and LGBTQ themes. Also included are Japanese drinks, snacks, and goodies to diversify your snack cabinet, and munch on while you read!