Book Recommendations in Honor of Black History Month

In 2021 the Third Sun Solar team launched the Solar for All podcast, hosted by founder and CEO Geoff Greenfield.  

On the podcast, guests range from business leaders and policy advocates to the “boots on the roof” in the rapidly diversifying workforce of the clean energy sector.   

Each episode examines what is happening now on the front lines of change as we strive toward an inclusive and intersectional energy sector that works for all people.   

At the end of each show, Geoff asks guests for book recommendations. In Honor of Black History Month, we’ve highlighted a few books that have been recommended by guests on the show. We hope you’ll enjoy! 

Book Recommendations

So You Want to Talk About Race

Author: Ijeoma Oluo 

“Protests against racial injustice and white supremacy have galvanized millions around the world. The stakes for transformative conversations about race could not be higher. Still, the task ahead seems daunting, and it’s hard to know where to start. How do you tell your boss her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law hang up on you when you had questions about police reform? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?


In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from police brutality and cultural appropriation to the model minority myth in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race, and about how racism infects every aspect of American life.”

Synopsis: The book outlines a plan for simultaneously solving socioeconomic inequality and environmental problems.  The Green Collar Economy is the first environmental book written by an African-American to make the New York Times bestseller list. Van Jones is also the host of a new podcast “Uncommon Ground” in which Van explores with his guests some of the big topics affecting us all in America.

How to Be an Antiracist

Author: Ibram X. Kendi

“Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Author: Isabel Wilkerson

“In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people–including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others–she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.”

Between the World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates


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