The death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, has drawn global attention to the seemingly never-ending, violent reverberations from America’s original sin — slavery.

To understand the systemic racism that African-Americans still struggle with today, and the ways in which it is at the heart of the national political and economic divide in the US, you need to reflect on more than 300 years of the country’s history. Here is a selection of some of the most relevant books to aid that understanding.

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