Resources from Black Buddhist Teachers


Adiele, Faith, Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005)

Masters, Jarvis Jay, Finding Freedom: How Death Row Broke and Opened My Heart (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1997/2020)

Steele, Ralph, Tending the Fire: Through War and the Path of Meditation (Maui, Hawai’i: Sacred Life Publishers, 2014)

Washam, Spring, A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment (Carlsbad, Calif.: Hay House, 2017)

williams, Rev. angel Kyodo, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace (New York: Viking Compass, 2000)

Willis, Jan, Dreaming Me: An African American Woman’s Spiritual Journey (New York: Riverhead Books, 2001)

Black Buddhist Interpretations of Dharma

Ferguson, Gaylon, Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With (Boston, Mass.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2010)

Ferguson, Gaylon, Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2016)

Hardy, JoAnna, et. al, Teaching Mindfulness to Empower Adolescents (New York: Norton, 2020)

Johnson, Kate, Radical Friendship: Seven Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2021)

Kakuyo, Alex, Perfectly Ordinary: Buddhist Teachings for Everyday Life (self-pub, 2020)

Lingo, Kaira Jewel, We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons on Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption (Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press, 2021)

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, Tell Me Something About Buddhism (Hampton Road, 2011)

Mason-John, Valerie, Detox Your Heart: Meditations for Healing Emotional Trauma (Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Books, 2017)

Miles, Justin F., The Sadhana of Awakened Melanin: The Black Power Meditation Liturgy (Self Published, Mind Right, 2021)

Owens, Lama Rod, Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2020)

Petty, Sheryl, Ocha Dharma: The Relationship Between Lucumi, an African-Based Tradition and Buddhist Practice (self-pub.: Movement Tapestries, LLC, 2016)

Rangdrol, Lama Choyin, Black Buddha: Changing the Face of American Buddhism (self-pub, RainbowDharma, 2001, 2006)

Selassie, Sebene, You Belong: A Call for Connection (New York: HarperOne, 2020)

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, Object Relations, Buddhism, and Relationality in Womanist Practical Theology (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2018)

Poetry and Poetic Prose

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, Opening to Darkness: Eight Gateways for Being with the Absence of Light in Unsettling Times (Forthcoming, Sounds True, 2023)

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, Sanctuary: A Meditation on Home, Homelessness, and Belonging (Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2018) Please take this out of the Memoir section

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, The Deepest Peace: Contemplative Essays from a Season of Stillness (Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press, 2020) Please take this out of the Memoir section

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, The Shamanic Bones of Zen: Revealing the Ancestral Spirit and Mystical Heart of a Sacred Tradition (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 2022)

Mason-John, Valerie, I am Still Your Negro: An Homage to James Baldwin (Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 2020)

Buddhism, Blackness, and Gender

Day, Keri, “Freedom on my Mind: Buddhist-Womanist Dialogue,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 36 (2016),

Hucks, Tracey, “Wombu: An Intellectual Exercise in Womanist and Buddhist Reading,” Buddhist-Christian Studies 36 (2016)

Leath, Jennifer, “Canada and Pure Land, a New Field and Buddha-Land: Womanists and Buddhists Reading Together” Buddhist-Christian Studies 32 (2012): 57-65

Manuel, Zenju Earthlyn, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender (Somerville, Mass.: Wisdom Publications, 2015)

Medine, Carolyn, “Practice in Buddhist-Womanist Thought,” Buddhist Christian Studies 36 (2016)

Willis, Jan, Dharma Matters: Women, Race, and Tantra (Shambhala, 2020)

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, “Black Lesbians to the Rescue! A Brief Correction with Implications for Womanist Christian Theology and Womanist Buddhology,” Religions 8, 17 (2017), pp. 1-10

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, U.S. Law, and Womanist Theology for Transgender Spiritual Care

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, “Buddhist Non-self as Relational Interdependence: An NTU-Inspired African American Lesbian Interpretation?” Buddhist-Christian Studies, Volume 38, University of Hawai’i Press, 2018, 343.

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, “From StrongBlack Woman to Remarkably Relationally Resilient Woman: Black Christian Women and Black Buddhist Lesbians in Dialogue,” Buddhist-Christian Studies, Volume 37, 2017, University of Hawai’i Press, 239.

Black Embodiment in Buddhist Sanghas: Case Studies

Chappell, David W., “Racial Diversity in the Soka Gakkai,” in Engaged Buddhism in the West, ed. Christopher S. Queen, (2000)

Gajaweera, Nalika, “Sitting in the Fire Together: People of Color Cultivating Radical Resilience in North American Insight Meditation,” Journal of Global Buddhism, Vol. 22, Issue 1 (1/2021), 121-139

Gleig, Ann, American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2019)

Hase, Craig Nicholas, James C. Meadows, and Stephanie L. Budge, “Inclusion and Exclusion in the White Space: An Investigation of the Experiences of People of Color in a Primarily White American Meditation Community,” Journal of Global Buddhism 20: (2019), 1-18.

Buddhism, Black Embodiment, and Social Justice

Johnson, Charles, Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice (Boston, Mass.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2014)

King, Ruth, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out (Boulder: Colo.: Sounds True, 2018)

Magee, Rhonda, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness (New York: Penguin, 2019)

McNicholl, Adeana, “Being Buddha, Staying Woke: Racial Formation in Black Buddhist Writing” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 86, no. 4, Dec. 2018, pp. 883-911

Vesely-Flad, Rima, “Black Buddhists and the Body: New Approaches to Socially Engaged Buddhism” Religions, vol. 8, no. 11, Oct. 2017, pp. 1-10

Vesely-Flad, Rima, Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation (New York: New York University Press, 2022)

Wade, Breeshia, Grieving While Black: An Anti-Racist Take on Oppression and Sorrow (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2021)

Ward, Larry, America’s Racial Karma: An Invitation to Heal (Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press, 2020)

williams, angel Kyodo, Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2016)

Anthologies Including Black Buddhist Writings

Baldoquín, Hilda Gutiérrez (ed.), Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism (Berkeley, Calif.: Parallax Press, 2004).

Dews, Angela (ed.), Still, in the City: Creating Peace of Mind in the Midst of Urban Chaos (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2018)

Mason-John, Valerie (ed.), Afrikan Wisdom: New Voices Talk Black Liberation, Buddhism, and Beyond (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2021)

Yancy, George and Emily McRae, Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical Reflections (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2019)

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo and Cheryl Giles, Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom (Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2020)

Buddhism and Black Embodiment in Popular Publications

Adams, S., Ikeda-Nash, M., Kitzes, J., Loinaz, M., Rangdrol, C.,Tan, J. & Yang Larry (Eds. Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities (2000))

Ali, Ayesha, “White People, It’s Time to Look in the Mirror,” Lion’s Roar, August 13, 2020

BuddhaDharma 2011 Forum: “Why Is American Buddhism So White?

BuddhaDharma 2016 Summer Issue: “Free the Dharma: Race, Power, and White Privilege in American Buddhism

Gleig, Ann, “Why Are White Buddhists So Angry? White Rage and Buddhist Studies Scholarship,” The Shiloh Project May 2, 2021.

hooks, bell, “Waking Up to Racism: Dharma, Diversity, and Race,” Tricycle, Fall 1994

hooks, bell, “Toward a Worldwide Culture of Love,” Lion’s Roar, June 29, 2020.

Majied, Kamilah,

Mason-John, Valerie, “The Time for Black Sanghas Has Arrived,” Lion’s Roar, October 6, 2021

Razak, Arisika, “The Trauma of an American Untouchable,” Lion’s Roar, March 5, 2021.

Strand, Clark, “Born in the USA: Racial Diversity in Soka Gakkai International,” Tricycle 13(2) (2003), 51-57

Yetunde, Pamela Ayo, “Ubuntu: I am Because We Are,” Lion’s Roar, January 3, 2022

Critiques of Orientalist Discourses in Buddhist Studies

Cheah, Joseph, Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Gleig, Ann and Brenna Grace Artinger, “The #BuddhistCultureWars: BuddhaBros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake Sanghas” Journal of Global Buddhism, vol. 22, no. 1, 2021: 19-48

Hickey, Shannon Wakoh, “Two Buddhisms, Three Buddhisms, and Racism,” in Buddhism Beyond Borders: New Perspectives on Buddhism in the United States), eds. Scott Mitchell and Natalie E.F. Quli (Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 2015)

McNicholl, Adeana, “Buddhism and Race in the United States,” Religion Compass, 2021, pp. 1-13

Pierce, Lori, “Buddhist Modernism in English-Language Buddhist Periodicals,” in Issei Buddhism in the Americas, eds. Duncan Ryuken Williams and Tomoe Moriya (Champagne, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2010)