Researchers say that literature allows us to practice taking on another person's perspective while improving our social awareness and our ability to be empathetic to others.
In her TEDx talk, Beth Ann Fennelly, a creative writing professor, says that reading also has the power to make people less biased and less racist. The explanation is based on how literature enables us to see the world through someone else's eyes. By reading about a different culture, we can understand how the people there live and why most think a certain way. Understanding is the first step to overcome prejudice.
You can learn more about this by watching Professor Fennellty talk on how literature can help us develop empathy on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nJv8sxpUKU.