|How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi|
Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America — but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
|Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi|
Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.
|Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson|
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need- the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinkmanship – and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
|A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theohari|
The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of American democracy. This fable, featuring dreamy heroes and accidental heroines, has shuttered the movement firmly in the past, whitewashed the forces that stood in its way, and diminished its scope. In ‘A More Beautiful and Terrible History’, award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light.
|The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon|
The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other.
|The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” by Audre Lorde|
From the self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet’, these soaring, urgent essays on the power of women, poetry and anger are filled with darkness and light.
|The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander|
Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
|Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine|
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV–everywhere, all the time.
|An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz|
An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights. Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it.
|Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward|
‘And then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped’ Harriet Tubman. Jesmyn Ward’s acclaimed memoir shines a light on the community she comes from in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young black men dear to her, including her beloved brother – to accidents, murder and suicide.
|The Alchemy of Race and Rights by Patricia J. Williams|
Patricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law, the great-great-granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer. The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical essay in which the author reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class.
|Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates |
Between the World and Me is a letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s fifteen-year-old son, Samori. He weaves his personal, historical, and intellectual development into his ruminations on how to live in a black body in America. (credit to: Gradesaver.com)
|Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah|
The comedian traces his coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed, offering insight into the farcical aspects of the political and social systems of today’s world.
|You Have the Right…: A Constitutional Guide to Policing the Police by Laura Coates|
Is it legal to record the police? When do police have the right to search your person, home, or car? Do you have the right to walk away when stopped by the police? Knowing the answers to these questions will help protect you and the officer. And it may just save your life!
|A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa Edited by Florence Bernault and translated by Janet L. Roitman|
Over the last 30 years, a substantial literature on the history of American and European prisons has developed. This collection is among the first in English to construct a history of prisons in Africa. Topics include precolonial punishments, living conditions in prisons and mining camps, ethnic mapping, contemporary refugee camps, and the political use of prison from the era of the slave trade to the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
|Your Silence Will Not Protect You – Essays and Poems by Audre Lorde|
Your Silence Will Not Protect You is a 2017 posthumous collection of essays, speeches, and poems by African American author and poet Audre Lorde.
|The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison|
One of the most celebrated and revered writers in the history of American literature gives us a new nonfiction collection–a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass, that are Toni Morrison’s hallmarks.
|Resisting Racism and Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender and Human Rights by Faye Harrison|
Focuses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and (ethno) nation that influence the dynamics of human rights conflicts in different parts of the world. This collection of essays investigates human rights conflicts in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
|There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation by Paul Gilroy|
This classic book is a powerful indictment of contemporary attitudes to race, in which the author accuses British intellectuals and politicians on both sides of the political divide of refusing to take race seriously.
|My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem|
The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centred psychology.
|The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson|
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.
|Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge|
In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’. Her words hit a nerve. The post went viral and comments flooded in from others desperate to speak up about their own experiences. Galvanised by this clear hunger for open discussion, she decided to dig into the source of these feelings.
|I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou|
Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.
|A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn|
This book presents the history of the United States from the point of view of those who were exploited in the name of American progress.
|White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo|
In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence.
|So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo|
So You Want to Talk About Race is a 2018 non-fiction book by Ijeoma Oluo. Each chapter title is a question about race in contemporary America. Oluo outlines her opinions on the topics as well as advice about how to talk about the issues. The book received positive critical reception, with renewed interest following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, after which the book re-entered The New York Times Best Seller list
|The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America by Anders Walker|
In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals.
|The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad|
The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged.
|Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan Metzl|
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland is a 2019 non-fiction book written by Jonathan M. Metzl, a Nashville, Tennessee Vanderbilt University professor of sociology and psychiatry, based on research undertaken in Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas from 2013 to 2018.
|A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki|
A dramatic new retelling of our nation’s past. Beginning with the colonization of the New World, it recounts the history of America in the voice of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States–Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others–groups who helped create this country’s rich mosaic culture. Now, Ronald Takaki has revised his landmark work and made it even more relevant and important. Among the new additions to the book are: the role of black soldiers in preserving the Union; the history of Chinese Americans from 1900-1941; an investigation into the hot-button issue of “illegal” immigrants from Mexico; and a look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan. This new edition grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.
|Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond|
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems.
|Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill|
In Nobody, scholar and journalist Marc Lamont Hill presents a powerful and thought-provoking analysis of race and class in America.
|Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything American History Textbooks Gets Wrong by James W. Loewen|
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong is a 1995 book by James W. Loewen, a sociologist. It critically examines twelve popular American high school history textbooks and concludes that the textbook authors propagate false, Eurocentric and mythologized views of American history.
|Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum|
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? was a landmark publication when it appeared in 1997. Twenty years later this updated edition is as fresh, poignant and timely as ever. Bias, explicit and implicit, limit options, produce deadly encounters, and gnaw away at the fabric of our social contract.
|The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein|
Richard Rothstein explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation — that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes it clear that it was de jure segregation — the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments — that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.
|Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney|
Blackballed is Darryl Pinckney’s meditation on a century and a half of participation by blacks in US electoral politics. In this combination of memoir, historical narrative, and contemporary political and social analysis, he investigates the struggle for black voting rights from Reconstruction through the civil rights movement to Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns.
|The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson|
A historical study of the Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award among other accolades.
|The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin|
All the grief, grit, and unassailable dignity of the civil rights movement are evoked in this illustrated edition of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, with photographs by Steve Schapiro.
|The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with the assistance of Alex Haley|
The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965, the result of a collaboration between human rights activist Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X’s 1965 assassination.
|Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks|
These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. They address a spectrum of topics having to do with race and racism in the United States: psychological trauma among African Americans; friendship between black women and white women; anti-Semitism and racism; and internalized racism in movies and the media. And in the title essay, hooks writes about the “killing rage”—the fierce anger of black people stung by repeated instances of everyday racism—finding in that rage a healing source of love and strength and a catalyst for positive change.
|Becoming by Michelle Obama|
Becoming is the memoir of former United States first lady Michelle Obama published in 2018. Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
|Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture by William R. Leach|
This monumental work of cultural history was nominated for a National Book Award. It chronicles America's transformation, beginning in 1880, into a nation of consumers, devoted to a cult of comfort, bodily well-being, and endless acquisition. 24 pages of photos.
Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class by Eric Lott
Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Ransby
|From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor|
Activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
|The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America by Lawrence T. Brown|
his book discusses the long history of the deleterious effects of racial segregation on health in the United States. Author Brown puts Baltimore under a microscope because Baltimore was the first city in America to enact segregationist legislation and because it remains hypersegregated to this day. "Black butterfly" describes the shape of a demographic map that plots Baltimore's population by race: a white central axis with black wings east and west.
|Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis|
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."
|Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis|
Amid rising public concern about the proliferation and privatization of prisons, and their promise of enormous profits, world-renowned author and activist Angela Y. Davis argues for the abolition of the prison system as the dominant way of responding to America's social ills. "In thinking about the possible obsolescence of the prison," Davis writes, "we should ask how it is that so many people could end up in prison without major debates regarding the efficacy of incarceration." Whereas Reagan-era politicians with "tough on crime" stances argued that imprisonment and longer sentences would keep communities free of crime, history has shown that the practice of mass incarceration during that period has had little or no effect on official crime rates: in fact, larger prison populations led not to safer communities but to even larger prison populations. As we make our way into the twenty-first century-two hundred years after the invention of the penitentiary-the question of prison abolition has acquired an unprecedented urgency. Backed by growing numbers of prisons and prisoners, Davis analyzes these institutions in the U.S., arguing that the very future of democracy depends on our ability to develop radical theories and practices that make it possible to plan and fight for a world beyond the prison industrial complex.
|RaceBrave: new and selected works by Karsonya Wise Whitehead|
RaceBrave: new and selected works provides another glimpse into Karsonya Wise Whitehead's work to document her experience raising two black boys in a post-racial America. On July 7, 2014, the day Eric Garner was murdered, Whitehead set out to write about what was happening across America to unarmed black people, in doing so she explores the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that resonate with parents around the country-sometimes with humor, sometimes with sadness, but always with an ear that bends toward the truth. In marking these moments, Whitehead also reached back into her childhood diaries to examine how life has changed for her, as a writer, a poet, and a mother over the years.
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
- “97 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corrine Shutack
- “The American Nightmare” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “Who Gets to be Afraid in America” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- “How White Americans used lynchings to terrorize and control black people” by Jamiles Lartey and Sam Morris
- “Why Police Abolition Must Be About Ending White Supremacy” by Kevin Rigby Jr.
- “There is a peril that Black and Brown citizens face even when we are doing something as banal as bird watching a woodpecker peck” by Sandra Guzman
- "Disability and Decolonizing Time/Knowledge on the Tenure Clock" by Danika Medak-Saltzman (Syracuse University), Deepti Misri (University of Colorado Boulder), and Beverly Weber (University of Colorado Boulder)
- "This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice!"
- "10 Ways to Tackle Linguistic Bias in Our Classrooms" by Catherine Savini
- "Beyond diversity, inclusion, and belonging" by Vincent Adejumo
- "The Asian American Experience on College Campuses" by Staff writers at bestcolleges.com
- "26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity with Students"
- "Financial Literacy in the Black Community"
|Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler|
In the year 2024, the country is marred by unattended environmental and economic crises that lead to social chaos. Lauren Olamina, a preacher’s daughter living in Los Angeles, is protected from danger by the walls of her gated community. However, in a night of fire and death, what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny . . . and the birth of a new faith.
|Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu|
Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner–talking shit, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans. Emotional and lyrical, Pass Over crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, exposing the unquestionable human spirit of young men stuck in a cycle that they are desperately trying to escape.
|The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas|
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does–or does not–say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.
|Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles|
A young man searches for answers after the death of his brother at the hands of police in this striking debut novel, for readers of The Hate U Give.
Tyler Johnson Was Here is a powerful and moving portrait of youth and family that speaks to the serious issues of today–from gun control to the Black Lives Matter movement.
|Dear Martin by Nic Stone|
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
|All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brian Kiely|
In this New York Times bestselling novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
|Beloved by Toni Morrison|
Beloved is a 1987 novel by the American writer Toni Morrison. Set after the American Civil War, it is inspired by the life of Margaret Garner, an African American who escaped slavery in Kentucky in late January 1856 by crossing the Ohio River to Ohio, a free state.
|The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison|
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by author Toni Morrison. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio, and tells the story of a young African-American girl named Pecola who grows up during the years following the Great Depression.
|Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi|
Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daughters, who are half sisters, separated by circumstance: Effia marries James Collins, the British governor in charge of Cape Coast Castle, while her half-sister Esi is held captive in the dungeons below. Subsequent chapters follow their children and following generations.
|Native Son by Richard Wright|
It tells the story of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, a black youth living in utter poverty in a poor area on Chicago’s South Side in the 1930s. While not apologizing for Bigger’s crimes, Wright portrays a systemic causation behind them.
|Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston|
One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston’s beloved 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose. A true literary wonder, Hurston’s masterwork remains as relevant and affecting today as when it was first published – perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature.
|Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie|
A masterly, haunting new novel from a writer heralded by The Washington Post Book World as “the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe,” Half of a Yellow Sun re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.
|The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates|
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her — but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.
|Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams|
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
Race, Equity, Ethnicity, Memoir: Activists, Authors & Poets
(Alphabetical by last name)
- James Baldwin
- Rev. Dr. William Barber
- Carolyn Campbell
- Cymone Campbell
- Patricia Hill Collins
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Saidiya Hartman
- Nella Larsen
- Audre Lorde
- Joy James
- Ibram X Keni
- Martin Luther King
- Nelson Mandella
- Toni Morrison
- Pauli Murray
- Jared Sexton
- Nina Simone
- Bryan Stevenson
- Craig Terry
- Alice Walker
- Frank Wilderson
- Malcom X
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective Edited by Keeanga -Yamahtta Taylor
The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.
|Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins |
Collins describes the relationship between past and present intellectual traditions, suggesting that we use black feminists’ theoretical frameworks of today, such as, race, class, and gender, to interpret the intellectual traditions of previously silenced black women.
|Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks|
Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism is a 1981 book by bell hooks titled after Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech. Hooks examines the effect of racism and sexism on black women, the civil rights movement, and feminist movements from suffrage to the 1970s.
|Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay|
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today.
|Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper|
So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us [in this memoir] that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.
|In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker|
In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose is a collection composed of 36 separate pieces written by Alice Walker. The essays, articles, reviews, statements, and speeches were written between 1966 and 1982. Many are based on her understanding of “womanist” theory.
|Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde|
In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.
|Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis|
A powerful study of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
|Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur; Foreword by Angela Davis|
With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.
|Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin|
Giovanni’s Room is set in the Paris of the 1950s, where a young American expatriate finds himself caught between his repressed desires and conventional morality. With sharp, probing insight, James Baldwin’s classic narrative delves into the mystery of love and tells an impassioned, deeply moving story that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
|Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lord|
ZAMI is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author’s vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde’s work is cyclical. It started a new genre that the author calls biomythography, which combines history, biography, and myth. In the text, Lorde writes that “Zami” is “a Carriacou name for women who work together as friends and lovers”, noting that Carriacou is the Caribbean island from which her mother immigrated. The name proves fitting: Lorde begins Zami writing that she owes her power and strength to the women in her life, and much of the book is devoted to detailed portraits of other women.
|Real Life by Brandon Taylor|
A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice. Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.
|Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers|
Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Carruthers challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. She offers a flexible model of what deeply effective organizing can be, anchored in the Chicago model of activism, which features long-term commitment, cultural sensitivity, creative strategizing, and multiple cross-group alliances.
|No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies by E. Patrick Johnson|
No Tea, No Shade brings together nineteen essays from the next generation of black queer studies scholars, activists, and community leaders who build on the foundational work of black queer studies, pushing the field in new and exciting directions.
|Since I Laid My Burden Down by Brontez Purnell|
The adult DeShawn lives a high, artistic, and promiscuous life in San Francisco. But when he’s called back to his cramped southern hometown for his uncle’s funeral, it’s inevitable that he’ll be hit by flashbacks of handsome, doomed neighbors and sweltering Sunday services. Amidst prickly reminders of his childhood, DeShawn ponders family, church, and the men in his life, prompting the question: Who deserves love?
|The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir by Stacyann Chin|
No one knew Staceyann’s mother was pregnant until a dangerously small baby was born on the floor of her grandmother’s house in Jamaica, on Christmas Day. Staceyann’s mother did not want her, and her father was not present. No one, except her grandmother, thought Staceyann would survive. It was her grandmother who nurtured and protected and provided for Staceyann and her older brother in the early years. But when the three were separated, Staceyann was thrust, alone, into an unfamiliar and dysfunctional home in Paradise, Jamaica.
Told with grace, humor, and courage, Chin plumbs tender and unsettling memories as she writes about drifting from one home to the next, coming out as a lesbian, finding the man she believes to be her father, and ultimately, discovering her voice.
|No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore|
When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.
Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.
|The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie|
At one time a wild young girl and a brilliant artist, Ava Delaney changes dramatically after a violent event that rocks her entire family. Once loved and respected in their community and in their church, the Delaneys are ostracized by their neighbors, led by their church leader, and a seventeen year feud ensues. Ava and her family are displaced from the community even as they continue to live within it, trapped inside their creaky, shadowy old house. When a mysterious woman arrives unexpectedly for a visit, her presence stirs up the past and ghosts and other restless things begin to emerge. And something is reignited in Ava: the indifferent woman she has become begins to give way to the wild girl, and the passionate artist, she used to be. But not without a struggle that threatens her life.