|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
Drawing on recent research in cultural studies and social history, Eric Lott examines the role of the blackface minstrel show in the political struggles of the years leading up to the Civil War.
Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Ransby
In Making All Black Lives Matter, award-winning historian and longtime activist Barbara Ransby outlines the scope and genealogy of this movement, documenting its roots in Black feminist politics and situating it squarely in a Black radical tradition, one that is anticapitalist, internationalist, and focused on some of the most marginalized members of the Black community. From the perspective of a participant-observer, Ransby maps the movement, profiles many of its lesser-known leaders, measures its impact, outlines its challenges, and looks toward its future.
|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.