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- A Burst of Light: and Other Essays
Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit.
- Assata: An Autobiography
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.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
- Between the World and Me
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of Black people—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion.
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
- Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States
Carl A. Zimring
Clean and White offers a history of environmental racism in the United States focusing on constructions of race and hygiene. In the wake of the civil war, as the nation encountered emancipation, mass immigration, and the growth of an urbanized society, Americans began to conflate the ideas of race and waste.
- Defining Moments in Black History: reading Between the Lines
In this collection of thoughtful, provocative essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience. In his unapologetically candid voice, he moves from African ancestry and surviving the Middle Passage to the enjoyment of bacon and everything pig, the headline-making shootings of black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement. A captivating journey through time, Defining Moments in Black History explores historical movements such as The Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as cultural touchstones such as Sidney Poitier winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies in the Field and Billie Holiday releasing Strange Fruit.
- Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul
Eddie S. Glaude Jr
Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, this book argues that we live in a country founded on a "value gap"—with white lives valued more than others—that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America—and offers thoughts on a better way forward.
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
Far too often, Black women's anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women's eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It's what makes Beyoncé's girl power anthems resonate so hard. It's what makes Michelle Obama an icon. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.
- Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas
Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor
In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. This book argues that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in America’s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.
- Freedom is A Constant Struggle
Angela Y. Davis
In this collection of essays, interviews, and speeches, the renowned activist examines today’s issues—from Black Lives Matter to prison abolition and more.
- Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That A Movement Forgot
Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title.
- How to Be an Antiracist
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.
- Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change
Lead from the Outside is a necessary guide to harnessing the strengths of being an outsider.
- Me and White Supremacy
Layla F. Saad
Layla F. Saad published a workbook of the same name for free that was downloaded by over 80,000 people. It is a challenge in which you do a reading and then write about it every day, privately.
- Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America
After the election of Donald Trump, and the escalation of white male rage and increased hostility toward immigrants that came with him, Ijeoma Oluo found herself in conversation with Americans around the country, pondering one central question: How did we get here?
- My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts
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-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.
- One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race
One Drop explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. It is through contributors' lived experiences with and lived imaginings of Black identity that we can visualize multiple possibilities for Blackness.
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
While African Americans managed to emerge from chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed with great strength and resilience, they did not emerge unscathed. Slavery produced centuries of physical, psychological and spiritual injury. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal.
- Say It Louder!: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy
Tiffany Cross explores the role that African Americans have played in shaping the United States while offering concrete information to help harness the electoral power of the country’s rising majority and exposing political forces aligned to subvert and suppress Black voters.
- Sister Citizen Shame, Stereortypes, and Black Women in America
Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen is an examination of how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing.
- So You Want to Talk about Race
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
In this deeply researched narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti–Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Using the lives of five major American intellectuals, Kendi offers a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and anti-racists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W. E. B. Du Bois to legendary anti–prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro–civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.
- The Color of Law
The Color of Law details how federal housing policies in the 1940s and '50s mandated segregation and undermined the ability of black families to own homes and build wealth.
- The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide
The End of White Politics shows exactly how and why progressives can lean into identity politics, empowering marginalized groups, and uniting under a common vision that will benefit us all.
- The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
Edward E. Baptist
As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy.
- The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
The Purpose of Power is Alicia Garza's personal story, her background, her experiences in organizing, leading, and activism in general, and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, but it is also the story of the utmost importance in organizing, participating, and actively working towards real change.
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Wilkerson compares the epic migration of Black Americans to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
- The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans--and How We Can Fix
In The Whiteness of Wealth, Brown draws on decades of cross-disciplinary research to show that tax law isn’t as color-blind as she’d once believed. She takes us into her adopted city of Atlanta, introducing us to families across the economic spectrum whose stories demonstrate how American tax law rewards the preferences and practices of white people while pushing black people further behind.
- This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Although written as a YA book, this is for adults as well. It asks questions: Who are you? What is your identity? What is racism? How do you choose your own path? How do you stand in solidarity? How can you hold yourself accountable? Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work in 20 carefully laid out chapters. Written by anti-bias, anti-racist, educator and activist, Tiffany Jewell, and illustrated by French illustrator Aurélia Durand.
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
This book offers a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development.
- Uncommon Common Ground
Angela Glover Blackwell
Uncommon Common Ground is an important book on several levels. It provides intelligent policy analysis regarding the powerful demographic trends and multi-decade data projections that display the reconfiguring of this nation's ethnic and cultural character.
- White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to Black progress in America.
- White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
An historical and cultural criticism that argues that white feminism, from Australia to Zimbabwe to the United States, has been a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against black and indigenous women, and all women of color.
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious.
- Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. Although she is British and centers racism in the UK, her writing applies to the racism in the US and in other countries as well.