Racial Justice Reading List & Resources
[This list is a starting point and by no means comprehensive- feel free to add your own.
African American Literature Book Club - AALBC is the oldest, largest, and most popular online bookstore dedicated to African American literature and Black Literature from around the world. We celebrate Black culture, through books, for ALL readers to enjoy.
Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans--has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?
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.
+Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad (foreword by Robin Di
Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
+The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave a passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters, " written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both Black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.
+Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
A classic work of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a Woman has become a must-read for all those interested in the nature of Black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on Black women during slavery, the devaluation of Black womanhood, Black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the Black woman's involvement with feminism, hooks attempts to move us beyond racist and sexist assumptions.
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.
+Carceral Capitalism by Jackie Wang
(currently available as a free PDF if you send receipt of a bail fund donation)
In this collection of essays, Jackie Wang examines the contemporary incarceration techniques that have emerged since the 1990s. The essays illustrate various aspects of the carceral continuum, including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, cybernetic governance, and algorithmic policing.
+The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
+White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo
Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and "allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to 'bad people' (Claudia Rankine)”. 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. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of Black America's shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans.
+Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Claudia Rankine 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. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive.
+Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of Black life and Black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era.
+Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black by bell hooks
In this collection of personal and theoretical essays, hooks reflects on her signature issues of racism and feminism, politics and pedagogy. Among her discoveries is that moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side, a gesture of defiance that heals, making new life and new growth possible.
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.
+Women Race and 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.
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) established a reputation as one of the most important civil rights organizations of the early 1960s. In the wake of the southern student sit-ins, CORE created new chapters all over the country, including one in Brooklyn, New York, which quickly established itself as one of the most audacious and dynamic chapters in the nation. In Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings, historian Brian Purnell explores the chapter's numerous direct-action protest campaigns for economic justice and social equality.
+How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
+Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
Taking us from the slave era, when white women fought in court to keep "ownership" of their slaves, through the centuries of colonialism, when they offered a soft face for brutal tactics, to the modern workplace, White Tears/Brown Scars tells a charged story of white women's active participation in campaigns of oppression. It offers a long overdue validation of the experiences of women of color.
+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.
+Movement in Black by Pat Parker
Whether she was presenting her poetry on street corners, performing with other women -- writers, musicians, activists -- in bars and auditoriums, rallying the crowd at political events, preaching to the converted, or converting the ill-informed, Pat Parker was a presence. She wrote about gut issues: the lives of ordinary Black people, violence, loving women, the legacy of her African American heritage, being queer. She was a woman who engaged life fully, both personally and as a political activist, linking the struggles for racial, gender, sexual, and class equality long before it was "PC" to do so. She died as she lived -- fighting forces larger than herself.
+How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective 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.
+ Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
+You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Body is a Confederate Monument by Caroline Randall Williams - New York Times
+Long Time Woman by Niela Orr
+It Does Not Matter If You Are Good On Omar Jimenez, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and the myth of being non-threatening by R. Eric Thomas
@laylafsaad - Layla Saad, author and speaker, Me and White Supremacy
@blackvisionscollective - Black queer and trans led organizing in Minneapolis
@gabriellak_j - Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, fashion director, Garage Magazine
@osopepatrisse - Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, founder Black Lives Matter and Reform LA Jails
@rachel.cargle - Rachel Cargle, educator and founder, The Loveland Foundation and The Great Unlearn
@tourmaliiine - Tourmaline - filmmaker and abolitionist organizer
@urdoinggreat - Gem - educational Tiktoks and resource sharing
@theconsciouskid - parenting and education through a critical race lens
@nowhitesaviors - dismantling white savior complex and voluntourism
@blackwomenradicals - Black feminist advocacy organization
@americahatesus - Black owned apparel and info sharing from a Brooklyn attorney
@philaprint - Philadelphia-based Black woman owned social justice print shop
@criticalresistance- abolitionist work and alternatives to incarceration
@mvmnt4blklives- Movement for Black Lives Coalition
@ibramxk - Ibram X. Kendi, author, How to Be An Antiracist and director at the Antiracist Research & Policy Center
@ihartericka - Ericka Hart, sex educator and activist
@ashleemariepreston - Writer and activist I
@itswalela - organizer @spitjustice
@sonyareneetaylor - author, educator, founder of This Body is Not an Apology
@KeeangaYamahtta - Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author, scholar, activist
@adriennemareebrown - Adrienne Maree Brown, author and transformation activist
+Code Switch (NPR) hosted by Shereen Marisol Maraji and Gene Demby
+Still Processing (New York Times) hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris
+1619 (New York Times)
+Good Ancestor hosted by Layla Saad (episode w. Robin DiAngelo is a good starting point)
+Represent (Slate) hosted by Aisha Harris
+Latino USA (NPR)
+Pod Save The People (Crooked Media) hosted by DeRay McKessen, Brittany Packnet, Sam Sinyangwe, and Dr. Clint Smith III
+In the Thick (Futuro Media) hosted by Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela
+How to Survive the End of the World hosted by Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown
+Hoodrat to Headwrap hosted by Ericka Hart and Ebony Donnley
Films and Documentaries:
+Racism/White Supremacy Youtube playlist by Anderson Luna
+White Fragility & Other Anti-Racism Videos Youtube playlist by Xayli Barclay
+Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, Film)
+I Am Not Your Negro (James Bladwin, Documentary)
+American Son (Kenny Leon, FIlm, Netflix)
+The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr., Film, Hulu with Cinemax)
+When They See Us (Ava DuVernay, Miniseries, Netflix)
+Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu, Film)
+Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton, Film)
+13th (Ava DuVernay, Documentary, Netflix) available on youtube
+Take the Harvard Implicit Association Tests but be warned that it sometimes reveals troubling aspects of human nature; it poses the possibility of causing discomfort. Particularly take the "Race ('Black - White' Implicit Association Test)”. This IAT requires the ability to distinguish faces of European and African origin. In this case, it indicates that most Americans have an automatic preference for white over black.
There is a daily struggle to unlearn and reprogram our brains and shift racial paradigm, some are subconscious and subtle. The solution is to mindfully become aware when it happens and fight it.
+Guidelines for Effective White Caucuses by Craig Elliot and becky martinez- how to organize discussions among fellow white people in community to dismantle racism
Jane Elliott, internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. And if you think this does not apply to you. . . you are in for a rude awakening.
Get Involved- Organizations:
SURJ’s role as part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially-just society.
Volunteer or donate.
AWARE’s work includes fundraising, internal and external education, mobilization, recruitment and networking, action planning, and cultural transformation. We believe strongly that white folks can play a progressive and supportive role in amplifying the voices and demands of Black people, moving the white community to take a more active and participatory stance for racial justice, and apply strategic pressure on institutions to change racist policies.
Working to decriminalize, decarcerate and destigmatize the sex trades in NY.
Dedicated to transforming the justice system.
+Black Lives Matter
+National Bail Out Fund
+VOCAL New York
VOCAL NY is a statewide grassroots organization building power among low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, the drug war and mass incarceration, along with the organizations that serve us, to create healthy and just communities. Donate here.
+Food Assistance for Milwaukee
+Crisis Queer Fund for Black trans women and femmes
+Marsha P. Johnson Institute
+Black Visions Collective
+North Star Health Collective
+Reclaim the Block
+Homeless Black Trans Women Fund for Atlanta women
+NYC Committee for Trans Action - @nyccta
+Gas Mask Fund - Direct funding for gas masks for people on the ground in Minnesota
Cash App: $IsakDouah
+Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Venmo: bedstuystrong (last 4 digits of phone number: 7668)
Cash App: $bedstuystrong
+Free Them All 2020 - Bail Fund for NYC Protestors
+Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund by Black Trans Femmes In the Arts & For The Gworls
+Black Excellence Collective providing safe transport for Black LGBTQ+ protestors
+Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition
Contribute to the work on behalf of our PPOWs: legal campaigns, making visits, providing commissary, family support, printing literature, and sponsoring events. Please consider a $10/month automatic donation. A way to support Panthers who are incarcerated present day.
+The Okra Project @theokraproject
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them. Donate here
+Justice for Breonna Taylor
Collecting funds to support justice for Breonna Taylor
+The Reparations for Black People Fund
Collecting monthly donations from non-Black folks and redistributing to a network of Black folks and organizations in need. Organized by @daddaddydevito and @seanaverypacheco
+GLITS/ Swop Behind Bars
Securing long-term housing for Black trans women recently released from Rikers Island.
Trainings and Workshops:
+Good Ancestor Academy
+White Anti-Racist Culture Building Toolkit - AWARE LA
+The Great Unlearn
+Bystander Intervention Training
+Mental Health First Aid Training
+Ericka Hart’s webinars on Racial and Social Justice
+SURJ- Showing up For Racial Justice teachings on Racism 101, White Supremacy Culture, White Feminism, White Privilege, and White Nationalism
+Anti-Racism Packet by Jasmine Mitchell @smooth_jas
Alternatives to Policing:
+What To Do Instead of Calling the Police by Aaron Rose
+Project LETS Responding in a Mental Health Emergency
+Overdose Prevention Training- (links to NYC DOH but you can find local options in your area. Many DOH will also send a trainer to your business or organization if you have a group who wants to learn. Look for orgs with a harm reduction approach)
At least in my experience, the training in New York is quite comprehensive and covers understanding the opioid crisis from a broad social justice perspective, addresses racial and economic inequality and destigmatizing drug use. I highly recommend everyone do one of these trainings.
Find trainings, resources and street medic groups near you
+The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale Verso Books free E-book
Black and Brown run resources on parenting and education through a critical race lens.
+31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance
+Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup by Katrina Michie
Mental Health Resources:
Other Master Lists and PDF Banks:
+Black Revolutionary Texts - big PDF resource
+Anti Racism Resources - document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020.
+Fantasy World Master List of Resources on How to Dismantle Systemic Racism by @patiasfantasyworld
+Public Reading - PDFs of many critical theory texts compiled by Song Chong
+Practical Ways to Support BLM from the UK - many emails, petitions, open letters to join
+Support Black People MasterDoc - places to donate and protest tips (shared from @niidal)
+More Links to Anti-Racism education and unlearning. ““In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” — Angela Davis”
+The Black Anarchism Reader by Black Rose Anarchist Federation
+Bilphena Yawhon’s Womanist Online Library PDF collection
Feeding The Soul Through Music:
On Spotify, A Collaborative playlist where you can add relevant tracks Genre: Soul, Indie, Folk, Acoustic, Easy Listening