Recommended Reading List
Compiled by the African and African American Studies department
Fundamental to antiracism is the development and circulation of ideas. Since the first native contacts with Europeans or the first slave ships departed for the Americas, individuals and groups have engaged in the careful and often slow work of critically engaging the injustices around them. Such work takes place in communities, during social movements, and on university campuses. Ideas develop through scholarship, community organizing and artistry.
This bibliography comprises careful thinking by activists, artists and scholars about the life and death stakes of antiracism. The work assembled here did not occur in a vacuum, but in the dynamic context of the real world. These books are also tools for us in the present who are seeking to find our place in the struggle to end racism. Whether you are challenging a friend or relative on a racist remark, engaging in a classroom debate about race and racism, attempting to change practices in your department or student organization, or involved in community organizing around matters of social justice, these works are intended to serve as accessible yet rigorous tools to help you develop a lens for analysis and resource for structuring arguments.
While divided into sections, the texts in this bibliography often overlap. This is inevitable because antiracist work is intersectional and the best writing transcends genres. Nonetheless, the bibliography is organized in order to be accessible. Readers should take their time and realize this kind of intellectual journey is lifelong. Simply identify a section that draws your interest, select a text, and begin reading! As you read, think of how you see what the authors are describing in your daily life and in public culture. Then ask how you can translate the insights you glean from the work into concrete action.
Arbuthnot, K. (2011). Filling in the blanks standardized testing and the black-white achievement gap. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.
Fasching-Varner, Kenneth J., Kerri J. Tobin, and Stephen M. Lentz. #BRokenPromises, Black Deaths, and Blue Ribbons Understanding, Complicating, and Transcending Police-Community Violence. Boston: Brill, 2018.
Finley, Stephen C., Biko Mandela Gray, and Lori Latrice Martin. The Religion of White Rage: Religious Fervor, White Workers and the Myth of Black Racial Progress. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
Finley, Stephen C. “Significations and Subjectivity: Reflections on Racism, Colonialism, and (Re)Authentication in Religion and Religious Studies.” [Special Edition: Agency Reduction in the Experiences and Realities of Africana People]. International Journal of Africana Studies, 19.2 (2018): 15-35.
Finley, Stephen C., Biko Mandela Gray, and Lori Latrice Martin. “‘Affirming Our Values’: African American Scholars, White Virtual Mobs, and the Complicity of White University Administrators.” Journal of Academic Freedom, 9 (2018). ). DOI: https://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/FinleyGrayMartin.pdf
Finley, Stephen C. and Biko Mandela Gray. “God Is a White Racist: Immanent Atheism as a Religious Response to Black Lives Matter and State-sanctioned Anti-black Violence.” Journal of Africana Religions. 3.4 (October 2015): 443-53.
Johnson, E. Patrick. Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
Kelly, Herman. Black Rhetorical Traditions in the Civil Rights Movement: Voices of Struggle and Strength. S.l.: Cognella Academic Publishing, 2017.
Lewis, Heidi R., and Roland Mitchell. Beyond Mammy, Jezebel, & Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women. Portland, OR: Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, 2018.
Martin, L.L. (2019). Race, Wealth, and Homesteading Revisited: How Public Policies Destroy(ed) Black Wealth. In Grimm, J. & Loke, J. (Eds.). How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality. (140-165). Baton Rouge: LSU Press.
Martin, Lori Latrice, Gray, Biko Mandela., and Finley, Stephen C. (2019). Endangered and Vulnerable: The Black Professoriate, Bullying, and the Limits of Academic Freedom. Journal of Academic Freedom. 10:1-21.
Martin, Lori Latrice. Black Community Uplift and the Myth of the American Dream. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018.
Martin, Lori Latrice. White Sports/Black Sports: Racial Disparities in Athletic Programs. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015.
Martin, Lori Latrice, and Raymond A. Jetson. South Baton Rouge (Images of America). Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2017.
McCann, Bryan J. The Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2017.
Martin, Lori Latrice. (2019). Africana Demography: Lessons from Founders E. Franklin Frazier, W.E.B. Du Bois and the Atlanta School of Sociology. Issues in Race and Society. 8:5-28.
Robertson, R. V., Chaney, C., & Smith, E. (2019). Police use of excessive force against African Americans: Historical antecedents and community perceptions. Lanham: Lexington Books.
Robinson, Petra, ed. Black Faculty in the Academy: Narratives for Negotiating Identity and Achieving Career Success. New York: Routledge, 2015.
Racial Battle Fatigue in Higher Education: Exposing the Myth of Post-Racial America, edited by Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Katrice Albert, Roland W. Mitchell, and Chaunda Allen. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
Understanding, Dismantling, and Disrupting the Prison-to-School Pipeline, edited by Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Lori Latrice Martin, Roland W. Mitchell, Karen Bennett-Haron, and Arash Daneshzadeh. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.
Davis, Angela Y. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2015.
Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist. New York: One World, 2019.
Oluo, Ijeoma. So You Want to Talk about Race. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2018.
Saad, Layla F. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2020.
Chin, Staceyann. The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir. New York: Scribner, 2009.
Haley, Alex, and Malcolm X. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As told to Alex Haley. New York: Grove Press, 1965.
Jackson, George. Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1994.
Shakur, Assata. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2001.
Wilderson, Frank B., III, Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Aparetheid. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007.
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015.
Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. London: Routledge, 2008.
Cooper, Brittney. Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018.
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2017.
Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde. New York: Penguin Random House, 2007.
Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose. San Diego: Harcourt, 1983.
Abduraquib, Hanif. They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays. Columbus, OH: Two Dollar Radio, 2017.
Abu-Jamal, Mumia. Live from Death Row. New York: Perennial, 1995.
Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. New York: Vintage International, 1993.
Baldwin, James. Notes of a Native Son. Boston: Beacon Press, 1955.
Bell, Derrick. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York: Basic Books, 2018.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, 2nd edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015.
DuBois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015.
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press, 2008.
Glaude, Eddie S., Jr. Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. New York: Random House, 2020.
Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Mills, Charles W. The Racial Contract. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.
Roberts, Dorothy. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage Books, 2017.
Sexton, Jared. Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiculturalism. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the Cafeteria? New York: Basic Books, 1997.
Vitale, Alex. The End of Policing. London, UK: Verso.
Wilderson, Frank B. III. Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.
Baldwin, James. Giovanni’s Room. New York: Dial Press, 1956.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Water Dancer. New York: Penguin Random House, 2019.
Hurston, Zora Neal. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1937.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 1987.
Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2014.
Taylor, Brandon. Real Life. New York: Penguin Random House, 2020.
Ward, Jesmin. Sing, Unburied, Sing. New York: Scribner, 2017.
Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. New York: Doubleday, 2016.
Wright, Richard. Native Son. New York: Harper, 1940.
Chang, Jeff. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: Picador, 2005.
DuBois, W.E.B. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880. New York: Free Press, 1998.
Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. New York: Nation Books, 2016.
Ore, Ersula J. Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2019.
Walker, Anders. The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018.
Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Penguin Random House, 2011.
The Young Lords Reader, edited by Darrel Enck-Wanzer (now Wanzer-Serrano). New York: New York University Press, 2010.
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2010."
Morris, Monique W. Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. New York: New Press, 2016.
Pinckney, Darryl. Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy. New York: New York Review of Books, 2014.
Ritchie, Andrea J. Invisible No More: Police Violence against Black Women and Women of Color. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017.
Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright, 2017.
DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018.
Du Bois, W. E. B. Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications,  1999. (esp. Ch. 2, “Souls of White Folk”).
Eddo-Lodge, Reni. Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.
Horsman, Reginald. Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.
Jordan, Winthrop. White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
Metzl, Jonathan M. Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland. New York: Basic Books, 2019.
Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.
West, Cornel. Prophesy Deliverance!: An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press,  2002. (esp. Ch. 2, “A Genealogy of Modern Racism”).
Yancy, George. ed. What White Looks Like: African American Philosophers on the Whiteness Question. New York and London: Routledge, 2004.