• Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist: “Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”
  • W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail.
    • This documents how African heritage mariners found physical, social, and economic freedom aboard ships. Bolster is also a former ASTA/TSAm board member.
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between The World And Me: “Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States.”
  • FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019“Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.”
  • Adam Cohen, Supreme Inequality; The Supreme Court’s Battle for a More Unjust America: “Adam Cohen surveys the most significant Supreme Court rulings since the Nixon era and exposes how rarely the Court has veered away from its agenda of promoting inequality. Contrary to what Americans like to believe, the Court does little to protect the rights of the poor and disadvantaged; in fact, it has not been on their side for fifty years.”
    • A great read for systems understanding. Explains how though strides were made for equality in the 60’s, nearly all was undone in the decade following and since then. Restructures and recenters our understanding of the Judicial Branch of Government and its actual role in all our lives, regardless of our race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or class.
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents: “Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.”
    • A work that revolutionizes our understanding of the most sinister discriminatory practices in the world, and the understanding that two of them are American by design. Since her work is told through novel like stories, it’s extremely easy information to digest and understand to a lay person to this work. Can be in the beginners section! Tough content but easy to read for people who need an introduction to the topic but also for “non-readers.”
  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson: “From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration 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.”
    • Another good introduction to understanding African American life, and the way immigration within the borders of the country changed the fabric of American life in their new homes. Also told through novel like stories within a historical text. Good for readers new to the topics.
  • Monique Morris, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School: “[The author]…chronicles the experiences of Black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish.”
    • A good read for those interested in or in need of understanding intersectional discrimination.
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America: “To scholars and social critics, the racial segregation of our neighborhoods has long been viewed as a manifestation of unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants working outside the law. This is what is commonly known as “de facto segregation,” practices that were the outcome of private activity, not law or explicit public policy. Yet, as Rothstein breaks down in case after case, private activity could not have imposed segregation without explicit government policies (de jure segregation) designed to ensure the separation of African Americans from whites.”
    • Another good systems text, the lives of white people have been curated to distance themselves from and disenfranchise black people. A book that clearly and unequivocally displays how laws are used in housing, that enable private entities to create the racial landscape in the country we see today.
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: “Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. Today, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.”
    • Again, a systems text, that demonstrates how racism has shaped American life and advances racist views of black men and women through laws targeted at dehumanizing and disenfranchising Black Americans. This is a tough read, necessary, but hard.
  • Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World: “The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite’s efforts to “change the world” preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today’s news.”
    • Told similarly to Isabel Wilkerson’s works by using novel like stories to lay bare the egregious way philanthropy is used as a tool working against, not for, justice and equality for the world’s bottom 99%.
  • Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want To Talk About Race: This book covers a variety of topics form the “Model Minority” Myth and Intersectionality, to the School-to-Prison pipeline and everything in between. This work is a great place to start to understand many of the issues affecting BIPOC populations in the U.S. and a place to start open and informed conversations.
  • Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: A book that uses trauma and body-centered psychology to analyze the damage caused by racism in the U.S. Menakem speaks to how we will always live in this cycle of pain and trauma unless we heal our collective wounds. A combination of deep analysis and exercises to examine our own feelings and body.
  • August Meier & Elliott Rudwick, From Plantation to Ghetto: This is a landmark work in African American history that documents economic and labor systems designed to prevent socio-economic advancement for African Americans.
  • Edward L. Ayers, Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction: This is a great book on how African Americans fared after emancipation, and what did/didn’t work during reconstruction.
  • How to Citizen With Baratunde (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-citizen-with-baratunde/id1523714708“How To Citizen with Baratunde reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power. So many of us want to do more in response to the problems we hear about constantly, but where and how to participate can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless.”
    • Good for people to who want to help make their own communities a better place but don’t know where to start or feel like the only way they know how is through elections. 
  • 1619 by The New York Times, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/1619/id1476928106 ) “No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is time to tell the story.”
    • Good for understanding how race permeates every facet of America, the systems that were constructed with race in mind, and how race continues to affect every citizen.
    • Episodes (there’s not that many so all of them but)
      • The Fight for True Democracy
      • The Birth of American Music
      • How the Bad Blood Started
  • NPR’s Code Switch (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/code-switch/id1112190608)“[they’re]…a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.
    • Good for folks looking for contemporary, intersectional discussions on events from the last 4 years and moving forward. A good way to stay informed by people we trust.
    • Episodes Suggested
      • Can We Talk About Whiteness
      • Made for You and Me
      • You’re A Grand Old Flag
      • What Does Objectivity Mean to Journalists of Color
      • Say My Name, Say My Name (Correctly Please)
      • The Code Switch Guide to Handling Casual Racism
      • I’m Not Racist, I’m Argentine
      • What We Inherit
      • Word Watch
      • We’re Going to Start A Dialogue…Again
      • America’s Concentration Camps
      • A Decade of Watching Black People Die
      • Why Now, White People?
      • We Aren’t Who We Think We Are
      • An Immune System
      • The United States’ Pre-Existing Conditions
      • The Fire Still Burning

 

This page describes an ever-evolving bank of resources intended to grow over time and become more detailed. Resources are categorized and have a brief explanation of what the resource can help you learn, understand, or embody. This is meant to be a space for anyone interested in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and topics surrounding those conversations, regardless of your background or your point of entry. We hope that you find what you need, and let us know if there are any resources you would like to add to this list by clicking here.