Lauren Johnson '21 and Ashley Hodges '21 Create Anti-Racist Reading List

Written by
Lauren Johnson '21 and Ashley Hodges '21
Oct. 21, 2020

Reading is just one aspect of allyship, and it certainly is not the final step. Use these resources for good. Discuss them with others. Share them. Listen to your black friends, black co-workers, and black peers. Take action. Donate. Take an AAS class. Send emails. Have difficult conversations. Protest.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for books to be included in this list, please email and Thanks!

- Lauren Johnson '21 and Ashley Hodges '21

Revolutionary Thoughts
  • Keisha Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom
  • George Breitman, ed., Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (available online here)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks, RIOT (available online here)
  • Charles E. Cobb Jr., This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible
  • Huey P. Newton, Revolutionary Suicide
  • Assata Shakur, Assata (available online here)
  • Robyn Spencer, The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland
Black Feminist Theory
  • Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherrie Moraga, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color (available online here)
  • Frances M. Beal, "Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female" 
  • Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement (available online here)
  • Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw, "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity, Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color (available online here)
  • Angela Davis, Women, Race & Class (available online here)
  • Saidiya Hartman, "The Belly of the World: A Note on Black Women's Labors" (available online here)
  • Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider
  • Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle
  • Imani Perry, Breathe
  • Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body
  • Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf
  • Hortense Spillers, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" (available online here)
  • Alice Walker, "In Search of Our Mother's Gardens" (available online here)
  • Sylvia Wynter, "Unsettling the Coloniality of Being" (available online here)
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, How We Get Free
Prison/Police Abolition
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (available online here)
  • Dan Berger, The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States
  • Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (available online here)
  • Angela Davis, Freedom is a Constant Struggle (available online here)
  • James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own 
  • Avery F. Gordon, Globalism and the Prison Industrial Complex: an Interview With Angela Davis (available online here)
  • Joe Macaré and Maya Schenwar, eds., Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? (available online here)
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
  • Naomi Murakawa, The First Civil Right
  • Stuart Schrader, Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing
  • Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy
  • Alex S. Vitale, The End of Policing (available online here)
Critical Race Studies
  • James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (available online here)
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me 
  • Cathy Cohen, The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics
  • Matthew Desmond, Racial Domination, Racial Progress
  • Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (available online here)
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (available online here)
  • Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval
  • Jonathan S. Holloway, Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940
  • bell hooks, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
  • Michael Kats, Why Don't American Cities Burn
  • Aida Levy-Hussen, How to Read African American Literature: Post-Civil Rights Fiction and the Task of Interpretation
  • Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study
  • Imani Perry, More Beautiful and More TerribleThe Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States
  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Octavia Butler, The Parable of the Talents
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (available online here)
  • Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • LeRoi Jones, ​​​​​​​The Dutchman and The Slave
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • ZZ Packer, "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" (available online here)
  • Ann Petry, ​​​​​​​The Street
  • Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys
  • Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones
Shorter Reads
  • Michelle Alexander, "America This Is Your Chance" (available online here)
  • Matthew Desmond, "American Capitalism Is Brutal. You Can Trace That to the Plantation" (essay from the 1619 Project, available online here)
  • Coshandra Dillard, "Teaching About King's Radical Approach to Social Justice" (available online here)
  • Garrett Felber, "The Struggle to Abolish the Police Is Not New" (available online here)
  • Eddie Glaude Jr., "Floyd's Death Shows Once More That We Cannot Wait For White America to End Racism (available online here)
  • The Poetry of Langston Hughes (available online here)
  • Mariame Kaba, "Police 'Reforms' You Should Always Oppose" (available online here)
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, "Black Study, Black Struggle" (available online here)
  • Imani Perry, "Racism Is Terrible. Blackness Is Not." (available online here)
  • Bryan Stevenson, "Why American Prisons Owe Their Cruelty to Slavery" (essay from the 1619 Project, available online here)
  • George Yancy, "Dear White America" (available online here)
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, "Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People." (available online here)

[Originally published here via Lauren Johnson '21 and Ashley Hodges '21]