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This guide is designed as a starting point for learning about anti-racism and systemic racism. You will find electronic books and streaming video from the Libraries’ collection. The guide also links to community-based organizations and non-profit journa
San Francisco is the endgame of gentrification, where racialized displacement means that the Black population of the city hovers at just over 3 percent. The Robeson Justice Academy opened to serve the few remaining low-income neighborhoods of the city, with the mission of offering liberatory, social justice--themed education to youth of color. While it features a progressive curriculum including Frantz Fanon and Audre Lorde, the majority Latinx school also has the district's highest suspension rates for Black students. In Progressive Dystopia Savannah Shange explores the potential for reconciling the school's marginalization of Black students with its sincere pursuit of multiracial uplift and solidarity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and six years of experience teaching at the school, Shange outlines how the school fails its students and the community because it operates within a space predicated on antiblackness. Seeing San Francisco as a social laboratory for how Black communities survive the end of their worlds, Shange argues for abolition over revolution or progressive reform as the needed path toward Black freedom.
We Who Are Dark provides the first extended philosophical defense of black political solidarity. Tommie Shelby argues that we can reject a biological idea of race and agree with many criticisms of identity politics yet still view black political solidarity as a needed emancipatory tool. In developing his defense of black solidarity, he draws on the history of black political thought, focusing on the canonical figures of Martin R. Delany and W. E. B. Du Bois.
In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the "orthography of the wake." Activating multiple registers of "wake"--the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness--Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of "the wake," "the ship," "the hold," and "the weather," Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and "wake work" as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.
"This collection of short meditations, written from a prison cell, captures the past two decades of police violence that gave rise to Black Lives Matter while digging deeply into the history of the United States. This is the book we need right now to find our bearings in the chaos."--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States "[Mumia’s] writings are a wake-up call. He is a voice from our prophetic tradition, speaking to us here, now, lovingly, urgently.”--Cornel West "He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them.”--Angela Y. Davis In December 1981, Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness. In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the country’s black population. Applying a personal, historical, and political lens, Mumia provides a righteously angry and calmly principled radical black perspective on how racist violence is tearing our country apart and what must be done to turn things around. Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Death Blossoms, Live from Death Row, All Things Censored, and Writing on the Wall.
Winner of the John Hope Franklin Prize A Moyers & Company Best Book of the Year "[A] brilliant work that tells us how directly the past has formed us." --Darryl Pinckney, New York Review of Books Lynch mobs, chain gangs, and popular views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow South are well known. We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society. Following the 1890 census, the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery, crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land of opportunity were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites--liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners--as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. In the heyday of "separate but equal," what else but pathology could explain black failure in the "land of opportunity"? The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans' own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, Khalil Gibran Muhammad reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE * PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race" (Rolling Stone) NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN * NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * O: The Oprah Magazine * The Washington Post * People * Entertainment Weekly * Vogue * Los Angeles Times * San Francisco Chronicle * Chicago Tribune * New York * Newsday * Library Journal * Publishers Weekly 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 new 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 women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
In this series of essays Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique. Today the general wealth of social life finds itself confronted by mutations in the mechanisms of control, from the proliferation of capitalist logistics through governance by credit and management of pedagogy. Working from and within the social poesis of life in the undercommons Moten and Harney develop and expand an array of concepts.
This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race--revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases--continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly "post-racial" era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, "Fatal Invention" offers a timely and "provocative analysis" ("Nature") of race, science, and politics by one of the nation's leading legal scholars and social critics.
In 1968, Winthrop D. Jordan set out in encyclopedic detail the evolution of white Englishmen's and Anglo-Americans' perceptions of blacks, perceptions of difference used to justify race-based slavery, and liberty and justice for whites only. This second edition, with new forewords by historians Christopher Leslie Brown and Peter H. Wood, reminds us that Jordan's text is still the definitive work on the history of race in America in the colonial era. Every book published to this day on slavery and racism builds upon his work; all are judged in comparison to it; none has surpassed it.
A groundbreaking history demonstrating that America's economic supremacy was built on the backs of slaves Winner of the 2015 Avery O. Craven Prize from the Organization of American Historians Winner of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. 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. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. Bloomberg View Top Ten Nonfiction Books of 2014 Daily Beast Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
Shares wrenching accounts of the everyday violence experienced by emancipated African Americans Well after slavery was abolished, its legacy of violence left deep wounds on African Americans' bodies, minds, and lives. For many victims and witnesses of the assaults, rapes, murders, nightrides, lynchings, and other bloody acts that followed, the suffering this violence engendered was at once too painful to put into words yet too horrible to suppress. In this evocative and deeply moving history Kidada Williams examines African Americans' testimonies about racial violence. By using both oral and print culture to testify about violence, victims and witnesses hoped they would be able to graphically disseminate enough knowledge about its occurrence and inspire Americans to take action to end it. In the process of testifying, these people created a vernacular history of the violence they endured and witnessed, as well as the identities that grew from the experience of violence. This history fostered an oppositional consciousness to racial violence that inspired African Americans to form and support campaigns to end violence. The resulting crusades against racial violence became one of the political training grounds for the civil rights movement.
Recent years have brought public mourning to the heart of American politics, as exemplified by the spread and power of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has gained force through its identification of pervasive social injustices with individual losses. The deaths of Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and so many others have brought private grief into the public sphere. The rhetoric and iconography of mourning has been noteworthy in Black Lives Matter protests, but David W. McIvor believes that we have paid too little attention to the nature of social mourning--its relationship to private grief, its practices, and its pathologies and democratic possibilities. In Mourning in America, McIvor addresses significant and urgent questions about how citizens can mourn traumatic events and enduring injustices in their communities. McIvor offers a framework for analyzing the politics of mourning, drawing from psychoanalysis, Greek tragedy, and scholarly discourses on truth and reconciliation. Mourning in America connects these literatures to ongoing activism surrounding racial injustice, and it contextualizes Black Lives Matter in the broader politics of grief and recognition. McIvor also examines recent, grassroots-organized truth and reconciliation processes such as the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004-2006), which provided a public examination of the Greensboro Massacre of 1979--a deadly incident involving local members of the Communist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan.
Violence Against Black Bodies argues that black deaths at the hands of police are just one form of violence that black and brown people face daily in the western world. rough the voices of scholars from different academic disciplines, this book gives readers an opportunity to put the cases together and see that violent deaths in police custody are just one tentacle of the racial order--a hierarchy which is designed to produce trauma and discrimination according to one's perceived race-ethnicity.
On Marronage by P. Khalil Saucier (Editor); Tryon P. Woods (Editor)
Publication Date: 2015
P.Khalil Saucier and Tryon P.Woods make the case that racism and colourism (here referred to as AntiBlackness) have shaped even the tools historically used to investigate them, using this realisation to suggest how new conceptual frameworks might be built within academia. On Marronage is both timeless and timely, posing questions about the true extent of racism's effects that have been being posed by black activists for generations yet which have only recently been receiving mainstream media attention.
Nobody by Marc Lamont Hill; Todd Brewster (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2016-07-26
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews A New York Times Editor's Choice Nautilus Award Winner "A worthy and necessary addition to the contemporary canon of civil rights literature." --The New York Times From one of the leading voices on civil rights in America, a thoughtful and urgent analysis of recent headline-making police brutality cases and the systems and policies that enabled them. In this "thought-provoking and important" (Library Journal) analysis of state-sanctioned violence, Marc Lamont Hill carefully considers a string of high-profile deaths in America--Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others--and incidents of gross negligence by government, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He digs underneath these events to uncover patterns and policies of authority that allow some citizens become disempowered, disenfranchised, poor, uneducated, exploited, vulnerable, and disposable. To help us understand the plight of vulnerable communities, he examines the effects of unfettered capitalism, mass incarceration, and political power while urging us to consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to become somebody. Heralded as an essential text for our times, Marc Lamont Hill's galvanizing work embodies the best traditions of scholarship, journalism, and storytelling to lift unheard voices and to address the necessary question, "how did we get here?"
Race for Profit by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Publication Date: 2019-10-21
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST, 2020 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion. Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining's end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers - as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation's first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind. Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.
Otherwise Worlds by Tiffany Lethabo King (Editor); Jenell Navarro (Editor); Andrea Smith (Editor)
Publication Date: 2020-05-18
The contributors to Otherwise Worlds investigate the complex relationships between settler colonialism and anti-Blackness to explore the political possibilities that emerge from such inquiries. Pointing out that presumptions of solidarity, antagonism, or incommensurability between Black and Native communities are insufficient to understand the relationships between the groups, the volume's scholars, artists, and activists look to articulate new modes of living and organizing in the service of creating new futures. Among other topics, they examine the ontological status of Blackness and Indigeneity, possible forms of relationality between Black and Native communities, perspectives on Black and Indigenous sociality, and freeing the flesh from the constraints of violence and settler colonialism. Throughout the volume's essays, art, and interviews, the contributors carefully attend to alternative kinds of relationships between Black and Native communities that can lead toward liberation. In so doing, they critically point to the importance of Black and Indigenous conversations for formulating otherwise worlds. Contributors Maile Arvin, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, J. Kameron Carter, Ashon Crawley, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Chris Finley, Hotvlkuce Harjo, Sandra Harvey, Chad B. Infante, Tiffany Lethabo King, Jenell Navarro, Lindsay Nixon, Kimberly Robertson, Jared Sexton, Andrea Smith, Cedric Sunray, Se'mana Thompson, Frank B. Wilderson