The New Jim Crow (2010) unveils an appalling system of discrimination in the United States that has led to the unprecedented mass incarceration of African-Americans. The so-called War on Drugs, under the jurisdiction of an ostensibly colorblind justice system, has only perpetuated the problem through unconscious racial bias in judgments and sentencing.
Ghettoside (2015) is an incisive look into the failure of inner-city American police to protect the black communities that they are supposed to serve. These blinks explore the problem of high rates of homicide in black communities. They provide historical background, grapple with the social implications of violence and attempt to find a practical solution.
Between the World and Me (2015) is an open letter to the author’s 15-year-old son about the realities that Black men face in America. Filled with personal anecdotes about the author’s personal development and experiences with racism, his letter tries to prepare young Black people for the world that awaits them.
How To Be Black (2012) is the funny, revealing and insightful autobiography of Baratunde Thurston. Thurston attended private schools and Harvard University, and the experience of being black in a predominantly white milieu taught him a great deal about what white and black people have come to expect from one another. These blinks tackle a difficult subject with humor and empathy.
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016) brings you up-to-date on the ongoing struggle for Black liberation in the United States. Discover the real reasons why racism continues to fracture America and why activist organizations like Black Lives Matter remain a much needed force for change. The fight is far from over, so find out what you can do to be part of the solution.
Ghetto (2016) traces the socio-ideological development of the word “ghetto” – particularly how it’s been applied to black neighborhoods in America – and takes an unflinching look at the complex ways in which race, prejudice, policy and sociology interact. When it comes to fighting for racial equality, there are no easy answers.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) examines the often-dismissed problem of racism in Britain and offers insight into how it might be overcome. Contrary to the title, this volume provides a starting point for productive conversations about racism in Britain today. It examines British black history, white privilege and the links between class and race.
When They Call You a Terrorist (2017) is the memoir of Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. Full of shocking anecdotes and statistics concerning systemic racism and police brutality against Black Americans, the book details Khan-Cullors’ childhood deprivations, her family’s struggles and the events that led to the formation of the world’s most prolific modern-day civil-rights groups.
This Will Be My Undoing (2018) delves into the author’s experiences as a Black woman living in modern-day America. By examining race, culture and feminism, the book demonstrates why and how Black women have been marginalized and offers suggestions on how this serious situation can be improved.
What Truth Sounds Like (2018) revisits a relatively short meeting in 1963 between Robert Kennedy and a group of black artists, using it as a jumping-off point for the ongoing conversation about race in America. This meeting was an eye-opening experience for Kennedy, and author Michael Eric Dyson explains why more politicians need to be woken up to the realities of the black experience. Dyson also takes a look at some of the important writers and artists who are keeping the conversation alive today.
Slay in Your Lane (2018) is a powerful broadside against the discrimination faced by black women in today’s Britain. But Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke aren’t just interested in criticizing the way things are – they also want to help improve the lives of black girls and women in the UK. Packed full of insightful advice and helpful strategies, this a blueprint for rising above prejudice and achieving great things.
Locking Up Our Own (2017) takes a look at the US war on drugs in Washington, DC, and its impact on Black Americans. It draws on significant drug and gun legislation from the 1970s through to the late 1990s, which shaped policing methods and influenced the targeting of crime in Black communities.
Ain’t I a Woman (1981) is a work of feminist scholarship that explores the complexities of living in the United States as a Black woman. Hooks examines the convergence of racism and sexism in major political and social movements throughout American history.
Thick: And Other Essays (2019) is a collection of essays by author Tressie McMillan Cottom that centers on the experiences of African American women. Drawing on her own lived experience as well as that of others, McMillan Cottom’s smart, incisive prose provides a fresh perspective on topics as varied as race, beauty, politics, and capitalism, and sheds light on the most pressing issues of today. Part sociological tract, part polemic, the book reveals the brutal and often absurd paradoxes of modern-day America.
How to be an Antiracist (2019) explores the causes of and solutions to the racism that plagues our societies. Drawing on his own experiences as well as political and historical insights, the author shines a light on what he argues is a truly antiracist perspective and explains how you can effect change in an unjust world.
Me and White Supremacy (2020) is a guidebook to the white supremacist world we live in. It’s intended to help white people improve their understanding of racism and work to become allies to people of color.
So You Want To Talk About Race (2018) examines the complex system of racism in the United States, from police brutality to cultural appropriation to the school-to-prison pipeline. It offers clarity on ways we can approach conversations about race and take action against structural injustice.
Natives (2018) melds memoir and polemic to explore race and class in contemporary Britain. Drawing on his own experiences while growing up poor and Black in London in the 1980s and 1990s, musician and writer Akala crafts a vivid portrait of a society that systematically robs Black citizens of opportunities. Why, he asks, is Britain like this? As we’ll see in these blinks, answering that question takes us deep into the history of slavery, empire, and racism.
I Am Not Your Baby Mother (2020) is part memoir and part manifesto about life as a Black British mother. Drawing on Candice Brathwaite’s own journey to parenthood, it describes how she survived everything from postnatal depression to the realization that she could never protect her children from racism. These events motivated her to create space for representations of diverse experiences of motherhood online.
Across That Bridge (2017) is a poignant account from one of America’s most powerful activists on the qualities that protestors need to embody to bring about lasting change. Activists in the US and all over the world look to the American civil rights movement of the 1960s for inspiration on how to challenge injustice. Here, Lewis uses personal recollections – from freedom rides to bus boycotts to the March on Washington – to impart lessons about nonviolent protest to the next generation of dreamers.
Four Hundred Souls (2021) is an innovative and insightful recounting of African American history. This collection brings together ninety different authors to reflect on four-hundred years of struggle, oppression, and hope.
The Souls of Black Folk (1903) details the conditions of African Americans in the years after the end of slavery. By examining issues such as education, economic opportunities, and the interaction between Black and White Americans, Du Bois highlights the challenging legacy of slavery and the disempowering effects of the racism and segregation that followed.
The Warmth of Other Suns (2010) tells the story of the Great Migration – the biggest inner-border mass migration in US history. From 1915 to 1970, millions of Black Americans left the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in Northern cities. Focusing on the lives of three of those migrants, these blinks paint a vivid picture of the fears, hopes, and dreams that shaped the movement.
My Grandmother’s Hands (2017) explores how racism affects Black, white, and police bodies in the United States – and what individuals and communities can do to heal them. Trauma therapist Resmaa Menakem explains why historic, familial, and personal trauma relating to racism is often stored deep in our nervous system, and teaches body-based practices to overcome it.
Hood Feminism (2020) examines how feminism has often acted in the interests of white women, rather than all women. To be truly inclusive, feminism must also advocate for the most disadvantaged women in society, including women of color.
I’m Still Here (2018) is a memoir about racial justice in modern America. Racism is still all around us – even in Christian organizations that claim to champion diversity and understanding.
Begin Again (2020) looks back at the incomparable work of the writer James Baldwin, who spent decades dissecting America’s fundamental racism problem. His ideas may provide insights for us today, so Begin Again seeks to answer the question: What advice would Baldwin have on issues like Trumpism or Black Lives Matter?
Informed by the life and work of successful social justice activist Shaun King, Make Change (2020) is your guide on how to join the fight for a better world. King is a leading figure in the fight against police brutality and mass incarceration in America, and his wins and losses along the way have taught him vital lessons on how to create real, lasting social change. No matter the cause you’re invested in, these blinks will show you how to use your skills and resources to make a real difference.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (1997) explores the reality of race in the American public education system and sheds light on racial-identity development in both Black and white people. Updated with a new prologue in 2017, it also explains how talking openly about racism is essential for cutting across racial and ethnic divides.
This is the Fire (2021) highlights the current moment as a turning point for the fight against racism in the United States. Touching on the Trump presidency, police brutality, and the global pandemic, it explores the racist history, structures, and ideas that have long plagued America, and proposes ways of using this moment to create positive change.
How the Word Is Passed (2021) is a travelogue that underscores how slavery has shaped America’s collective history and its reality today. Nine locations serve as gateways to important stories that are hidden in plain sight. They exemplify how communities have reckoned, or not, with their roles in the history of slavery and invite us all to dig deeper into what we believe – and why.
Nice Racism (2021) challenges everything we think we know about racism. Most racists don’t belong to the far right, and they don’t consciously support white supremacy. Instead, they’re “nice” progressive white people who commit daily microaggressions because they’ve never properly confronted their own biases. By abandoning niceness and becoming accountable instead, white people can develop into better allies in the fight for racial justice.
You Are Your Best Thing (2021) is an anthology of original essays that explore Black experiences of living, loving, and parenting in America today. It examines concepts like vulnerability and shame, and shows that the key to personal healing lies in confronting white supremacy and the racist systems that make Black people feel unsafe in their communities.
The Black Agenda (2022) is a compilation of essays by Black experts reflecting the latest developments and challenges in diverse fields such as wellness, criminal justice, climate activism, and AI.
Forget the Alamo (2021) charts the history of the Alamo, both real and imagined. It looks at how a popular, heroic mythology sprung from the events of 1836 and came to represent both a noble version of Texas independence and a metaphor for American valor. Find out how the Alamo became a touchstone in American culture wars, and discover how the real story paints a not-so-virtuous picture of American history.
The Hate U Give (2017) is a critically acclaimed coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of racism and police brutality. It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates two contrasting worlds: the poor Black neighborhood where she lives and the white prep school where she studies. Starr's attempt to strike a balance between these two worlds is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, by a police officer.
What Napoleon Could Not Do (2023) explores the contrasting experiences of two Ghanaians, Jacob and Belinda, and their aspirations in the United States. Jacob, an awkward computer programmer who still lives with his father, wants to join his wife in America but is foiled by visa denials. His sister, Belinda, meanwhile, has studied in the US and married an American – Wilder, a prosperous Black Texan businessman. But she, too, contends with disappointment: as she waits for her green card, her perception of America is soured by racism. Their journeys reflect the allure and letdowns of life in a foreign land, and the narrative insightfully captures how each grapples with dreams both realized and thwarted.