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.
Gang Leader For A Day is based on author Sudhir Venkatesh’s ten years of personal, in-depth research conducted on-site at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes public housing projects in Chicago. Ignored by city government and law enforcement, residents in the close-knit community rely only on local gangs and each other for basic services and social support.
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.
Engines of Liberty (2016) is an exploration into the influence citizens can have on government, and the changes that can be brought about through activism, the spreading of information and the mobilization of one’s peers. When it comes to the big issues of our time, like gay marriage, guns and human rights, it’s passionate citizens who are speaking up for what they believe in and bringing about change.
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.
White Trash (2016) retells American history from the perspective of the poor whites who were by turns despised and admired by the upper classes. These blinks trace the biopolitical, cultural and social ideas that have shaped the lives of white trash Americans from early colonial days to the Civil War, through the Great Depression and up to the present day.
We Were Eight Years in Power (2017) reflects on President Barack Obama’s two terms in power and the aftermath of the first Black presidency. These blinks take a candid look at racism and white supremacy throughout American history.
Go Back to Where You Came From (2017) takes a look at the current international political landscape and explains how the increase in refugees in Europe has contributed to the rise of the right-wing populist movement. It also explains why Muslim immigrants are the subject of such political demonization, how this issue has strengthened political extremism and why the populist movement is a serious threat to democracy as we know it.
Born a Crime (2016) is about Trevor Noah's childhood and adolescence in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. A child of mixed heritage, Noah details the challenges he faced and the peculiarities that existed when he was growing up.
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.
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.
Bunk (2017) takes a look at the history of the American phenomenon of the hoax and identifies its inextricable relationship to racial stereotypes and US history. It also explains how the notion of the hoax has transformed since the early twentieth century and operates within the contemporary landscape.
Dreamland (2015) tells the story of how the opiate crisis in the United States went from being a problem only among social outcasts and the urban poor to one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country. The background and science of the crisis are rooted in socioeconomic factors that are distinctly American.
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.
White Fragility (2018) aims to do exactly what its subtitle says: to explain why white people find it so difficult to talk about racism, particularly within an American context. The answers are surprisingly complicated and illuminating, as they tie together some of the darkest strands of American history with the most fundamental ideologies of American society.
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.
Published in 2018, Brit(ish) is a wide-ranging exploration of the relationships between British national identity, racial identity and immigration. Combining history, journalism, social analysis, cultural commentary and personal memoir, it aims to help jumpstart a long-overdue conversation about the roles that people’s races and origins play in modern British society.
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.
Solitary (2019) is the punishing tale of an African American man’s brutal treatment at the hands of the criminal justice system in Louisiana. In and out of prison as a young man, Albert Woodfox was framed for a murder he didn’t commit, apparently due to his membership in the Black Panther movement. He spent over 40 years in solitary confinement in a six by nine foot cell, treated inhumanely by a system that, by his account, is institutionally racist and cruel.
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.
Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust (2019) is a survivor’s account of the darkest moment in recent European history. Hédi Fried has spent her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions. In this book, she considers those questions one by one, and paints a picture of her nightmarish experience that should act as a warning from history.
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.
The End of the Myth (2019) offers a revealing look at how America’s frontier mind-set has guided and protected the nation through its troubled history. You’ll see how the expansion of that frontier has served to keep fundamental problems of racism and inequality from being dealt with and find out if the myth of the American frontier has finally died.
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.
Caste (2020) takes a revealing look at the caste system that continues to exist in American society, and its disturbing similarities to caste systems in India and WWII-era Germany. It explains how the attitudes of the dominant castes have become ingrained, on conscious and subconscious levels, through generations of subjugation. You’ll find out what it takes to maintain a caste system as well as what can be done to break free from it.
The Hidden Brain (2010) reveals the function and effects of our unconscious lives. In our increasingly interconnected world, unconscious biases and errors influence our memories, judgments, and perceptions and shape our social, economic, and political institutions.
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.
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.
The Sum of Us (2021) is a searing analysis of how white supremacy has devastated the American middle class. Public services have been decimated, millions of Americans have no healthcare, and lobbyists control political decision-making. But white Americans keep voting for politicians who make things worse while blaming immigrants and people of color for the nation’s problems. Only by tackling racism head-on can we begin to fight for economic equality for all Americans.
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.
Wagnerism (2020) chronicles how the works of Richard Wagner have influenced thinkers in the years since his death. Exploring the multitude of ways in which people have interpreted his music, it looks beyond his artistic legacy to his political influence – most of all on the Nazi party.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (2020) is an introduction to race and race-related issues in America. Talking about these issues can be uncomfortable, but by being unafraid of dialogue, we can learn that the difficulties Black people in America face today are best understood through US history.
Minor Feelings (2020) is poet Cathy Park Hong’s searing account of life as an Asian American. Drawing on her own experiences alongside penetrating insights, it paints a picture of the purgatorial status that Asian Americans still face.
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.
Wildland (2021) recounts the story of how America became unraveled throughout the first two decades of the twenty-first century. Drawing on stories from residents of three US cities – Greenwich, Connecticut; Clarksburg, West Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois – it examines the undercurrents of change that tie together the fates of these varied landscapes. Finally, it describes how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the foundation for the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.
The Dying Citizen (2021) explores the ways in which modern American democracy is being weakened. Touching on issues like globalization and identity politics, it discusses how left-wing progressives are damaging the foundations of the United States.
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.
The Reckoning (2021) is an unflinching look at contemporary American society. This sharp treatise draws informative connections between the nation’s traumas and its current issues.
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 1619 Project (2021) is an anthology of essays investigating the origins of the slave trade in America, and how it has shaped what the country would become. It’s also an exploration of how we create history, and how these stories shape our political present. The essays are accompanied by fictional excerpts and poetry, bringing to life the experiences of enslaved people in America.
Narrated by Marston York
An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.
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.
Women, Race and Class (1981) is a collection of essays that expose how racism, sexism, and classism intertwined in the struggle for women’s suffrage in the United States. With special emphasis on the historical missteps of the mainstream feminist movement, it charts a path for an anti-racist and anti-classist feminism.
Read to you by Twaambo Kapilikisha
Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.
Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World (2000) examines how globalization and new technologies are affecting indigenous peoples. It provides an analysis of the many opportunities and threats that globalization entails for indigenous societies, along with success stories of how indigenous activists are using technology to benefit their communities. The book’s chapters present the perspectives of 14 authors from around the world.
Real Self-Care (2023) exposes the dark side of the global self-care industry by connecting the systemic inequality faced by marginalized groups like women and people of color, and the stress, burnout and chronic illness faced by so many. It offers a science-based alternative and cognitive strategies for living with ease and purpose.
Things Fall Apart (1958) was the first in the African Writers Series of 350 books published between 1962 and 2003 which provided an international audience for many African writers. It tells the story of a respected leader of an Igbo community and the problems faced by the community as white men arrive and bring with them their laws and religion.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) is the first part of a critically acclaimed seven-volume autobiography by the American writer and poet Maya Angelou. A vivid account of growing up in America during the Depression, it documents Maya’s life between the ages of three and sixteen. Hailed for its unflinching portrayal of displacement, discrimination, and trauma, it is also a life-affirming study of how hope can prevail amidst death and despair.
Myth America (2022) is a collection of essays that examine and dismantle some of the most pervasive myths about America: how it was founded, who’s allowed to be here, and how we define a ‘real’ American or American family.
Heart of Darkness (1899) is a classic novella that explores themes of imperialism, power dynamics, and morality. It tells the story of sailor Charles Marlow, who becomes captain of a river steamboat for a Belgian ivory trade company Africa and witnesses the brutal reality of European colonialism. Marlow becomes fascinated with the mysterious ivory trader Kurtz – a mad genius who commands a trading post deep in the jungle.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is often considered a landmark, if controversial, work in the history of American literature. It tells the story of a young teenager who runs away from an abusive, alcoholic father by fleeing in a raft down the Mississippi River. Along the way, he befriends a man running from slavery and becomes a reluctant accomplice to a pair of con artists.
The Bluest Eye (1970) is the debut novel of author Toni Morrison. It tells the story of Pecola Breedlove and her parents, and reflects upon the familial and societal circumstances that would lead a Black girl to wish she had blue eyes.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) is a compelling indictment of slavery. Describing the many trials of Uncle Tom, its long-suffering enslaved protagonist, the story reveals the horrors of America’s “peculiar institution” while showing how Christian love can triumph over evil. It played a pivotal role in the abolition of slavery and remains one of the most important American novels ever written.
Small Mercies (2023) is an intense thriller that takes place in Boston in 1974, when the city’s busing crisis was just getting started. The story centers around a single mother in the neighborhood of South Boston, whose daughter goes missing on the same night a Black man is found dead under suspicious circumstances.
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.
All the Sinners Bleed (2023) is a work of crime fiction, focused on main character Titus Crown’s efforts to investigate several recent killings in his hometown. To solve the crime, Crown must contend with the town’s racist history, a far-right group, and a long-undiscovered serial killer.
Blue Hour (2023) is a novel that explores motherhood, identity, and hope in an unraveling America. The story centers around an unnamed multiracial woman in New York, who’s struggling with personal loss and ubiquitous racial violence. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she must decide what shape her future will take.