Race and Social Justice in America


Illustration of books stacked by Jane Mount from Ideal Bookshelf visit her site at https://idealbookshelf.com for more information (used with permission from Jane Mount)
Illustration by Jane Mount, author of Bibliophile. Visit her Ideal Bookshelf site.


Big topics, on all of our minds. There are some excellent resources available, as a place to start, or a way to continue listening and learning. The following are available from Pasadena Public Library–in print, eBook, audiobook or multiple formats.

This list is compiled from suggestions from The New York Times, other public libraries, and Pasadena Public Library staff recommendations. If you have your own recommended titles, please share them with us in the comments.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I Am Not Your Negro  written by James Baldwin [Documentary DVD]

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi

Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

The Central Park Five written and directed by Sarah Burns & David McMahon & Ken Burns [Documentary DVD]

Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Just Mercy written by Destin Daniel Cretton  & Andrew Lanham [DVD based on the true story]

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (Fiction)

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Edim Glory

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America by Peniel Joseph

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

Murder On a Sunday Morning a film by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade [Documentary DVD]

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

Sister Ousider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

Beloved by Toni Morrison (Fiction)

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Fiction)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Richard Rothstein

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad

The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect On America by Nikesh Shukla

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer

America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privelege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X with the assistance of Alex Haley

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn





1 Comment

  1. Great Reading List.
    Add TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD by Harper Lee


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