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The University Libraries support our community members as they call for reforms to create a more just and equitable society. We encourage everyone who has been moved by the protests to continue educating yourself about the history and context of the incidents of George Floyd and others before him towards potential ways forward. We offer this list as a starting point to create and continue a discussion. All of the included books are available as ebooks to any BGSU student, faculty, or staff member.
Special thanks to the BGSU Department of Ethnic Studies for its helpful suggestions!
If you have additional titles to suggest, please email Katie Mihaly.
Understanding Racism and Anti-Racism
White Rage by
Publication Date: 2016
Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.
More Beautiful and More Terrible by
Publication Date: 2011
Imani Perry asserts that the U.S. is in a new and distinct phase of racism that is "post-intentional": neither based on the intentional discrimination of the past, nor drawing upon biological concepts of race. Drawing upon the insights and tools of critical race theory, social policy, law, sociology and cultural studies, she demonstrates how post-intentional racism works and maintains that it cannot be addressed solely through the kinds of structural solutions of the Left or the values arguments of the Right. Rather, the author identifies a place in the middle-a space of "righteous hope"-and articulates a notion of ethics and human agency that will allow us to expand and amplify that hope.
Publication Date: 2019
Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Saini shows us how, again and again, science is retrofitted to accommodate race. Even as our understanding of highly complex traits like intelligence, and the complicated effect of environmental influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between "races"--to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores or to justify cultural assumptions--stubbornly persists.
Racism Without Racists by
Publication Date: 2013
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for--and ultimately justify--racial inequalities.
The Ferguson Report by
Publication Date: 2015
Contextualized here in a substantial introduction by renowned legal scholar and former NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund president Theodore M. Shaw,The Ferguson Report is a sad, sobering, and important document, providing a snapshot of American law enforcement at the start of the twenty-first century, with resonance far beyond one small town in Missouri.
Soledad Brother by
Publication Date: 1994
A collection of Jackson's letters from prison, Soledad Brother is an outspoken condemnation of the racism of white America and a powerful appraisal of the prison system that failed to break his spirit but eventually took his life.
The Kerner Report by
Publication Date: 2016
The Kerner Report is a powerful window into the roots of racism and inequality in the United States. Hailed by Martin Luther King Jr. as a physician's warning of approaching death, with a prescription for life, this historic study was produced by a presidential commission established by Lyndon Johnson, chaired by former Illinois governor Otto Kerner, and provides a riveting account of the riots that shook 1960s America.
Worse Than Slavery by
Publication Date: 1996
An epic history of race and punishment in the deepest South from emancipation to the civil rights era - and beyond. Southern prisons have been immortalized in convict work songs, in the blues, and in movies such as Cool Hand Luke and The Defiant Ones. Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary was the grandfather of them all, an immense, isolated plantation with shotguns, whips, and bloodhounds, where inmates worked the cotton fields in striped clothing from dawn to dusk.
A Taste of Power by
Publication Date: 1993
Brown's account of her life at the highest levels of the Black Panther party's hierarchy. More than a journey through a turbulent time in American history, this is the story of a black woman's battle to define herself
Revolutionary Suicide by
Publication Date: 2009
The memoir of founding Black Panther member Huey P. Newton in which he describes the inner circle of the revolutionary organization and covers his childhood in Oakland, Calif., struggles within the system, and confinement in the Alameda County Jail
Racism, Policing, and Criminal Justice
Not a Crime to Be Poor: the criminalization of poverty in America by
Publication Date: 2017
In one of the richest countries on Earth it has effectively become a crime to be poor. For example, in Ferguson, Missouri, the U.S. Department of Justice didn't just expose racially biased policing; it also exposed exorbitant fines and fees for minor crimes that mainly hit the city's poor, African American population, resulting in jail by the thousands.
Are Prisons Obsolete? by
Publication Date: 2003
Amid rising public concern about the proliferation and privatization of prisons, and their promise of enormous profits, world-renowned author and activist Angela Y. Davis argues for the abolition of the prison system as the dominant way of responding to America's social ills.
Golden Gulag: Prisons, surplus, crisis, and opposition in globalizing California by
Publication Date: 2007
Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%. Despite a crime rate that has been falling steadily for decades, California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called "the biggest prison building project in the history of the world." Golden Gulag provides the first detailed explanation for that buildup by looking at how political and economic forces, ranging from global to local, conjoined to produce the prison boom.
Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? police violence and resistance in the United States by
Publication Date: 2016
What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness? This collection of reports and essays explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures.
Criminology Explains Police Violence by
Publication Date: 2020
Criminology Explains Police Violence offers a concise and targeted overview of criminological theory applied to the phenomenon of police violence.
A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law by
Publication Date: 2018
This blisteringly candid discussion of the American dilemma in the age of Trump brings together the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the former attorney general of the United States, a bestselling author and death penalty lawyer, and a star professor for an honest conversation the country desperately needs to hear. Drawing on their collective decades of work on civil rights issues as well as personal histories of rising from poverty and oppression, these leading lights of the legal profession and the fight for racial justice talk about the importance of reclaiming the racial narrative and keeping our eyes on the horizon as we work for justice in an unjust time.
Policing the Planet by
Publication Date: 2016
Combining firsthand accounts from activists with the research of scholars and reflections from artists, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton.