College of Arts and Letters

Racial Justice Resource Guide

Recent books, essays, films and artwork recommended by College of Arts and Letters faculty

Please check back as additional works and titles will be added.

History and Essays

  • Ibram Kendi, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
  • Ibram Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist
  • James Forman, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
  • T-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
  • Edward Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
  • Elizabeth Kai Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
  • Paul Butler, Chokehold: Policing Black Men
  • Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
  • Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
  • Morgan Jerkins, This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (white) America
  • Layla F. Saad, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
  • Dána-Ain Davis, Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
  • Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States
  • Melissa Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America
  • Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Recent Fiction, Poetry, Drama

  • Tyehimba Jess, Olio
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
  • Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
  • Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys
  • Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog
  • Lynn Nottage, Sweat
  • Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn
  • Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
  • N.K. Jemisin, How Long ’Til Black Future Month
  • Tochi Onyebuchi, Riot Baby
  • Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
  • Rion Amilcar Scott, The World Doesn’t Require You
  • Danez Smith, Homie
  • Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
  • Jeremy O. Davis, Slave Play

Recent Documentaries and Films

  • Selma, Historical drama about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches
  • 13th, Documentary about the mass incarceration of black men
  • I Am Not Your Negro, Documentary about James Baldwin, his life and times
  • Whose Streets? Documentary about the Black Lives Matter uprisings in Ferguson
  • When They See Us, Drama about the Central Park jogger case
  • If Beale Street Could Talk, Romantic drama about a woman trying to clear the name of her wrongly accused lover before the birth of their child, adapted from James Baldwin’s 1974 novel
  • Fruitvale Station, Drama about the real-life murder of Oscar Grant III, a young man killed in 2009 by a police officer in Oakland, California
  • PBS American Masters, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, documentary about Nobel prize novelist Toni Morrison
  • East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story, documentary about a public housing project in Atlanta that was demolished in the 1990s
  • Get Out, American horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele where a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, a situation that becomes increasingly uneasy
  • Da’ 5 Bloods, a film by Spike Lee. The film's plot follows a group of aging Vietnam War veterans who return to the country in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader, as well as the treasure they buried while serving there.


  • Floodlines from The Atlantic, Audio documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
  • 1619 from The New York Times, Discusses how all aspects of the United States have been touched by slavery
  • Intersectionality Matters! from The African American Policy Forum, Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “intersectionality,” each episode brings together political organizers, journalists, and writers for discussion
  • Lynching in America, confronts the legacy of lynching and slavery in the U.S.


  • Connie Choi et. al., Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
  • Ian Alteveer et. al., Kerry James Marshall: Mastry
  • Maurice Berger et. al, Kara Walker: A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be
  • Dieter Buchart, Jean-Michel Basquiat Michelle Wallace et. al., Faith Ringgold
  • Connie Choi et. al., Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem
Last Updated: 6/27/22