Resources: Black Writers and Anti-Racist Analysis

Autobiographical Writing

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Angela Davis: An Autobiography
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
Samuel Delany, The Motion of Light in Water
Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name and The Cancer Journals
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, written by herself 


Anna Deavere Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Fires in the Mirror
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog, The America Play, In the Blood
Claudia Rankine, The White Card
Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enough and Spell #7
August Wilson, the ten-play cycle including The Piano Lesson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Radio Golf


BlacKKKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
The Glass Shield (Charles Burnett, 1994)
If Beale St Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016)
The Killing Floor (Bill Duke, 1919)
Murder in Harlem (Oscar Micheaux, 1935)
Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971)
13th (2016) and When They See Us (Ava DuVernay, 2019)

Middle-Grade & Young Adult Books

Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X (2018)
Claudette Colvin, Twice Toward Justice (2009)
Sharon M. Draper, Stella by Starlight (2015)
Rita Garcia, One Crazy Summer (2010)
John Lewis, March (2013-16)
Walter Dean Myers, Monster (1999)
Nic Stone, Dear Martin (2017)
Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (2017)


Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
James Baldwin, “A Report from Occupied Territory,”
Simon Balto, Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power
Ruha Benjamin,  Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life
Andrea S. Boyles, You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America
Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness
Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton, eds., Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter
Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks and Wretched of the Earth
Alex S. Vitale, The End of Policing

Novels & Short Fiction

Octavia Butler, Kindred and Parable of the Sower
James Baldwin,  Go Tell it On the Mountain, Another Country and Going to Meet the Man
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Paule Marshall, Praisesong for the Widow
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, Beloved
Richard Wright, Black Boy, Native Son
Ann Petry, The Street
Alice Walker, You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens and The Color Purple

Picture Books

Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson, The Undefeated (2019)
Ruby Bridges, Through My Eyes (1999)
Henry Levine and Kadir Nelson, Henry’s Freedom Box (2007)
Susan E. Goodman and E. B. Lewis, The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial (2016)
Faith Ringgold, We Came to America (2016)
Anastasia Higginbotham, Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness (2018)
Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard, Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice (2018)


Gwendolyn Brooks
Countee Cullen
Rita Dove
Paul Dunbar
Nikki Giovanni
Langston Hughes
Tyehimba Jess
Yusef Komunyakaa
Audre Lorde
Claudia Rankine
Phyllis Wheatley

Further Resources


Roxane Gay, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Janet Mock, Redefining Realness
Jackie Robinson: I Never Had It Made
Lauret Savoy, Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape


Erika Council, Southern Souffle (
Jessica Harris, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey From Africa to America
Southern Foodways Alliance (
Toni Tipton-Martin, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks
Michael Twitty, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
Psyche Williams-Forson, Building Houses Out Of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power

More Drama

Lydia Diamond, Stick Fly, The Bluest Eye
George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum

Further Films

Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013)
Just Mercy
(Destin Daniel Cretton, 2019)
The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)
HBO Watchmen series (Damon Lindelof, 2019)
Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920)
Black is… Black Ain’t (Marlon Riggs, 1994)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
The Prison in 12 Landscapes (Brett Story, 2016)

Middle-Grade & Young Adult Books

Christopher Paul Curtis, Bud, not Buddy (1999)
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, All American Boys (2015)
Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl, Rad American Women, A-Z (2015)
Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1976)
Renée Watson, Piecing Me Together (2017)


Emily Bernard, Black is the Body. Stories from my Grandmother’s time, my Mother’s time and Mine
Jordan T. Camp, Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State
David Correia and Tyler Wall, Police: A Field Guide
Robin DiAngelo,White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
Nick Estes, Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance
Ruth Wilson Gilmore and James Kilgore, “The Case for Abolition” (
Robert Gooding-Williams, ed., Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising 1st Edition
Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women and Queer Radicals
Remi Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Jose Martin, “Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World”
Hilary Moore and James Tracy, No Fascist USA!
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk about Race
Vicky Osterwei, “In Defense of Looting” (
Claudia Rankine, The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind
Stuart Schrader, Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing
Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
Nikhil Pal Singh, Race and America’s Long War
Jared Sexton, Black Masculinity and the Cinema of Policing
Keeanga-Yamatta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
How We Get Free:  Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (Edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor)

Novels & Short Fiction

Toni Cade Bambara, esp. Gorilla My Love
Langston Hughes, esp. Not Without Laughter and The Ways of White Folks
Gayl Jones, Corregidora and White Rat
Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother
Nella Larsen, Passing
Kiese Laymon, Long Division (2013)
Helen Elaine Lee, The Serpent’s Gift and “Blood Knot”
Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo
Jean Toomer, Cane
Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad

Picture Books

Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade, We are Water Protectors (2020)
Mélina Mangal and Luisa Uribe, The Vast Wonder of the World: Biologist Ernest Everett Just (2018)
Carole Boston Weatherford and Eric Velasquez, Schomberg: The Man who Built a Library (2017)
Social Justice Books for Children (


Justice in America Episode 20: Mariam Kaba and Prison Abolition: (
Rustbelt Abolition Radio, “Survival Pending Abolition” (

More Poets

Melvin Dixon
Sonia Sanchez
Kevin Young