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Racial Equity and Social Justice

Materials selected by IU librarians and members of our community
Frederick Douglass, To My Old Master (1848)

To My Old Master

Letter penned by slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass to his former master in 1848. In the anthology Before Harlem. E-book.

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B. R. Ambedkar, The Annihilation of Caste (1936)

*The Annihilation of Caste

Work by B. R. Ambedkar denouncing Hinduism and India's caste system. Originally published in 1936. Modern annotated edition with an introduction by Arundhati Roy.

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Open letter written on April 16, 1963 by Martin Luther King Jr. In Why We Can't Wait, the classic exploration of the events and forces behind the civil rights movement.

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Martin Luther King, Where Do We Go from Here? (1967)

*Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Martin Luther King's classic analysis of American race relations and the state of the civil rights movement. Written in 1967.

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Eldridge Cleaver Recorded at Syracuse (1968)

Eldridge Cleaver Recorded at Syracuse

Address by Eldridge Cleaver to the Peace and Freedom Party at Syracuse, New York, on July 28, 1968. Digitized LP. Streaming audio for authorized users.

James Baldwin, Speech on Civil Rights (1968)

Speech on Civil Rights

African American author James Baldwin addresses an audience of students in London in 1968. Streaming video for authorized users.

The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977)

The Combahee River Collective Statement

Black feminist statement from 1977. Reprinted in How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective (2017).

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Audre Lorde, The Uses of Anger (1984)

The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism

Essay by Black feminist writer Audre Lorde. From the landmark collection Sister Outsider (1984). 

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Sherrilyn Ifill, On the Courthouse Lawn (2007)

*On the Courthouse Lawn

Read any part of this 2007 book by Sherrilyn Ifill examining the numerous ways in which the racial trauma of lynching still resounds across the United States. 

Edwidge Danticat, Create Dangerously (2010)

Create Dangerously

Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat reflects on art and immigrant identity. From the 2010 essay collection of the same name.

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Bridget R. Cooks, Exhibiting Blackness (2011)

*Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum

Explore this 2011 book by Bridget R. Cooks analyzing the curatorial strategies, challenges, and critical receptions of the most significant museum exhibitions of African American art in the United States. 

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Robin Wall Kimmerer, Skywoman Falling (2013)

Skywoman Falling

Essay by Native American botanist and ecological writer Robin Wall Kimmerer. From Braiding Sweetgrass (2013). 

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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, The Future of the United States (2014)

The Future of the United States

Concluding chapter of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's award-winning Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (2014).

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Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning (2016)

*Stamped from the Beginning

Read any part of this award-winning history of race and racist ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. Published in 2016.

Access e-book | Watch the video "How to Be an Antiracist," featuring Ibram X. Kendi at UC Berkeley 

Hanif Abdurraqib, A Night in Bruce Springsteen's America (2017)

A Night in Bruce Springsteen's America

Short essay by poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib. From the collection They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (2017). E-book.

Edgar Villanueva, Decolonizing Wealth

*Decolonizing Wealth

Edgar Villanueva's analysis of the colonial dynamics at play in finance and philanthropy. Read any part of this 2018 non-fiction book.

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Zoé Samudzi, From Here on Out (2018)

From Here on Out

Remarks on the future of Black-led movements and transformative change. From As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation (2018), by Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson.

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Austin Channing Brown, I'm Still Here (2018)

*I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Bestselling, partly autobiographical book by Austin Channing Brown about being Black in a world centered on Whiteness. Published in 2018. E-book.  

Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk about Race (2018)

*So You Want to Talk about Race

Examination of race in America by Ijeoma Oluo. So You Want to Talk about Race explains why certain things are considered racist and how to address them. Read any part of this book published in 2018.

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Simon Balto, Occupied Territory (2019)

*Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power

History of Chicago's racially discriminatory police system from 1919 to the 1970s by Simon Balto. Book published in 2019.

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Nick Estes, Origins (2019)


Chapter from Nick Estes's 2019 book about the history of Indigenous resistance, Our History Is the Future.

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Isabel Wilkerson, A Long-Running Play and the Emergence of Caste in America (2020)

A Long-Running Play and the Emergence of Caste in America

Chapter from Isabel Wilkerson's bestselling Caste (2020), an examination of the unspoken hierarchies of power that permeate modern-day America. 

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Layla Saad, Me and White Supremacy (2020)

*Me and White Supremacy

Book from 2020 by Layla Saad that started life as a 28-day challenge urging White readers to recognize the effects of White privilege and supremacy. Take Saad's challenge yourself! E-book.

Jane Fleishman, The Stonewall Generation (2020)

*The Stonewall Generation: LGBT Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging

Book published in 2020 in which sexuality researcher Jane Fleishman shares the stories of people in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. 

Rozanne Gooding Silverwood, The Trail of Broken Promises (2020)

The Trail of Broken Promises

Contextual essay by Rozanne Gooding Silverwood from How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America (2020). "The Trail of Broken Promises" is a brief history of US and Canadian treaties with First Nations. E-book.

Natalie Baszile, We Are Each Other's Harvest (2021)

*We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

Anthology by Natalie Baszile bringing together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories exploring Black people's connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. Published in 2021.

* = community suggestion