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The Reading Resilience Project: Home

About the Reading Resilience Project

In 2015, during a wave of student activism aimed at making Yale more inclusive, Bass Library partnered with student groups to create the Reading Resilience Project. The project aims to highlight voices of commonly underrepresented peoples in library collections. The project is entirely based on Yale student, staff, and faculty recommendations.

The Reading Resilience Project invites members of the Yale community to suggest creative works by and about people of color. The submission form is open indefinitely and can be used to recommend books, poetry, art objects, films, and other creative works by or about people of color. All recommended works are added to the project page here, books held by Yale Library are periodically put on display in Bass Library, and books not already available are considered for purchase, in print and e-book format.

Recommend your favorite works by and about people of color at

Featured Books & E-Books

Black Like Me (e-book)

Recommended because: "This book opened my eyes to the whole issue of discrimination and maltreatment 50 years ago."

Teaching to Transgress (e-book)

Recommended because: "[bell hooks] advocates the process of teaching students to think critically and raises concerns central to field of critical pedagogy."

The Condemnation of Blackness (e-book)

Recommended because: "A definitive writing on race, criminality and urban immigrants becoming white in the early 1900’s."

This Bridge Called My Back (e-book)

Recommended because: "This book is fundamental to women of color and intersectional feminism, discusses juggling multiple worlds and achieving acceptance."

Just Mercy (e-book)

Recommended because: "A powerful story of mass incarceration in America and the Equal Justice Initiative's pursuit of justice."

Prison Writings (e-book)

Recommended because: "Leonard Peltier is a Native political prisoner and activist that remains in prison today little known by non-Natives."

Things Fall Apart (e-book)

Recommended because: "This book changed the way I approach cross-cultural interactions and facilitate conversation."

Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship (e-book)

Recommended because: "This book is critical for understanding how Black girls and women navigate hostile territory and make a self."

Ghana Must Go

Recommended because: "Absolutely beautifully written; a complex portrait of a transnational African family in Ghana and the US."

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Recommended because: "This book was the first time I read about Black girls in fiction, and the stories have a way of getting into your head."

Code of the Streets

Recommended because: "Great for understanding the isolating effects of poverty on urban communities."

Cover art for The Cosmopolitan Canopy

The Cosmopolitan Canopy

Recommended because: "[It is a g]ood examination of how our everyday spaces are racially charged. Provides good framework for looking at racism in our time."

Recommendation Form

Zora Neale Hurston, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.Join the conversation. Recommend your favorite works by and about people of color at

We welcome your comments and suggestions about the Reading Resilience Project. Please contact Kelly Blanchat ( or Emily Horning (