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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 student book recommendations, which are periodically put on display in Bass Library.

“We see a real community conversation unfolding, and we want to support that,” says Emily Horning, director of undergraduate programs at Bass Library.

The Reading Resilience Project invites members of the Yale community to suggest creative works by and about people of color via a book recommendation webformThe submission form will be open indefinitely and can be used to recommend books, poetry, art objects, films, and other creative works by or about people of color. To see a complete list of recommended titles, go to the tab "Complete RRP Book List."

Featured Books

A Mercy

Why it was recommended: "This historical fiction novel centers the stories of black and indigenous women in early colonial America."

A Toast in the House of Friends

Why it was recommended: "These poems are witness to complexities of grief, loss, limits of the body. Holy/earthly, they transfigure mourning into living."

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

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

Black Like Me

Why it was recommended: "This book opened my eyes to the whole issue of discrimination and maltreatment 50 years ago."

Code of the Streets

Why it was recommended: "Great for understanding the isolating effects of poverty on urban communities."

Ghana Must Go

Why it was recommended: "Absolutely beautifully written; a complex portrait of a transnational African family in Ghana and the US."

cover art for the book Circle K Cycles

Circle K Cycles

Why it was recommended: "A book about assimilation and cultural exchange between Japanese and Brazilians in Brazil."

How Tia Lola Came to Visit Stay

Why it was recommended: "The author lives in my hometown in Vermont, and it was one of my first introductions as a child to the complexities of heritage."

Just Mercy

Why it was recommended: "A powerful story of mass incarceration in America and the Equal Justice Initiative's pursuit of justice."

Cover art for The Cosmopolitan Canopy

The Cosmopolitan Canopy

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

Of Love and Dust

Why it was recommended: "This book captures the humanity of a troubled youth trying to escape his own demons and those of the Jim Crow South."

Prison Writings

Why it was recommended: "Leonard Peltier is a Native political prisoner and activist that remains in prison today little known by non-Natives."

Zaatar Diva

Why it was recommended: "Hammad’s poetry embraces the complexities of her Palestinian-American identity; there is joy, sorrow, anger, & love in her voice."

Native Science

Why it was recommended: "This is a major philosophical work for indigenous scholars, addressing the relationship between humans, space, place, and land."

Cover art for Aloha Betrayed

Aloha Betrayed

Why it was recommended: "[it is a h]istory of colonialism and resistance in HawaiĘ»i and other Polynesian islands isn't taught anywhere else."

Recommendation Form

Poster for RRP featuring Zora Neale HurstonTo recommend a book, film, short story, or other creative work by or about people of color, go to: bit.ly/rrpyale

We welcome your comments and suggestions about the Reading Resilience Project. Please contact Kelly Blanchat (kelly.blanchat@yale.edu) or Emily Horning (emily.horning@yale.edu).