Skip to Main Content

The Reading Resilience Project: Home

Submit to 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. All the books you find on this site were recommended by Yale students, staff, and faculty. Recommended books not already available at Yale Library are considered for purchase.

Recommend books by and about people of color at (requires NetID authentication).

No NetID? We encourage you to browse the Complete Booklist. Then, try searching WorldCat to find books at your local library. See our FAQs for more information.

See also: Bass Library's Graphic Novel Collection

Join the Conversation

Recommend books by and about people of color at

Featured Books

Book Cover for

How Long Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

Recommended because: "The short stories involve Afrofuturist elements. Several protagonists of color and of sexual minorities." - Lauren P., Yale VISP

Book cover for

The Rediscovery of America by Ned Blackhawk

Recommended because: "This book is a comprehensive and unique look at US history." - Amanda J., Yale affiliate

Book cover for

Turbulence Before Takeoff by Flint Whitlock

Recommended because: "U.S. Supreme Court case which broke the color barrier to the commercial aviation cockpit in 1963." - Paula G., Yale Development

Book cover for

Stay True by Hua Hsu

Recommended because: "A beautifully written coming-of-age memoir about love, loss, and one's perspective of Asian American identity." - Dawn N., Yale School of Medicine

Book cover for

Pop Song by Larissa Pham

Recommended because: "It was an incredibly insightful and intimate read. Made me think about my life and the world in new ways!" - Lexi K., YC '25

Book cover for

Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988–2000 by Lucille Clifton

Recommended because: "Clifton was prolific award winner, discovered and published by Langston Hughes. This book won the National Book Award in 2000." - Deborah C.

Book cover for

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Recommended because: "It's a beautifully poetic and moving play that tells the life stories of several women of color." - Levi G.

Cover art for

Detroit: I Do Mind Dying by Dan Georgakas

Recommended because: "A lesser-known but absolutely essential history of Black workers' revolutionary organizing in late 1960s Detroit" -Thelo C., Yale '22

Book cover for

A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars edited by Erin Sharkey

Recommended because: "New edited volume on Black land relations and caretaking that I think Yale community folks should know about." - Emily M., Yale GSAS '23

Cover art for

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Recommended because: "Beautifully written and totally perspective changing - highly recommend for science majors and thinkers!" - Julia W., Yale '24

Cover art for

Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship by Aimee Meredith Cox

Recommended because: "This book is critical for understanding how Black girls and women navigate hostile territory and make a self." - Chase R., Yale '18

The cover art for Nickel Boys.

Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Recommended because: "beautifully written, a compelling narrative of the experiences of a young, black boy sentenced to a reform school during Jim Crow." - Matthew M.

Cover art for

LIke One of the Family by Alice Childress

Recommended because: "A funny epistolary novel by prolific artist-activist Alice Childress told from the point of view of a black domestic in the 1950s." - Jalylah B.,Yale Phd '17

Cover art for

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Recommended because: "The Vanishing Half is a beautiful novel that describes a multi-generational story of black twins and how their paths diverge." - Anna Z.

Cover art for

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Recommended because: "This book changed the way I live my life at Yale. The book explores friendship and love in such profound depth." - Isabella Z., Yale '23

Cover art for

Statements: Sizwe Bansi is dead, The island by Athol Fugard

Recommended because: "This play shows the power of art and theater for self-expression and political resistance in apartheid South Africa." - Katie K., Yale affiliate

Cover art for

There, There by Tommy Orange

Recommended because: "This novel probes a key question for people from increasingly diverse backgrounds: who am I? and how do I construct my identity?" - Ivy F., Yale '21

Cover art for

Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks

Recommended because: "A gorgeously wrought examination of black interior girlhood written by one of our greatest poets - her only novel." - Daphne B., Yale affiliate

Cover art for

Reenactments: poems & translations by Hai-Dang Phan

Recommended because: "beautifully written Vietnamese American poetry contemplating on more than just the Vietnam War." - Cathy D.

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

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

Cover art for

Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks

Recommended because: "[bell hooks] advocates the process of teaching students to think critically and raises concerns central to field of critical pedagogy." - Abdul-Razak Z., Yale '17

The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Recommended because: "A definitive writing on race, criminality and urban immigrants becoming white in the early 1900’s." - Richard T.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

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

Prison Writings by Leonard Peltier

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

Code of the Street by Elijah Anderson

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


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