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This guide provides an introduction to scholarly resources about the Black Lives Matter movement and related social movements and activism that combat police brutality and racial discrimination. Resources that provide interdisciplinary approaches to and historical context for today's Black Lives Matter movement are highlighted. The guide is intended to provide a starting point for research; the sources listed here range from newspapers and other sources of news, to books, scholarly encyclopedias, journal databases, and digital archives.
A few overviews and selected books for beginning your research are listed here and below, with more sources that can be found on the following pages of this guide:
The Oxford AASC includes historian Marcia Chatelain's "Photo Essay - Black Lives Matter," which provides an overview of the Black Lives Matter movement and links to related articles in the Oxford African American Studies Center.
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholarAngela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle." Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, includingWomen, Race, and Class andAre Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentaryFree Angela andAll Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of America's most provocative public intellectuals,Dr. Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz.The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." His many books includeRace Matters,Democracy Matters, and his autobiography,Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books includeGaza in Crisis andCorporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation.
"A powerful -- and personal -- account of the movement and its players."--The Washington Post "This perceptive resource on radical black liberation movements in the 21st century can inform anyone wanting to better understand . . . how to make social change."--Publishers Weekly The breadth and impact of Black Lives Matter in the United States has been extraordinary. Between 2012 and 2016, thousands of people marched, rallied, held vigils, and engaged in direct actions to protest and draw attention to state and vigilante violence against Black people. What began as outrage over the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin and the exoneration of his killer, and accelerated during the Ferguson uprising of 2014, has evolved into a resurgent Black Freedom Movement, which includes a network of more than fifty organizations working together under the rubric of the Movement for Black Lives coalition. Employing a range of creative tactics and embracing group-centered leadership models, these visionary young organizers, many of them women, and many of them queer, are not only calling for an end to police violence, but demanding racial justice, gender justice, and systemic change. In Making All Black Lives Matter, award-winning historian and longtime activist Barbara Ransby outlines the scope and genealogy of this movement, documenting its roots in Black feminist politics and situating it squarely in a Black radical tradition, one that is anticapitalist, internationalist, and focused on some of the most marginalized members of the Black community. From the perspective of a participant-observer, Ransby maps the movement, profiles many of its lesser-known leaders, measures its impact, outlines its challenges, and looks toward its future.
A condensed and accessible intellectual history that traces the genesis of the ideas that have built into the #BlackLivesMatter movement in a bid to help us make sense of the emotions, demands, and arguments of present-day activists and public thinkers.Started in the wake of George Zimmerman's 2013 acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has become a powerful and incendiary campaign demanding redress for the brutal and unjustified treatment of black bodies by law enforcement in the United States. The movement isonly a few years old, but as Christopher J. Lebron argues in this book, the sentiment behind it is not; the plea and demand that "Black Lives Matter" comes out of a much older and richer tradition arguing for the equal dignity - and not just equal rights - of black people.The Making of Black Lives Matter presents a condensed and accessible intellectual history that traces the genesis of the ideas that have built into the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Drawing on the work of revolutionary black public intellectuals, including Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, LangstonHughes, Zora Neal Hurston, Anna Julia Cooper, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Martin Luther King Jr., Lebron clarifies what it means to assert that "Black Lives Matter" when faced with contemporary instances of anti-black law enforcement. He also illuminates the crucial difference between theproblem signaled by the social media hashtag and how we think that we ought to address the problem. As Lebron states, police body cameras, or even the exhortation for civil rights mean nothing in the absence of equality and dignity. To upset dominant practices of abuse, oppression and disregard, wemust reach instead for radical sensibility. Radical sensibility requires that we become cognizant of the history of black thought and activism in order to make sense of the emotions, demands, and argument of present-day activists and public thinkers. Only in this way can we truly embrace and pursuethe idea of racial progress in America.
The essential guide to understanding how racism works and how racial inequality shapes black lives, ultimately offering a road-map for resistance for racial justice advocates and antiracists When #BlackLivesMatter went viral in 2013, it shed a light on the urgent, daily struggles of black Americans to combat racial injustice. The message resonated with millions across the country. Yet many of our political, social, and economic institutions are still embedded with racist policies and practices that devalue black lives. Stay Woke directly addresses these stark injustices and builds on the lessons of racial inequality and intersectionality the Black Lives Matter movement has challenged its fellow citizens to learn. In this essential primer, Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith inspire readers to address the pressing issues of racial inequality, and provide a basic toolkit that will equip readers to become knowledgeable participants in public debate, activism, and politics. This book offers a clear vision of a racially just society, and shows just how far we still need to go to achieve this reality. From activists to students to the average citizen, Stay Woke empowers all readers to work toward a better future for black Americans.
A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it. Conducting hundreds of interviews during the course of over one year reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today. In an effort to grasp the magnitude of the repose to Michael Brown's death and understand the scale of the problem police violence represents, Lowery speaks to Brown's family and the families of other victims other victims' families as well as local activists. By posing the question, "What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?" Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs. Studded with moments of joy, and tragedy, They Can't Kill Us All offers a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect, showing that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice. As Lowery brings vividly to life, the protests against police killings are also about the black community's long history on the receiving end of perceived and actual acts of injustice and discrimination. They Can't Kill Us All grapples with a persistent if also largely unexamined aspect of the otherwise transformative presidency of Barack Obama: the failure to deliver tangible security and opportunity to those Americans most in need of both.
Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control--relegating millions to a permanent second-class status--even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action." Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, The New Jim Crow is a must-read for all people of conscience.
A no-holds-barred, red-hot discussion of race in America today from some of the leading names in the field, including the bestselling author of Just Mercy This blisteringly candid discussion of the American dilemma in the age of Trump brings together the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the former attorney general of the United States, a bestselling author and death penalty lawyer, and a star professor for an honest conversation the country desperately needs to hear. Drawing on their collective decades of work on civil rights issues as well as personal histories of rising from poverty and oppression, these leading lights of the legal profession and the fight for racial justice talk about the importance of reclaiming the racial narrative and keeping our eyes on the horizon as we work for justice in an unjust time. Covering topics as varied as "the commonality of pain," "when lawyers are heroes," and the concept of an "equality dividend" that is due to people of color for helping America brand itself internationally as a country of diversity and acceptance, Ifill, Lynch, Stevenson, and Thompson also explore topics such as "when did 'public' become a dirty word" (hint, it has something to do with serving people of color), "you know what Jeff Sessions is going to say," and "what it means to be a civil rights lawyer in the age of Trump." Building on Stevenson's hugely successful Just Mercy, Lynch's national platform at the Justice Department, Ifill's role as one of the leading defenders of civil rights in the country, and the occasion of Thompson's launch of a new center on race, inequality, and the law at the NYU School of Law, A Perilous Path will speak loudly and clearly to everyone concerned about America's perpetual fault line.
From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.