The protests in the US: a reading list

The University Library reading list offers up to date and historical context for the current situation in the USA, from the autobiographical Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, to Black Lives Matter: from a moment to a movement.


The ongoing protests in the US bring up questions about police violence, racism, activism, political processes and the state of American democracy. We have put together a reading list which hopefully offers some insight into and awareness of these issues. You will find both works of fiction and academic books on the list, as insight comes in all forms.

Click on the title if you want to locate a book, or do your own search, you will find more in Oria! 


Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave (2017)
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) (author), William L. Andrews and William S. Mcfeely (editors)


A testament of hope : the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1991)
Martin Luther King (1929-1968) (author), James Melvin Washington (co-author)


Where do we go from here : chaos or community? (1968)
Martin Luther King (1929-1968) (author)

Killing the dream : James Earl Ray and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (c1998)
Gerald L. Posner (author)


The Making of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement (1996)
Brian Ward (1961-); Tony Badger; Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Conference on Civil Rights and Race Relations (co-authors)

The autobiography of Malcolm X (1992)
Malcolm X (author), Alex Haley (1921-1992) (co-author)


Malcolm X : the last speeches (1989)
Malcolm X (author), Bruce Perry (co-author)

Understanding mass incarceration : a people`s guide to the civil rights struggle of our time (2015)
James Kilgore (1947) (author) 

Words of protest, words of freedom : poetry of the American civil rights movement and era : an anthology (2012)
Jeffrey Lamar Coleman (editor)

Strange fruit : Billie Holiday, Café Society and an early cry for civil rights (2001)
David. Margolick (author), Hilton Als (co-author)

We are not afraid : the story of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney and the civil rights campaign for Mississippi (2006)
Seth Cagin (author), Philip Dray (co-author)


Freedom's daughters : the unsung heroines of the civil rights movement from 1830 to 1970 (c2001)
Lynne Olson (author)


The art of protest : culture and activism from the civil rights movement to the streets of Seattle (c2005)
T.V. Reed (author)

From civil rights to human rights : Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggle for economic justice (c2007)
Thomas F. Jackson (author),  Martin Luther King (1929-1968) (co-author)


Captive nation : black prison organizing in the civil rights era
Dan. Berger (author) 

We shall overcome : the history of civil rights and the law (c2008)
Alexander Tsesis (author)

Policing hatred : law enforcement, civil rights, and hate crime (c2002)
Jeannine Bell (author)

Ripples of hope : great American civil rights speeches (2003)
Josh Gottheimer (co-author)


Civil rights literature, past & present (2017)
Christopher Allen Varlack (ediror)

Making civil rights law : Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 (1994)
Mark V. Tushnet (author), Thurgood Marshall (co-author)

The civil rights movement (2013)
Bruce J. Dierenfield (author)


Antiracist teaching (2015)
Robert P. Amico (1947-) (author)

But I Don't See Color : The Perils, Practices, and Possibilities of Antiracist Education (2016)
Terry Husband (editor)

How to be an antiracist (2019)
Ibram X. Kendi (author)

The heart of whiteness : confronting race, racism, and white privilege  (c2005)
Robert Jensen (author)


On intellectual activism (2013)
Patricia Hill Collins (author)


The Fire this time : a new generation speaks about race (2016)
Jesmyn Ward (1977-) (editor) 


The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness (cop. 2012)
Michelle. Alexander (author)


Literacy and racial justice : the politics of learning after Brown v. Board of Education  (c2003)
Catherine Prendergast (author)


Making sense of the alt-right (cop. 2017)
George Hawley (author) 


Hate and bias crime : a reader  (2003)
Barbara Perry (1962-) (editor)


Dreams from my father : a story of race and inheritance (c2004)
Barack Obama (1961-) (author)


Risking everything : a Freedom Summer reader (cop. 2014)
Michael Edmonds (1952-) (editor) 


Americans in dissent : thirteen influential social critics of the nineteenth century (cop. 2014)
Steven L. Piott (author)


Demanding democracy : American radicals in search of a new politics (cop. 2010)
Marc. Stears (author) 

Teaching for dissent : citizenship education and political activism (cop. 2012)
Sarah M. Stitzlein (author)

Black Lives Matter : from a moment to a movement (2017)
Laurie Collier Hillstrom (author)

The souls of Black folk (2007)
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) (author), Brent Hayes Edwards (author/foreword)

The autobiography of an ex-coloured man (1960)
James Weldon Johnson (author)

The underground railroad : a novel (cop. 2016)
Colson Whitehead (1969-) (author) 


Americanah (2013)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (1977-) (author)

Black like me (1962)
John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) (author)

Playing in the dark : whiteness and the literary imagination (c1992)
Toni Morrison (1931-2019) (author)

Passing : authoritative text, backgrounds and contexts, critcism (cop. 2007)
Nella Larsen (author), Carla Kaplan (author)

Kindred (cop. 2003)
Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) (author) 

The fire next time (cop. 1963)
James Baldwin (1924-1987) (author)

The origin of others (2017)
Toni Morrison (1931-2019) (author), Ta-Nehisi Coates (1975-) (author/foreword)

Between the world and me (2015)
Ta-Nehisi Coates (1975-) (author) 

Hadde jeg hatt vingene : noveller (2019)
Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) (author), Christian Rugstad (1955-) (translator)

The hate u give (2017)
Angie Thomas (1987-) (author)

Your silence will not protect you : essays and poems (2017)
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) (author) 

Citizen : an American lyric (2014)
Claudia Rankine (1963-) (author)

Published June 9, 2020 10:41 AM - Last modified June 15, 2020 4:16 PM