Books and Literature

Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism

Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Daniel Martinez HoSang, Oneka LaBennett, and Laura Pulido (editors)

Synopsis: Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States remains one of the most influential books and widely read books about race. Racial Formation in the 21st Century, arriving twenty-five years after the publication of Omi and Winant’s influential work, brings together fourteen essays by leading scholars in law, history, sociology, ethnic studies, literature, anthropology and gender studies to consider the past, present and future of racial formation. The contributors explore far-reaching concerns: slavery and land ownership; labor and social movements; torture and war; sexuality and gender formation; indigineity and colonialism; genetics and the body. From the ecclesiastical courts of seventeenth century Lima to the cell blocks of Abu Grahib, the essays draw from Omi and Winant’s influential theory of racial formation and adapt it to the various criticisms, challenges, and changes of life in the twenty-first century.

Mass Incarceration

The New Jim Crow: Colorblindness in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Author: Michelle Alexander

Synopsis: The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.



For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…. and the Rest of Y’all Too

Author: Christopher Emdin

Synopsis: Drawing on his own experience of feeling undervalued and invisible in classrooms as a young man of color and merging his experiences with more than a decade of teaching and researching in urban America, award-winning educator Christopher Emdin offers a new lens on an approach to teaching and learning in urban schools. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too is the much-needed antidote to traditional top-down pedagogy and promises to radically reframe the landscape of urban education for the better.




Poverty and Economics

Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not for the Few

Author: Robert Reich

Synopsis:Leading political economist and bestselling author Robert B. Reich presents a paradigm-shifting, clear-eyed examination of a political and economic status quo that no longer serves the people, exposing one of the most pernicious obstructions to progress today: the enduring myth of the “free market” when, behind the curtain, it is the powerful alliances between Washington and Wall Street that control the invisible hand. Laying to rest the specious dichotomy between a free market and “big government,” Reich shows that the truly critical choice ahead is between a market organized for broad-based prosperity and one designed to deliver ever more gains to the top. Visionary and acute, Saving Capitalism illuminates the path toward restoring America’s fundamental promise of opportunity and advancement.



Black Feminism

Ain’t I a Woman

Author: bell hooks

Synopsis: Throughout the book, hooks uses the term white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy as a lens through which to both critique various aspects of American culture and to offer potential solutions to the problems she explores. She addresses topics including the goals of feminist movement, the role of men in feminist struggle, the relevance of pacifism, solidarity among women, and the nature of revolution.


Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Author: bell hooks


Ain’t I a Woman?: Black women and feminism is a 1981 book by bell hooks titled after Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech. hooks examines the effect of racism and sexism on black women, the civil rights movement, and feminist movements from suffrage to the 1970s. She argues that the convergence of sexism and racism during slavery contributed to black women having the lowest status and worst conditions of any group in American society. White female abolitionists and suffragists were often more comfortable with black male abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, while southern segregationalists and stereotypes of black female promiscuity and immorality caused protests whenever black women spoke. hooks points out that these white female reformers were more concerned with white morality than the conditions these morals caused black Americans.



Between North and South: Delaware, Desegregation, and the Myth of American Sectionalism

Author: Brett Gadsden

Synopsis: Between North and South chronicles the three-decade-long struggle over segregated schooling in Delaware, a key border state and important site of civil rights activism and white reaction.


The Pace of Progress: A Report on the State of People of Color in Delaware

Author: Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League

Synopsis: A report on the state of people of color in Delaware released in 2002.

Children and Youth


Author: Marguerite W. Davol (1993)

Synopsis: This bi-racial girl sees the traits of both her white and black parents, similarities and differences in this positive book for the pre-schooler.


All the Colors We Are: The Story of How we Got Our Skin Color/ Todos los Colores de Nuestra Piel: La Historia de Por Ques Tenemos Diferentes Colors de Piel 

Author:Katie Kissinger (2014)

Synopsis: Color photographs and simple language answer some question children love to ask.


Let’s Talk About Race

Authors: Julius Lester, illustrated by Karen Barbour (2005)

Synopsis: Julius Lester says, “I write because our lives are stories. If enough of these stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details.”


Goin’ Someplace Special

Authors: Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (2001)

Synopsis: In the 1950s in the South Tricia Ann has been given permission by her grandmother to go by herself to “someplace special.”  On her way she encounters the segregated bus and hurtful signs but makes it to the integrated public library, her “someplace special.”


Last Stop On Market Street 

Author: Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson (2015)

Synopsis: African-American CJ rides the bus each week with his grandmother who makes him turn his complaints into gratitude.  This picture book has won multiple book awards.


Mr. Lincoln’s Way

Author: Patrica Polacco  (2001)

Synopsis:  Everyone love the principal, Mr. Lincoln, except “mean Gene,” the class bully who makes racist comments.   Mr. Lincoln finds a way to have Gene see things a bit differently than his father has told him.


Yo! Yes? 

Author: Chistopher Raschka (1993)

Synopsis: For the youngest, two boys (one black, one white) meet and begin a friendship.  The book uses limited dialogue and vibrant pictures as the innocence and joy of childhood is expressed.


Lillian’s Right To Vote:  A Celebration Of The Voting Rights Acts oF 1965

Author: Jonah Winter, illusted by Shane W. Evans (2015)

Synopsis:  An elderly African American woman, on her way to vote, recalls her family’s history of receiving the right to vote.


The Other Side

Author: Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis (2001)

Synopsis: Set in the segregated South ,two girls find a way around the grown-ups’ rule about separation by sitting on the fence.


This Is The Rope:  A Story From The Great Migration 

Authors: Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by James Ransome

Synopsis: This story follows a rope that goes through three generations as one family migrates north.  The rope is used for everything from a jump rope to tying suitcases on the roof of a car.

Through My Eyes

Author: Ruby Bridges

Synopsis: In Ruby’s own words, we hear about her experience in 1960 as a six-year-old walking through the doors of an all white school in Mississippi.


Cool As Ice

Author: Matt Christopher

Synopsis: Sports writer Christopher tells this story of young boys who learn that size and race don’t matter playing ice hockey.


The Jacket

Author: Andrew Clements

Synopsis: Phil Morelli, a white boy, becomes aware of racial discrimination and considers whether he himself is prejudiced.


Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition)

Author:Margot Lee Shetterly

Synopsis: This young reader’s edition tells of the female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the early years of the space travel.


The Friendship

Author: Mildred Taylor

Synopsis: Set in Mississippi in 1933 this short book shares a confrontation between Mr. Tom Bee, an elderly black man, and Mr. John Wallace, a white store owner.  The story is narrated by a girl who has gone to the store with her brothers for medicine for a neighbor.


Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvai Mendez And Her Family’s Fight For Desegregation

Authors: Duncan Tonatiuh

Synopsis: Prior to Brown vs. Board of Education, this California Hispanic family fought to desegregate the schools.


King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige

Author: Wes Tooke

Synopsis: Recovering from polio in the 1930s, Nick knows he will no longer the star baseball player his father envisioned for him.  Meeting Satchel Paige completely changes his view on his possibilities.


Have a suggestion? Contact Shyanne Miller.