Skip to main content

Diversity & Inclusion Reading List: Ethnicity / Race

A guide to readings and resources on the topics of ability, activism, ethnicity, race, higher education, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, and class.

Ebony and Ivy book cover  Between the World and Me book cover  White Fragility book cover

Books

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the "Global South" was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism.

Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000

While the rise and abolition of slavery and ongoing race relations are central themes of the history of the United States, the African diaspora actually had a far greater impact on Latin and Central America. More than ten times as many Africans came to Spanish and Portuguese America as the United States.

Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

A groundbreaking work of feminst history and theory analyzing the complex relations between various forms of oppression. Ain't I a Woman examines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism within the recent women's movement, and black women's involvement with feminsim.

Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture. Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America.

Asian American Students in Higher Education

Asian American Students in Higher Education offers the first comprehensive analysis and synthesis of existing theory and research related to Asian American students' experiences in postsecondary education. Providing practical and insightful recommendations, this sourcebook covers a range of topics including critical historical and demographic contexts, the complexity of Asian American student identities, and factors that facilitate and hinder Asian American students' success in college.

Between the World and Me

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.

Beyond Respectability

Beyond Respectability charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the end of the 1800s through the Black Power era of the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm so prominent in contemporary discourse, Brittney C. Cooper looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray, and Toni Cade Bambara. Cooper delves into the processes that transformed these women and others into racial leadership figures, including long-overdue discussions of their theoretical output and personal experiences.

Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education

The purpose of this book is to move beyond the asterisk in an effort to better understand Native students, challenge the status quo, and provide an informed base for leaders on campuses. The authors of this book share their understanding of Native epistemologies, culture, and social structures, offering a array of options, resources, and culturally-relevant and inclusive models to better serve this population.

Black on Both Sides

The story of Christine Jorgensen, Americas first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives-ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

Black Youth Rising: Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America

Black Youth Rising examines how toxic social conditions outside of schools, in neighborhoods, cities, and society have threatened black youth's capacity to dream, hope, organize, and act. In this book, Ginwright presents an alternative framework for understanding today's black youth.Combining a theoretically grounded framework with practical strategies, Black Youth Rising offers a new model for understanding what African American youth need in order to succeed in school and in life.

Borderlands / La Frontera: the New Mestiza

"Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. Borderlands / La Frontera remaps our understanding of what a "border" is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.

Co-Whites: How and Why White Women 'Betrayed' the Struggle for Racial Equality in the United States

Co-Whites discusses race and gender politics and traces the role of women in Western and non-Western political systems. Aniagolu examines the dynamics of race and gender in the United States, starting from the colonial and antebellum periods, leading up to the American Civil War and Reconstruction, through the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, to the present day.

The Color of Wealth: the Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide

For every dollar owned by the average white family in the United States, the average family of color has less than a dime. Wealth, not income alone, may be the most revealing index of inequality in America. The Color of Wealth lays bare the roots of the racial wealth divide and reveals the decisive role government has played in shaping our unequal society.

Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World

An alternative history of the Cold War from the perspective of impoverished Third-World people includes coverage of such topics as the 1927 Brussels conclave of the League Against Imperialism and the launch of the Third World project during the 1955 conference in Indonesia.

A Different Mirror

A presentation of American history from a multi-cultural perspective, focusing on a broader and comparative approach to enhance the possibility of understanding and appreciating America's racial and cultural diversity.

Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities

A leading African American historian of race in America exposes the uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy, revealing that leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.

The Economics of Race in the United States

Brendon O'Flaherty brings the tools of economics analysis-- incentives, equilibrium, optimization, and more-- to bear on contentious issues of race in the United States. In areas ranging from quality of health care and education, to employment opportunities and housing, to levels of wealth and crime, he shows how racial differences among blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asian Americans remain a powerful determinant in the lives of twenty-first-century Americans.

Eloquent Rage

So what if it's true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting. Yet too often Black women's anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. In Brittney Cooper's world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. These times demand the fierce honesty of Brittney Cooper, who reminds us that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right-side up again.

Faculty of Color: Teaching in Predominantly White Colleges and Universities

The knowledge and insights gained from the experiences of faculty of color helpful strategies for recruitment and retention. Topic including teaching, administration, institutional climate, mentoring, recruitment, relationships with colleagues and students, and research. Includes recommendations that predominantly white colleges and universities can continue to ensure change in substantive ways.

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook

Recognizing an urgent need for Indigenous liberation strategies, Indigenous intellectuals created a book with hands-on suggestions and activities to enable Indigenous communities to decolonize themselves. The authors begin with the belief that Indigenous Peoples have the power, strength, and intelligence to develop culturally specific decolonization strategies for their own communities and thereby systematically pursue their own liberation.

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.

I'm Still Here

The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America's racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God's ongoing work in the world.

The Inconvenient Indian : a Curious Account of Native People in North America

The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King's critical and personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian" in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

In the Country We Love

Diane Guerrero was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported to Colombia while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family. In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country.

The Latino Americans: the 500-year Legacy that Shaped a Nation

Sharing the personal struggles and successes of immigrants, poets, soldiers, and many others, this book explores the lives of Latino American men and women over a 500-year-span who have made an impact on history.

Latinos in the United States

Nomenclature -- The legacy of colonization -- The sleeping giant -- Yearning to breathe free -- Family secrets -- Fusión Latina -- Words and power.

The Making of Asian America: A History

The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States.

March: Book One

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

March: Book Two

After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence -- but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the Deep South, they will be tested like never before.

March: Book Three

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death.

No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies

The follow-up to the groundbreaking Black Queer Studies, the edited collection No Tea, No Shade brings together nineteen essays from the next generation of scholars, activists, and community leaders doing work on black gender and sexuality. Building on the foundations laid by the earlier volume, this collection's contributors speak new truths about the black queer experience while exemplifying the codification of black queer studies as a rigorous and important field of study.

Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation

Are you a racist? -- What is racism? -- Do you oppress? -- What is your racial reality and that of white America? -- Isn't racism a white problem? -- What does in mean to be white? -- What is white privilege? -- How do you develop a nonracist white identity? -- What must you do to combat racism? -- What must society do to combat racism? -- What must people of color do to overcome racism?

Privilege, Power, and Difference

This brief book is a groundbreaking tool for students and non-students alike to examine systems of privilege and difference in our society. Written in an accessible, conversational style, Johnson links theory with engaging examples in ways that enable readers to see the underlying nature and consequences of privilege and their connection to it.

Pushout: the Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. For four years Morris chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged-by teachers, administrators, and the justice system-and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish.

Race Matters

Analyzes moral authority and racial debates concerning skin color in the United States

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race

Learn to talk about race openly, honestly, and productively. Most people avoid discussion of race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations. Rather than endure the conflict of racial realities, many people choose instead to avoid the topic altogether, or remain silent when it is raised. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race puts an end to that dynamic.

Racial Battle Fatigue

[B]rings together a collection of personal stories and critical reflections on the repercussions of doing social justice work in the field and in the university ... [A]ctivists, scholars, activist scholars, and public intellectuals share experiences of microaggressions, racial battle fatigue, and retaliation because of their identities, the people for whom they advocate, and what they study

The Racial Contract

The Racial Contract is political, moral and epistemological ; The Racial Contract is a historical actuality ; The Racial Contract is an exploitation contract

The Racial Mundane

Across the twentieth century, national controversies involving Asian Americans have drawn attention to such seemingly unremarkable activities as eating rice, greeting customers, and studying for exams. While public debates about Asian Americans have invoked quotidian practices to support inconsistent claims about racial difference, diverse aesthetic projects have tested these claims by experimenting with the relationships among habit, body, and identity. In The Racial Mundane, Ju Yon Kim argues that the ambiguous relationship between behavioral tendencies and the body has sustained paradoxical characterizations of Asian Americans as ideal and impossible Americans.

Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's aRacism without Racists documents how beneath our contemporary conversation about race lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for--and ultimately justify--racial inequalities. This book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

A young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism.

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Notes from a trip to Russia -- Poetry is not a luxury -- The transformation of silence into language and action -- Scratching the surface : some notes on barriers to women and loving -- Uses of the erotic : the erotic as power -- Sexism : an American disease in blackface -- An open letter to Mary Daly -- Man child : a black lesbian feminist's response -- An interview : Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich -- The Master's tools will never dismantle the Master's house -- Age, race, class, and sex : women redefining difference

Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery

In Sisters of the Yam, bell hooks reflects on the ways in which the emotional health of black women has been and continues to be impacted by sexism and racism. Desiring to create a context where black females could both work on their individual efforts for self-actualization while remaining connected to a larger world of collective struggle, hooks articulates the link between self-recovery and political resistance.

The Souls of Black Folk

This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind.

So You Want to Talk about Race

Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Strength to Love

This collection of sermons by the American civil rights leader explains his convictions about the conditions and problems of contemporary society.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice

A sourcebook of theoretical foundations, pedagogical and design frameworks, and curricular models for social justice teaching practice. Covers the most relevant issues and controversies in social justice education in a practical, hands-on format. Includes activities and discussion questions, providing an accessible pedagogical approach to issues of oppression in classrooms. Also focuses on providing students the tools needed to apply their learning about these issues.

The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement

Moral Mondays gained national attention in 2013 as tens of thousands of citizens protested the extreme makeover of North Carolina's state government and over a thousand people were arrested in a mass civil disobedience movement. Every Monday for 13 weeks, Rev. Dr. Barber led a revival meeting on the state house lawn that brought together educators and the unemployed, civil rights and labor activists, young and old, documented and undocumented, gay and straight, black, white and brown.

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color

Originally released in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.”

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large.

Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal

Why, despite continued efforts to increase understanding and expand opportunities, do black and white Americans still lead separate lives, continually marked by tension and hostility? In his much-lauded classic, newly updated to reflect the changing realities of race in our nation, Andrew Hacker explains the origins and meaning of racism and clarifies the conflicting theories of equality and inferiority.

What Truth Sounds Like

In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith...

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us

In this work, the author, a social psychologist, addresses one of the most perplexing social issues of our time: the trend of minority underperformance in higher education. With strong evidence showing that the problem involves more than weaker skills, he explores other explanations

White Fragility

In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era

Steele calls for a new culture of personal responsibility, a commitment to principles that can fill the moral void created by white guilt. White leaders must stop using minorities as a means to establish their moral authority - and black leaders must stop indulging them. The alternative is a dangerous ethical relativism that extends beyond race relations into all parts of American life.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And other Conversations About Race

With a discussion guide and a new Epilogue by the author, this is the fifth anniversary edition of the bestselling work on the development of racial identity. Shares real-life examples and current research that support the author's recommendations for "straight talk" about racial identity, identifying practices that contribute to self-segregation in childhood groups.

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race

The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

Everyone needs to love and be loved -- even men. But to know love, men must be able to look at the ways that patriarchal culture keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are -- whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants became White : the Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs

In Working Toward Whiteness, David R. Roediger brings the history of his now-classic The Wages of Whiteness, foward into the twentieth century. Roediger recounts how American ethnnic groups considered white today -- including Jewish-, Italian-, and Polish-Americans -- once occupied a liminal racial status in their new country, and only gradually received the status of "white" Americans.

Articles

Websites

Podcasts

Online Videos