Skip to Main Content

Anti-Racism Resources

A list of books on various topics including anti-racism, unconscious bias, social equality, and equal justice

Need help?


Phone: (213) 740-5070

In person: Ask @Service Counter

Social Equality / Equal Justice

Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams (Holt, Henry and Co. 2020) 

This is a blueprint for Americans to empower themselves and take back the right to vote. It documents voter suppression and the importance of voter protections. (LexisNexis Digital Library) Access Limited to USC Law users.

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal (City Lights Open Media, 2017)

The author is an award-winning black journalist and author who is currently in prison for allegedly killing a white police officer. He writes about social inequalities and the criminal justice system.  (USC Libraries)

N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law by Jody David Armour (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2020)

The author examines racialized mass incarceration and racial oppression, and the need to address anti-black bias. He calls on actions including electing progressive prosecutors, dismantling police forces, and abolishing the prison industrial complex. (Lexis Nexis Digital Library) Access Limited to USC Law users.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Vintage, Reissue edition 1993) 

The author chronicles his life experiences in racial injustice written in "two letters." It is said this book, "gave a passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement" of the 1960s (Goodreads, 2020). (USC Libraries)

Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler (The New Press, 2017) 

A former federal prosecutor and now a professor at Georgetown Law School, this black author writes about racial and social injustices and the effects on law enforcement and the criminal justice system. (USC Libraries)

American While Black: African Americans, Immigration, and the Limits of Citizenship by Niambi Michele Carter (Oxford Press, 2019)

The author examines immigration and how historically and currently is a reminder of the limited exclusion of African Americans in the political body. It discusses white supremacy, black political opinion, and minority issues with one another. (USC Libraries)

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis (Haymarket Books, 2016)

The author constructs the historical connection between state violence and oppression. The book discusses and analyzes the previous liberation struggles against state terror and challenges the reader to build a human liberation movement. (USC Libraries)

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin Press, 2017) 

The author calls for recognizing that to make racial progress, hard truths must be acknowledged. He argues that the truths of the past and present must be acknowledged to move the nation forward. (USC Libraries)

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr. (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017) 

The author argues that the disproportionate criminal justice system's "war on crime" began with African-American leaders in urban centers during the 1970s. The author is a former D.C. public defender writing about the men and women he defended. (USC Libraries)

Rich Thanks to Racism: How the Ultra-Rich Profit from Racial Injustice by Jim Freeman (Cornell University Press, 2021) 

The author, a leading civil rights attorney, argues that racial injustice persists in part because the ultra-wealthy reinforce public policies that perpetuate inequality in communities of color across the United States. (USC Libraries)

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, & Identity by Winona Guo & Privya Vulchi (Tacherperigee, 2019) 

The two authors crossed the country and interviewed over 150 Americans from all walks of life about race and culture. The young authors wanted to collect first-person accounts about race and other perceived differences because they felt they had graduated from high school without any substantial discussion about racism. (EBSCOhost) Access Limited to USC Law users.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones et al. (One World 2021) 

This collection of works expands upon the New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue, examining the nation’s ongoing legacy of slavery in American history. This book includes essays, poems, and fiction that provide context to the systems of race and caste in society today. (EBSCOhost)

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, editors (One World, 2021)

This one-volume “community” history of African Americans is written by 90 authors, each writing on a five-year period of a four-hundred-year span. The authors explore their periods using various techniques and unique perspectives. (EBSCOhost)

March (#1-3 Trilogy) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions, 2016) 

The multi-award winning graphic novel series begins with the 1963 march on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement. It tells the iconic story of Congressman John Lewis with first-hand accounts of his experiences. (USC Libraries)

Situational Breakdowns: Understanding Protest Violence and Other Surprising Outcomes by Anne Nassauer (0xford Press, 2019) 

The author examines how situations unfold with the examination of peaceful and violent uprising from the 1960s to the 2014 Ferguson uprising and the surprising outcome when routines breakdown. "Drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, primatology, international relations, and neuroscience, Nassauer compares situational dynamics with human motivations to demonstrate that our interactions, interpretations, and emotions greatly influence the outcome of situations" (Goodreads, 2019). (USC Libraries)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal Press, 2018) 

"In this breakout book, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape-- from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide" (Goodreads, 2020). (USC Libraries)

The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives by Adolph L. Reed Jr. (Verso, 2022)

Through the author’s personal and political experiences, this book offers a history, memoir, and analysis of a segregationist system, its effects on livelihoods, and its long-lasting impact in contemporary society. (EBSCOhost)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, 2014) 

This book chronicles the journey of a young attorney who founded the Equal Justice Initiative. It is the story of how he pursued justice for a wrongly-convicted man. (USC Libraries)

America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis (Brazos Press, 2016) 

A candid, personal perspective from a Christian activist who writes a call to action. The author composes a guide to galvanize people of faith to overcome the deeply rooted racism of America. (USC Libraries)

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House, 2010)

The author documents the untold story of the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to cities in the north and the west in search of a better life. She interviewed thousands of people to access new data to chronicle this history. (USC Libraries)