When I worked at a community college in Seattle, I was afforded many opportunities to read. During the summer while the majority of students were away and the campus slowed down to a dull hum; I would escape into the world of books. Everyday was a chance to further my knowledge and understanding of social justice, race, and history. I’m a huge fan of self-education and the summertime was my crash course.
Here are five book recommendations that I have in sharpening your analysis.
The Wretched of the Earth. This is a classic. Anyone worth their salt has read this book. This book has been quoted by scholars, activists, and revolutionaries for decades. It’s complicated and certainly a difficult read to get through but it contains so many gems. It’s definitely a book that requires multiple revisits; each one bringing a new perspective that you may have missed the last time.
Che. This behemoth is over 700 pages. Not for the faint of heart by any means. However, it details the life of one of the most celebrated revolutionaries of the 20th century. What was eye opening was learning all about the Cuban revolution, how devoted Che was to liberation, and the CIA’s meddling in Central and South America during the 1950-1960’s.
Between the World and Me. I love this book. Coates is just such a great writer. The way that he is able to describe his experience as a Black man in the U.S., all the while giving a larger critique of whiteness in our society is one of a kind. It’s a quick read but it’s so good that in a blink you’ll be done.
The Isis Papers. This book is controversial for sure. There are few chapters that would be problematic for many left leaning people. However, despite the hiccups, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing’s overall theory on white racism and genetic annihilation is deserving exploration. Her theory helps explain why white supremacy came into existence and what to do about it.
The New Jim Crow. This book goes into the canon of social justice for me. Michelle Alexander thoroughly breaks down the prison industrial complex and shows exactly how systems are designed for social control that target primarily Black and Latino communities. It’s one of those books that after reading it you’ll never see the world the same.
I could go on but this should be good for now. I’ve attached links to each of the pictures that lead to Amazon where you can get your own copy. Peace.