This is another one of my reading lists. Readers of this parish [sorry, blog] will have seen the one on Pan-Africanism and a crowd-sourced one for new or aspiring law students. [The next reading list will be solely on decolonisation, it is about 60% finished.Watch space – this one] This anti-racism list is partially crowd-sourced as well [Thank you to everyone who contributed – mainly on Twitter]. I like publishing reading lists as they make life easier for people who are often called upon to provide reading suggestions. I noticed however, that as my lists get longer and longer, they may not be as easy to use or navigate. Therefore, I have tried to make this list thematic. There will obviously be some overlapping themes here – reading material suited for more than one theme. Do let me know what themes are missing. There will also be something that you may have read and liked and it is not on the list. Please put additional suggestions in the comments. Noting of course, how impossible it would be to make any such list exhaustive. Thank you for reading. Looking forward to additional suggestions.
Some Entry points into Discussing & Understanding Race Properly
Adebisi, Foluke, ‘The Only Accurate Part of BAME is the ‘And”, Foluke’s African Skies, July 2019
Alana Lentin’s Blog and website
Bouie, Jamelle ‘The Enlightenment’s Dark Side: How the Enlightenment created modern race thinking, and why we should confront it.’ Slate, 5 June 2018
IRR ‘What is institutional racism?” (1998)
Kolbert, Elizabeth, ‘There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It’s a Made-Up Label’ National Geographic, The Race Issue, April 2018
Lentin, Alana, ‘Concepts and Debates: Race as a social construct’
Lentin, Alana, ‘Concepts and Debates 2: Race and the Human’
Lentin, Alana. Racism: a beginner’s guide. Oneworld Publications, 2012.
Oluo, Ijeoma. So you want to talk about race. Seal Press, 2019.
Robinson, Nathan J., A Quick Reminder of Why Colonialism Was Bad, September 14, 2017, Current Affairs,
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. Basic Books, 2017.
Understanding Race 2.0
Here I have gathered materials that build on an initial understanding of race and racism. Though some of these readings are more complex, a text such as Grosfoguel’s, ‘What is Racism?’ is quite easy to engage with.
Delgado, Richard, and Jean Stefancic. Critical race theory: An introduction. Vol. 20. NYU Press, 2017.
Fleming, Crystal Marie. How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide. Beacon Press, 2018.
Grosfoguel, Ramon. “What is racism?.” Journal of World-Systems Research 22, no. 1 (2016): 9-15.
Hall, Stuart. Race: The floating signifier. Media Education Foundation, 1996.
Hall, Stuart. “Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured.” Black British cultural studies: A reader (1996): 16.
James, Michael ‘Race’ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
Lopez, Ian F. Haney. “The social construction of race: Some observations on illusion, fabrication, and choice.” Harv CR-CLL Rev. 29 (1994): 1
Memmi, Albert. Racism. U of Minnesota Press, 2000.
Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial formation in the United States. Routledge, 2014.
Saini, Angela. Superior: the return of race science. Beacon Press, 2019.
Wolfe, Patrick. Traces of history: Elementary structures of race. Verso Books, 2016.
The Experience of Racism
Dabiri, Emma. Don’t Touch My Hair. Penguin UK, 2019.
Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt. The souls of black folk. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Fanon, Frantz. Black skin, white masks. Grove press, 2008.
gal-dem, “I Will Not Be Erased”: Our stories about growing up as people of colour, Walker Books 2019
Kay, Jackie. Red Dust Road: An Autobiographical Journey. Atlas and Company, 2011.
Lentin, Alana. Why Race Still Matters. Polity Press, 2020.
Nuru-Jeter, Amani, Tyan Parker Dominguez, Wizdom Powell Hammond, Janxin Leu, Marilyn Skaff, Susan Egerter, Camara P. Jones, and Paula Braveman. ““It’s the skin you’re in”: African-American women talk about their experiences of racism. An exploratory study to develop measures of racism for birth outcome studies.” Maternal and child health journal 13, no. 1 (2009): 29.
Paradies, Yin, and Joan Cunningham. “Experiences of racism among urban Indigenous Australians: Findings from the DRUID study.” Ethnic and racial studies 32, no. 3 (2009): 548-573.
Shukla, Nikesh, ed. The good immigrant. Random House, 2016.
Ziersch, Anna M., Gilbert Gallaher, Fran Baum, and Michael Bentley. “Responding to racism: Insights on how racism can damage health from an urban study of Australian Aboriginal people.” Social Science & Medicine 73, no. 7 (2011): 1045-1053.
On Racial Capitalism
Gauthier Marchais says, ‘racial inequality is neither a by-product nor ‘negative externality’ of otherwise inclusive systems… It is resource, or a technology, on which institutions and organisations rely to achieve production, as the literature on racial capitalism has shown.‘ Achille Mbembe, asserts that, ‘‘the term ‘Black’ was the product of a social and technological machine tightly linked to the emergence and globalisation of capitalism. It was invented to signify exclusion, brutalisation, and degradation, to point to a limit constantly conjured and abhorred.”
Readings on racial capitalism are therefore integral to any discourse on anti-racism. In this section, I have collected readings that explain how the capitalist system upon which the modern vision of world depends, itself depends on racial inequality. And how this racial equality is fuelled by perpetual accumulation and dispossession of the intermingled but evolving concepts of space, personhood, time and property.
Bhandar, Brenna. “Property, Law, and Race: modes of abstraction.” UC Irvine L. Rev. 4 (2014): 203.
Bhandar, Brenna. Colonial lives of property: Law, land, and racial regimes of ownership. Duke University Press, 2018.
Bhattacharyya, Gargi. Rethinking racial capitalism: Questions of reproduction and survival. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.
Harris, Cheryl I. “Whiteness as property.” Harvard law review (1993): 1707-1791.
Kelley, Robin DG. “What did Cedric Robinson mean by racial capitalism.” Boston review 12 (2017).
Leong, Nancy. “Racial capitalism.” Harv. L. Rev. 126 (2012): 2151.
Melamed, Jodi. “Racial capitalism.” Critical Ethnic Studies 1, no. 1 (2015): 76-85.
Pulido, Laura. “Geographies of race and ethnicity II: Environmental racism, racial capitalism and state-sanctioned violence.” Progress in Human Geography 41, no. 4 (2017): 524-533.
Robinson, Cedric J. Black Marxism: The making of the Black radical tradition. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2000.
Shilliam, Robbie. Race and the undeserving poor: From abolition to Brexit. Agenda Publishing, 2018.
Race and Criminal Justice Systems
There is a focus on the UK criminal justice system, which is the jurisdiction in which I teach. It should be noted that our contemporary conceptualisations of law, order and justice are very much linked with maintaining order in the colonies. Therefore, having a UK focus here is useful. [Thanks to John Moore for his tremendous help in compiling this section]
Clarke, B. ‘I know the real reason why the number of black children being convicted of a crime has doubled’ The Independent 6 November, 2018
Cockbain, E & Tufail, T. ‘Failing victims, fuelling hate: challenging the harms of the ‘Muslim grooming gangs’ narrative’ in Race & Class (2020)
Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden gulag: Prisons, surplus, crisis, and opposition in globalizing California. Vol. 21. Univ of California Press, 2007.
Lammy, D. The Lammy Review (2017)
Moore, J.M ‘Is the Empire coming home? Liberalism, exclusion and the punitiveness of the British State’ Papers from the British Criminology Conference (2014) Vol. 14, pp. 31-48
Moore, J.M. ‘Built for inequality in a diverse world: The historic origins of criminal justice’ Papers from the British Criminology Conference (2016) Vol. 16, pp. 38-56
Moradi, A. ‘How the criminal justice system targets BAME children’ Red Pepper (2018)
The #BlackLivesMatter special issue of Criminal Justice Matters (2015)
Williams, P. & Clarke, B. ‘The Black Criminal Other as an Object of Social Control’ Social Sciences 7, No. 10. (2018)
Anti-Blackness and Black Studies
Chapter 6, DiAngelo, Robin. White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press, 2018.
Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of subjection: Terror, slavery, and self-making in nineteenth-century America. Oxford University Press on Demand, 1997.
Hudson, Peter James, and Katherine McKittrick. “The geographies of blackness and anti-blackness: An interview with Katherine McKittrick.” The CLR James Journal 20, no. 1/2 (2014): 233-240.
Weheliye, Alexander G. Habeas viscus: Racializing assemblages, biopolitics, and black feminist theories of the human. Duke University Press, 2014.
Wynter, Sylvia. “Unsettling the coloniality of being/power/truth/freedom: Towards the human, after man, its overrepresentation—An argument.” CR: The new centennial review 3, no. 3 (2003): 257-337.
Wynter, Sylvia. “Towards the Sociogenic Principle: Fanon, Identity, the Puzzle of Conscious Experience, and What It Is Like to Be ‘Black.’.” National identities and sociopolitical changes in Latin America (2001): 30-66.
Anti-racism: What, how and why
“What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” ― How to Be an Antiracist
Andrews, Kehinde. Back to Black: Retelling the politics of Black radicalism for the 21st Century. Zed Books, 2018.
Black Panther 10 point program
Fanon, Frantz. The wretched of the earth. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2007.
Hooks, Bell. Outlaw culture: Resisting representations. Routledge, 2006.
Indigenous Action “Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex”
Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist. One World/Ballantine, 2019.
Lorde, Audre. The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. na, 1983.
Saad, Layla F. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2020.
Thompson, Neil. Promoting equality: Challenging discrimination and oppression. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2017.
Race, Racism, Whiteness and Privilege
‘I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.’ – Peggy McIntosh, “White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack.”
Bhopal, Kalwant. White privilege: The myth of a post-racial society. Policy Press, 2018.
DiAngelo, Robin. White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press, 2018.
Dyer, Richard. “The matter of whiteness.” Theories of race and racism: A reader (2000): 539-548.
Dyer, Richard. “The matter of whiteness.” White privilege: Essential readings on the other side of racism 3 (2008): 9-14.
Garner, Steve. Whiteness: an introduction. Routledge, 2007.
McIntosh, Peggy. “White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack.” (1988).
Race, Racism and Feminist Movements
Adegoke, Yomi, and Elizabeth Uviebinené. Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible. HarperCollins UK, 2018.
Collective, Combahee River. “The Combahee river collective statement.” Home girls: A Black feminist anthology (1983): 264-74.
Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color.” Stan. L. Rev. 43 (1990): 1241.
Hooks, Bell. Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women And Feminism. Boston, MA. : South End Press, 1981.
Hooks, Bell. Talking back: Thinking feminist, thinking black. South End Press, 1989.
Lorde, Audre. Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Crossing Press, 2012.
Mirza, Heidi Safia, ed. Black British feminism: A reader. Taylor & Francis, 1997.
Olufemi, Lola, Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power, Pluto Press, 2020.
Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta, ed. How we get free: Black feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Haymarket Books, 2017.
Race and Racism in Education
Cole, Mike. “‘Brutal and stinking’and ‘difficult to handle’: the historical and contemporary manifestations of racialisation, institutional racism, and schooling in Britain.” Race Ethnicity and Education 7, no. 1 (2004): 35-56.
Cole, Mike. Critical race theory and education: A Marxist response. Springer, 2017.
Gabriel, Deborah, and Shirley Anne Tate. Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British Academia. Trentham Books. Available from: UCL IOE Press, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK, 2017.
Gillborn, David. “Critical race theory and education: Racism and anti-racism in educational theory and praxis.” Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 27, no. 1 (2006): 11-32.
hooks, bell. Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. Vol. 36. Psychology Press, 2003.
hooks, bell. Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Routledge, 2014.
Kamunge, B, Johnson, A & Joseph-Salisbury, R, 2018, ‘The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence’. Zed Books, London
Pilkington, Andrew. Institutional racism in the academy: A case study. Trentham Books, 2011.
Richardson, Brian, ed. Tell it like it is: How our schools fail Black children. Bookmarks, 2007.
Rollock, Nicola. “Why Black girls don’t matter: Exploring how race and gender shape academic success in an inner city school.” Support for Learning 22, no. 4 (2007): 197-202.
Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. “Decolonization is not a metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, education & society 1, no. 1 (2012).
Race, Racism, Globalisation and Empire
Anghie, Antony. Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law. Vol. 37. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Bhattacharyya, Gargi, John Gabriel, and Stephen Small. Race and power: Global racism in the twenty first century. Routledge, 2016.
Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on colonialism. NYU Press, 2001.
Chinua, Achebe. Things fall apart. London: Heinemann, 1958.
Da Silva, Denise Ferreira. Toward a global idea of race. Vol. 27. U of Minnesota Press, 2007.
Ekeh, Peter P. “Colonialism and the two publics in Africa: A theoretical statement.” Comparative studies in society and history 17, no. 1 (1975): 91-112.
Gilroy, Paul. After empire: Melancholia or convivial culture? Vol. 166. London: Routledge, 2004.
Goldberg, David Theo. The racial state. Vol. 8. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.
Hickel, Jason. The divide: A brief guide to global inequality and its solutions. Random House, 2017.
McCarthy, Thomas. Race, empire, and the idea of human development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Memmi, Albert. The colonizer and the colonized. Routledge, 2013.
Mills, Charles W. The racial contract. Cornell University Press, 2014.
Moyo, Dambisa. Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa. Macmillan, 2009.
Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Verso Trade, 2018.
Race and Racism in the USA
Baldwin, James. Dark days. Penguin Classics, 2018.
Baldwin, James. The fire next time. Vintage, 2013.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.
Carmichael, Stokely. Stokely Speaks: From Black Power to Pan-Africanism. Chicago Review Press, 2007.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the world and me. Text publishing, 2015.
Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America. Random House, 2017.
Newton, Huey P. The Huey P. Newton Reader. Seven Stories Press, 2011.
Thomas, Angie. The hate u give. cbt Verlag, 2017.
Wu, Frank H. Yellow: Race in America beyond black and white. New York: Basic Books, 2002.
Race and Racism in the UK
Akala. Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. Two roads, 2018.
Bryan, Beverley, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe. The heart of the race: Black women’s lives in Britain. Verso Books, 2018.
Dummett, Ann. A portrait of English racism. Caraf Publications, 1984.
Eddo-Lodge, Reni. Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
Fryer, Peter. Staying power: the history of black people in Britain. University of Alberta, 1984.
Gilroy, Paul. There ain’t no black in the Union Jack. Routledge, 2013.
Hall, Stuart. The fateful triangle. Harvard University Press, 2017.
Hirsch, Shirin. “Brit (ish): On race, identity and belonging.” (2018)
Olusoga, David. Black and British: A forgotten history. Macmillan, 2016.
Shukla, Nikesh, ed. The good immigrant. Random House, 2016.
Zephaniah, Benjamin. The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah: The Autobiography. Scribner UK, 2019.
Race and Racism Around the World
Biko, Steve. I write what I like: Selected writings. University of Chicago Press, 2015.
Fanon, Frantz. Alienation and freedom. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
Gqola, Pumla Dineo. What is slavery to me?: Postcolonial/slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa. NYU Press, 2010.
Hage, Ghassan. White nation: Fantasies of white supremacy in a multicultural society. Routledge, 2012.
Massaquoi, Hans J. “Destined to witness: Growing up black in Nazi Germany.” PERSPECTIVES IN HISTORY (2004): 103.
Llosa, Mario Vargas. Conversación en la catedral. Alfaguara, 2013.
Romay, Zuleica M. Cepos de la memoria: Impronta de la esclavitud en el imaginario social cubano. Ediciones Matanzas, 2015.
Rahman, Ahmad. The Regime Change of Kwame Nkrumah: Epic Heroism in Africa and the Diaspora. Springer, 2007.
Tharoor, Shashi. Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India. Penguin UK, 2018.
Wolpe, Harold. Race, class & the apartheid state. Africa World Press, 1990.
Videos, Film, Documentaries, etc
One place to start would be the 20 movies already on the Law and Race Film Club
I also curated a Law, Race and Decolonisation list on Box of Broadcasts
Roberts, Dorothy | The problem with race-based medicine
Congo, My Precious. The Curse of the coltan mines in Congo
Has the American Dream Been Achieved at the Expense of the American Negro February 18th, 1965 James Baldwin debate against William Buckley at the Cambridge Union
Cooper, Brittney | The racial politics of time
Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses ‘White Fragility‘
Charles W. Mills – Racial Equality
Whiteness: The Meaning of a Racial, Social and Legal Construct
Dr. Charles W. Mills – Does Race Exist?
Northwestern University Political Union Debate on “Race and Racism in Western Modernity” with Professor Barnor Hesse and Professor Charles Mills
How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? An animated excerpt of an article from W.E.B. Du Bois
Sarafina – directed by Darrell Roodt
Bamboozled – directed Spike Lee
Rabbit-Proof Fence – directed by Phillip Noyce
James Baldwin Berkeley Speech https://t.co/9XRpOyruL5?amp=1
The Great African Scandal (TV Movie 2007)
Definitely Hamid Dabashi’s ‘Brown Skin, White Masks’.
Not one I have read yet, but I have heard about it many times. Thanks for the suggestion.
Thanks for this. I’m using it for a organisational assignment. Is there an initiative that we can contribute to as a thank you for your work? Suggesting “What is Slavery to Me” by Puma Dineo Gqola (South Africa).
Thank you very much for your comments, kind words and suggestion. I have added the suggestion to the list. Thank you for offering to contribute as a thank you. This is much appreciated. Engagement with the writing in substance is more than enough thanks. Blessings x
Brit(ish) is by Afua Hirsch