Discussing Racism & Being Anti-Racist Toolkit

On June 5, 2020, the Women’s Bar Association issued a statement entitled The WBA Condemns Systemic Racism: A Call to Action (the “Statement”). As outlined in the Statement, the WBA believes that actively doing the work of being anti-racist demands becoming educated and engaged, paying agttention, and taking action. To that end, and as promised in the Statement, the WBA is pleased to release its resource page for WBA members and the broader community.
The WBA’s Discussing Racism & Being Anti-Racist Toolkit is a comprehensive (although not exhaustive) collection of resources currently available. It offers a range of written materials, opportunities, and tools for readers to learn about race and systemic racism in the U.S. and how to become and be anti-racist, in support of the WBA’s call for members and the community to begin the work of dismantling systemic racism.

When available, the WBA has provided source links. The WBA encourages readers to borrow books from a local library or to purchase from a local Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC)-owned independent bookseller. 

The WBA will update the Toolkit periodically, and plans to use it as a springboard for internal and external-facing programming. The WBA encourages readers to share the Toolkit widely throughout the WBA membership and broader community.

The WBA would like to recognize and thank Board Members Renée-Lauren Ellis and Lauren Brown for their efforts in researching and organizing these resources.

Online UNlearning Resources
Volunteering As Lawyers
Other Volunteer Opportunities
For Children
Books (Nonfiction)
Articles (Nonfiction)
Books, Stories, Poems (Fiction)
DC Public Library Books with Unlimited Downloads
Movies, Films, Docs & Dance
Podcasts & Web/Short Stories
(Some) Legal Organization Statements
Black-Owned Businesses to Support
Supplemental Materials
Additional Resources

Online UNlearning Resources

Talking About Race
Source: National Museum of African American History and Culture
A toolkit for with different materials for people talk about race, including questions for self-reflection, resources for parents, caregivers, and teachers and for self-care,

The Great Unlearn (Instagram | Patreon)
Source: Rachel Cargle

Professor David Blight, Class of 1954, Professor of American History, Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University 
Source: Open Yale - The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 (HIST119)
This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction.

Boston University
Source: Center for Antiracist Research
The mission of the BU Center for Antiracist Research is to convene varied researchers and practitioners to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice. We foster exhaustive racial research, research-based policy innovation, data-driven educational and advocacy campaigns, and narrative-change initiatives. We are working toward building an antiracist society that ensures equity and justice for all. (Being launched July 1, 2020)

Good Ancestor Academy
Source: Layla F. Saad
Personal leadership and anti-racism classes for becoming a good ancestor.

Systemic Racism Explained
Animated video showing what systemic racism is and how we can solve it.

Anti-Oppression LibGuide: Anti-racist Resources 
Source: New York Tech Library
The guide provides general information and a starting point to learn about anti-oppression, inclusion, and privilege, as well as provide knowledge and resources to key social justice issues.

The Psychology of American Racism 
Source: American Psychologist
American racism is alive and well. In this essay, we amass a large body of classic and contemporary research across multiple areas of psychology (e.g., cognitive, developmental, social), as well as the broader social sciences (e.g., sociology, communication studies, public policy), and humanities (e.g., critical race studies, history, philosophy), to outline seven factors that contribute to American racism:

African American History: From Emancipation to the Present
Source: Yale University
The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.

Lesson of a Lifetime
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
The article discusses Jane Elliott's experiment dividing her third grade class based on students' eye color to teach them about racism

Brown Eyes and Blue Eyes Racism Experiment Children Session (Video)
Source: Jane Elliott
Video of Jane Elliott's experiment

12 Ways You Can Help Eradicate White Supremacy 
Source: Ben & Jerry's
List of actions to take to eradicate white supremacy and root out racism

What is a microaggression? 14 things people think are fine to say at work — but are actually racist, sexist, or offensive
Source: Business Insider
To avoid a toxic workplace culture, it's important to know which phrases and actions can make employees from different backgrounds or identities feel uncomfortable and targeted. The article highlights some common microaggressions and suggests what to say instead.

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Volunteering As Lawyers

National Lawyers Guild - DC Chapter
Legal Observer Program 
Other contact info: Anitra Ash-ShakoorJohn McCoy

National Lawyers Guild - MD Chapter
Legal Observer Program

Other contact info: Curtis Cooper

National Lawyers Guild

Join the listserv and get requests for observers in DC. You can also request information about jail support training.

Law 4 Black Lives DC
Hosting legal observer training


Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
Legal Mobilization Project

We The Action: Election Protection

Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

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Other Volunteer Opportunities

NAACP DC Branch "Protestor Relief Kits"
Volunteer to help stuff emergency kits with masks and gloves (call 202-658-9441 for available time slots)
Help deliver protest kits downtown (call 202-658-9441 to schedule pick-up and delivery)
Deliver or donate products for protestors (masks, bottled water, nutrition bars, fruit, etc.) or services (call 202-658-9441 to coordinate product delivery). 

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For Children

While these reading suggestions are to encourage an open dialogue about racism with children, the WBA encourages its members to ensure home libraries include books with Black people at the center of their stories and on book covers doing "everyday things," as well as stories that celebrate Black joy, triumph, and innovation. Christine Taylor-Butler, the prolific children’s author and writer of The Lost Tribes Series, said that she was drawn to children’s literature because she wanted to see more stories of Black joy. “I want stories about kids in a pumpkin patch, and kids in an art museum,” she said. “Not only do we want our kids to read, but we want white kids to see — we’re not the people you’re afraid of.” As Christine Taylor-Butler (@ChristineTB on Twitter) tweeted: "I'm a parent, author, and a former college interviewer. Please hear me - in this time of stress people want to "flood" their kids with books about racism. Please provide 20 joyful books for every one book on racism. They also need to know POC kids are like every other kid."  

For the books listed, consider borrowing from your local library (and request your library purchase the book if it's not available), or purchasing the book from a local BIPOC-owned independent bookseller.

Sesame Street/CNN Town Hall on Race
Age Range: All

Teacher Vibes 101
Age Range: All
Examples of places to start:

5 ways to address social justice with children
Let's talk about the word "diverse"
The dangers of the "I don't see color mentality"

Black Lives Matter Library
Age Range: All
By clicking on each book listed, you'll be taken to a video in which the book is read aloud + a link to purchase the book 

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Discussion Guide
Educator Guide
Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Age Range: 12 and older
This is NOT a history book. This is a book about the here and now.  A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. 

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

The Hate U Give

Educator & Discussion Guide
Angie Thomas
Age Range: 14 and older
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
Chris Barton
Ages 7-10
A cool idea with a big splash. You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of top 20 toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.

How High the Moon
Karyn Parsons
Age Range: 8-12
In the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina, in 1944, 12-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running around with her best friend Henry and cousin Myrna. But life is not always so sunny for Ella, who gets bullied for her light skin tone and whose mother is away pursuing a jazz singer dream in Boston. 

So Ella is ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit for Christmas. Little does she expect the truths she will discover about her mother, the father she never knew and her family’s most unlikely history. 

And after a life-changing month, she returns South and is shocked by the news that her schoolmate George has been arrested for the murder of two local white girls. 

Bittersweet and eye-opening, How High the Moon is a timeless novel about a girl finding herself in a world all but determined to hold her down.

One Crazy Summer
Rita Williams-Garcia
Age Range: 8-12
Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined.

While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.

To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee
Age Range: 13 and older
To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression. The protagonist is Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch, an intelligent though unconventional girl who ages from six to nine years old during the course of the novel. She is raised with her brother, Jeremy Atticus (“Jem”), by their widowed father, Atticus Finch. He is a prominent lawyer who encourages his children to be empathetic and just. He notably tells them that it is “a sin to kill a mockingbird,” alluding to the fact that the birds are innocent and harmless.

When Tom Robinson, one of the town’s black residents, is falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman, Atticus agrees to defend him despite threats from the community. At one point he faces a mob intent on lynching his client but refuses to abandon him. Scout unwittingly diffuses the situation. Although Atticus presents a defense that gives a more plausible interpretation of the evidence—that Mayella was attacked by her father, Bob Ewell—Tom is convicted, and he is later killed while trying to escape custody. A character compares his death to “the senseless slaughter of songbirds.”

A Kid's Book About Racism
Jelani Memory
Age Range: 5-8
The book has a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens. The book was written to be an introduction to kids on the topic.

Martin's Big Words
Doreen Rappaport
Age Range: 6-8
Using some of MLK's most famous quotes, along with illustrations, it takes you through his life as a young boy all the way up to his assassination.

I am Rosa Parks
Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos
Age Range: 5-8
From the "Ordinary People Change the World" series.

Mae Among the Stars
Roda Ahmed
Age Range: 4-8
Inspired by the true story of Mae Jemison, an engineer and physician who became the first African American woman to travel in space.

Little People, Big Dreams: Maya Angelou
Lisbeth Kaiser and Leire Salaberria
Age Range: 5-8
Tells the story of a little girl who, due to a traumatic childhood, was afraid to talk at all and how she became one of the most beloved speakers and writers of our time.

Henry's Freedom Box
Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson
Age Range: 5-8
The true story about the underground railroad, which follows a slave from the South who shipped himself in a box to find his freedom in the North.

The Story of Ruby Bridges
Robert Coles
Age Range: 4-8
Ruby Bridges was only six-years-old when she became one of the faces of the civil rights movement.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Vashti Harrison
Age Range: 8-12
Illustrated book that focuses on change making black women.

Hidden Figures
Margot Lee Shetterly
Age Range: 4-8
Based on the true story of four African American Women who were hired by NASA to do the math that would one day send the US into space for the very first time.

20 Children's Books with Diverse Main Characters
More Children's Books with Diverse Main Characters
Age Range: all
List of books that use diverse characters in whatever story is being told to see diverse characters as supporting players and the heroes too.

Chocolate Me!
Taye Diggs
Age Range: 4-8
A timely book about how it feels to be teased and taunted, and how each of us is sweet and lovely and delicious on the inside, no matter how we look.

Diverse BookFinder
Age Range: all
The Diverse BookFinder is a comprehensive collection of children's picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC). We've cataloged and analyzed trade picture books fitting this criteria, published since 2002.

13 Books to Help You Explain Racism to Kids
Age Range: all
These books are age appropriate for readers of all ages and levels to understand racism and tolerance.

The Brown Bookshelf
Age Range: all
The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by Black creators.

The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Embrace Our Differences
Carolyn B. Helsel, Y. Joy Harris-Smith
Age Range: all
Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos

Social Justice Books
Age Range: all
The best selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators, including curated booklists.

Talking About Racism and Violence with Students: Resources for Educators
Age Range: all
The page contains a list of resources to help promote deeper understanding around the issues of racism and violence. They also can contribute to discussion of these topics with colleagues and students during this difficult time, even at a distance.

Misty Copeland
Age Range: 5-8
In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl—an every girl—whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

NYT These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
Age Range: 0-12+
List of books to start the conversation about race early and continuing having it.

30 books to help you talk to your kids about racism
Age Range: all
Today's Parent list of books parents can use to start to talk to their children about racism.

26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students
Age Range: all
26 short New York Times documentaries that range in time from 1 to 7 minutes and tackle issues of race, bias and identity.

Curious Parenting (Instagram)
Age Range: all
A community for caregivers of all kinds interested in raising resilient, liberated kids.

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Books (Nonfiction)

Consider borrowing from your local library (and request your library purchase the book if it's not available), or purchasing the book from a local BIPOC-owned independent bookseller.

Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race
Beverly Daniel Tatum
This classic text on the psychology of racism was re-released with new content in 2017, 20 years after its original publication. By providing straight talk on self-segregation and inequality in schools, Tatum shows the importance — and possibility — of cross-racial dialogues starting young.

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

Organizing & Study Guides
Michelle Alexander
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.

The Warmth of Other Suns

Reader's Guide

Isabel Wilkerson
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Reni Eddo-Lodge
Award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge was frustrated with the way that discussions of race and racism are so often led by those blind to it, by those willfully ignorant of its legacy. Her response, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has transformed the conversation both in Britain and around the world. Examining everything from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, from whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge, and counter racism. Including a new afterword by the author, this is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of color in Britain today, and an essential handbook for anyone looking to understand how structural racism works.

The End of Policing

Free e-book
Alex S. Vitale
In the wake of high-profile cases of police brutality, the same ideas for reform are trotted out — implicit bias training, body cameras, police-community dialogues. But Vitale argues that this fails to get to the root of the problem — policing itself. While calls to abolish the police are often met with skepticism, academics and activists have long-discussed alternatives to addressing homelessness, domestic disputes and substance abuse. 

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
Mikki Kendall
Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord, and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others? 

In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
Brittney Cooper
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.

Far 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. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon.

Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper’s world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
bell hooks
A classic work of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a Woman has become a must-read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman's involvement with feminism, hooks attempts to move us beyond racist and sexist assumptions. 

The Combahee River Collective Statement
Combahee River Collective The Combahee River Collective statement was created and written by Afrocentric black feminists who parted ways from the NBFO (National Black Feminist Organization) in order to create, define, and clarify their own politics. These women are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression. It is their particular task to further the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. To this specific group of women, the NBFO is a coalition they believe in, but it did not recognize or address black lesbian feminist politics and systems of oppression within their group. 

How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. 

In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science--including the story of his own awakening to antiracism--bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

So You Want to Talk About Race?

Reader/Discussion Guide

Ijeoma Oluo
Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Bryan Stevenson
A powerful true story about the Equal Justice Initiative, the people we represent, and the importance of confronting injustice, Just Mercy is a bestselling book by Bryan Stevenson that has been adapted into a feature film.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism

Reader/discussion guide
Robin DiAngelo
White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways., as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice.

Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City
Wes Moore, Erica L. Greene
When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an “illegal knife” in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated “roughly” as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma from which he would never recover.

In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like the final straw—it led to a week of protests, then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge and caught the nation’s attention.

Moore—along with journalist Erica Green—tells the story of the Baltimore uprising both through his own observations and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who’s drawn into the violent center of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who’d spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John Angelos, scion of the city’s most powerful family and executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, who had to make choices of conscience he’d never before confronted.

Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history, which is also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.

They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement
Wesley Lowery
Conducting hundreds of interviews during the course of over one year reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today.

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
Layla F. Saad
Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
James W. Loewen
From Maine to California, thousands of communities kept out African Americans (or sometimes Chinese Americans, Jewish Americans, etc.) by force, law, or custom. These communities are sometimes called "sundown towns" because some of them posted signs at their city limits reading, typically, "Nigger, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On You In ___." Some towns are still all white on purpose. Their chilling stories have been joined more recently by the many elite (and some not so elite) suburbs like Grosse Pointe, MI, or Edina, MN, that have excluded nonwhites by "kinder gentler means." When I began this research, I expected to find about 10 sundown towns in Illinois (my home state) and perhaps 50 across the country. Instead, I have found about 507 in Illinois and thousands across the United States. This is their story; it is the first book ever written on the topic.

The Fire Next Time (Essays)
James Baldwin
It's shocking how little has changed between the races in this country since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coolly impassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." The Fire Next Time--even the title is beautiful, resonant, and incendiary. "Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?" Baldwin demands, flicking aside the central race issue of his day and calling instead for full and shared acceptance of the fact that America is and always has been a multiracial society. Without this acceptance, he argues, the nation dooms itself to "sterility and decay" and to eventual destruction at the hands of the oppressed: "The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream."

Baldwin's seething insights and directives, so disturbing to the white liberals and black moderates of his day, have become the starting point for discussions of American race relations: that debasement and oppression of one people by another is "a recipe for murder"; that "color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality"; that whites can only truly liberate themselves when they liberate blacks, indeed when they "become black" symbolically and spiritually; that blacks and whites "deeply need each other here" in order for America to realize its identity as a nation.

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
A finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History, Race for Profit chronicles how the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 failed to stop racist, exploitative mortgage lending practices. Since the policy was supposed to be a balm to the 1960s uprisings — much like the ones we're seeing now — it serves as a reminder to remain vigilant when policymakers promise change.

A Terrible Thing To Waste: Environmental Racism And Its Assault On The American Mind
Harriet A. Washington
From lead poisoning to toxic waste, Americans of color are disproportionately harmed by environmental hazards. This is detrimental to physical health — air pollution is linked with higher COVID-19 death rates, according to Harvard researchers. But Washington also argues that environmental racism is causing cognitive decline in communities of color. A deconstruction of IQ and an indictment of EPA rollbacks, A Terrible Thing To Waste is a stirring read.

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
Elizabeth Hinton
The origins of mass incarceration — which disproportionately puts black people behind bars — are often pinned on Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. But Hinton argues the carceral state was erected "by a consensus of liberals and conservatives who privileged punitive responses to urban problems as a reaction to the civil rights movement." The 1965 Law Enforcement Assistance Act, part of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society plan, led to today's police militarization. This account of history poses relevant questions for today's land of the free.

Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy
Darryl Pinckney
As young Americans take to the streets to say black lives matter, they're often told to vote. While voting is important, it's also important to remember how black political representation has been chipped away by voter ID laws, gerrymandering and felon disenfranchisement. Blackballed addresses the struggle for voting rights and for racial equality more broadly, drawing on Pinckney's own experiences and writings of civil rights leaders to create a complicated picture of black political identity.

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
Ian Haney López
"Entitlement mentality." "Quotas." "Welfare queens." From Barry Goldwater to Bill Clinton to the Tea Party, politicians have relied on racially coded language to win over white voters and decimate social programs. Dog Whistle Politics makes the case that not only does this strategy endanger people of color, but it also hinders economic mobility for all Americans.

Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology
Deirdre Cooper Owens
The foundational knowledge of American gynecology relied on the exploitation of enslaved black women's bodies. In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens centers the stories of black women that have been overshadowed by the "discoveries" of white male doctors who experimented on them. Baseless theories about black inferiority and higher pain tolerance still permeate medical schools today.

Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination
Alondra Nelson
The Black Panther Party is most remembered for its militant action, but health care was also a major pillar of its activism. The People's Free Medical Clinics tested for hypertension and assisted with housing and employment. Its outreach also brought attention to rampant discrimination within mainstream medicine. Nelson writes that the Black Panther Party understood health as a human right, echoing today's fight for universal health care. You can read Body and Soul online for free.

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
Bridging women’s history, the history of the South, and African American history, this book makes a bold argument about the role of white women in American slavery. Historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers draws on a variety of sources to show that slave-owning women were sophisticated economic actors who directly engaged in and benefited from the South’s slave market. Because women typically inherited more slaves than land, enslaved people were often their primary source of wealth. Not only did white women often refuse to cede ownership of their slaves to their husbands, they employed management techniques that were as effective and brutal as those used by slave-owning men. White women actively participated in the slave market, profited from it, and used it for economic and social empowerment. By examining the economically entangled lives of enslaved people and slave-owning women, Jones-Rogers presents a narrative that forces us to rethink the economics and social conventions of slaveholding America.

The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table.
Minda Harts
Most business books provide a one-size-fits-all approach to career advice that overlooks the unique barriers that women of color face. In The Memo, Minda Harts offers a much-needed career guide tailored specifically for women of color.

On Being a Black American Biglaw Associate (blog series)
Lauren E. Skerrett
Lauren E. Skerrett is an associate attorney at a large, multinational firm. She graduated with a BA in philosophy from Washington and Lee University and obtained her JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, along with an LLM from Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (“Sciences Po”). All views expressed belong to her and should not be attributed to any organization with which she is affiliated. You can reach her by email at lauren.skerrett@gmail.com.

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Austin Channing Brown
From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so often falls short of its ideals.

You Don't Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism
Tsedale M. Melaku
Highlights how race and gender create barriers to recruitment, professional development, and advancement to partnership for black women in elite corporate law firms. Utilizing narratives of black female lawyers, this book offers a blend of accessible theory to benefit any reader willing to learn about the underlying challenges that lead to their high attrition rates.

Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration
Emily Bazelon
A renowned journalist and legal commentator exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out. An important, thoughtful, and thorough examination of criminal justice in America that speaks directly to how we reduce mass incarceration.

Born a Crime
Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Chokehold: Policing Black Men
Paul Butler
Butler uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. Butler also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer—without relying as much on police. Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler’s controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it’s better for a black man to plead guilty—even if he’s innocent—are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice
Paul Butler
Paul Butler was an ambitious federal prosecutor, a Harvard Law grad who gave up his corporate law salary to fight the good fight - until one day he was arrested on the street and charged with a crime he didn't commit.' Butler looks at places where ordinary citizens meet the justice system - as jurors, witnesses, and in encounters with the police - and explores what ''doing the right thing'' means in a corrupt system.

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates
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. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son.

There Are No Children Here
Alex Kotlowitz
This is the moving and powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
Jennifer Eberhardt
How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip. Racial bias is a problem that we all have a role to play in solving.

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Articles (Nonfiction)

The Case for Reparations (June 2014)
Ta-Nehisi Coates
"Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole."

Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge (May 2020)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
A discussion of the protests and what they mean to the Black community.

To White Parents Who Want to Be Allies at This Time (June 2020)
Michele Benoit-Wilson, MD
Article discusses that what an ally will look like is someone who is aware that their children will walk through life differently due to the color of their skin.

75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice (August 2017)
Corinne Shutack
List of actionable steps to take in pursuit of racial justice.

The Law Isn't Neutral (June 2020)
Dahlia Lithwick
Dahlia Lithwick spoke with Angela Onwuachi-Willig, the dean of Boston University School of Law, who is a renowned legal scholar and an expert in critical race theory, employment discrimination, and family law.

The American Nightmare (June 2020)
Ibram X. Kendi
To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (1988) 
Peggy McIntosh
The author begins to ask what it is like to have white privilege. She has come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that she 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. Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women's studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, "having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?"

How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Colour (May 2018)
Ruby Hamad
The legitimate grievances of brown and black women are no match for the accusations of a white damsel in distress

About the Weary Weaponizing of White Women Tears (Apr. 2018)
Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Picture it: a white woman feels challenged or uncomfortable about something a Black person said or did. Instead of using her words, she cries. Instantly, no matter what the initial catalyst of the situation is, she ends up being appeased, pacified and pampered. Lawd knows we’ve all seen virtual white woman tears shut down conversation, even if she was the instigator of conflict. The other person? Ends up being scolded. Or fired. Or arrested. Or killed. When Lorelei cries, heads roll.

Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW (Sept. 2016)
Luvvie Ajayi Jones
White people. Yes, you. Even you nice ones. These things that are happening? These horrifying things that are happening to my people? They are because people who look like you, have set up a system of supremacy that flourishes. It is one that says people who look like me are violent, threats. It doesn’t matter if they’re holding books, wallets, bags of skittles. It is one that allows people to be killed by cops while sitting in their cars. It allows people to be killed while they lay on the ground with their hands showing. It allows people to be killed while walking away. And their murderers are employees of the state. These killings are state-sanctioned.

The Stages of What Happens When There's Injustice Against Black People (Dec. 2014)
Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Ten stages that have been remarkably consistent.

It Could Have Been Me: Black Attorneys Reflect on George Floyd's Death and What Comes Next (June 2020)
Dylan Jackson
Black attorneys and legal industry leaders recounted their own experiences with racism and their hopes for the future.

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Books, Stories, Poems (Fiction)

Consider borrowing from your local library (and request your library purchase the book if it's not available), or purchasing the book from a local BIPOC-owned independent bookseller.

Go Tell It on the Mountain
James Baldwin
First published in 1953 when James Baldwin was nearly 30, Go Tell It on the Mountain is a young man's novel, as tightly coiled as a new spring, yet tempered by a maturing man's confidence and empathy. It's not a long book, and its action spans but a single day--yet the author packs in enough emotion, detail, and intimate revelation to make his story feel like a mid-20th-century epic. Using as a frame the spiritual and moral awakening of 14-year-old John Grimes during a Saturday night service in a Harlem storefront church, Baldwin lays bare the secrets of a tormented black family during the depression. John's parents, praying beside him, both wrestle with the ghosts of their sinful pasts--Gabriel, a preacher of towering hypocrisy, fathered an illegitimate child during his first marriage down South and refused to recognize his doomed bastard son; Elizabeth fell in love with a charming, free-spirited young man, followed him to New York, became pregnant with his son, and lost him before she could reveal her condition.

Baldwin lays down the terrible symmetries of these two blighted lives as the ironic context for John's dark night of the soul. When day dawns, John believes himself saved, but his creator makes it clear that this salvation arises as much from blindness as revelation: "He was filled with a joy, a joy unspeakable, whose roots, though he would not trace them on this new day of his life, were nourished by the wellspring of a despair not yet discovered."

If Beale Street Could Talk
James Baldwin
Fonny and Tish are in love, and this protects them from their respective families and the outside world until Fonny is falsely accused of rape. He is jailed and held before trial. Tish finds out she is pregnant and her family, while concerned that she is quite young, gives her support for the coming baby. They help her find a lawyer to defend Fonny, hoping to find evidence to free him before the baby is born.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Ntozake Shange
The work consists of a series of poetic monologues to be accompanied by dance movements and music, a form Shange coined as the choreopoem. for colored girls... tells the stories of seven women who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society.

The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead
Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman’s will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston
The epic tale of Janie Crawford, whose quest for identity takes her on a journey during which she learns what love is, experiences life’s joys and sorrows, and come home to herself in peace.

Nella Larsen
Clare Kendry is living on the edge. Light-skinned, elegant, and ambitious, she is married to a racist white man unaware of her African American heritage, and has severed all ties to her past after deciding to “pass” as a white woman. Clare’s childhood friend, Irene Redfield, just as light-skinned, has chosen to remain within the African American community, and is simultaneously allured and repelled by Clare’s risky decision to engage in racial masquerade for personal and societal gain. After frequenting African American-centric gatherings together in Harlem, Clare’s interest in Irene turns into a homoerotic longing for Irene’s black identity that she abandoned and can never embrace again, and she is forced to grapple with her decision to pass for white in a way that is both tragic and telling.

The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

An American Marriage
Tayari Jones
Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

Ralph Ellison
From Ralph Ellison--author of the classic novel of African-American experience, Invisible Man--the long-awaited second novel. Here is the master of American vernacular--the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech--at the height of his powers, telling a powerful, evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century.

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying "battle royal" where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief. Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century.

Octavia E. Butler
The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

The Known World
Edward P. Jones
The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order, and chaos ensues.

No One is Coming to Save Us
Stephanie Powell Watts
JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

Praise Song for the Butterflies
Bernice L. McFadden
A fictional West African country is the setting for Bernice L. McFadden's latest work, Praise Song for the Butterflies. Here we meet Abeo Kata, a 9-year-old girl who is ripped from her privileged lifestyle when her father forces her to become a slave in a religious sect. Rescued after 15 years, Abeo struggles to overcome dark family secrets while learning to love again.

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

August Snow
Stephen Mack Jones
Tough, smart, and struggling to stay alive, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother, August grew up in the city’s Mexicantown and joined the police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away, and quickly learns he has many scores to settle.

Kimberla Lawson
Befriending Traci Calloway Cole is the best thing Simone Phillips has ever done. Traci is the kind of woman Simone wants to be-in every way possible. She begins copying her role model. Not because she wants to be Traci. She just wants to be exactly like Traci. Traci doesn't worry, though. She knows Simone doesn't mean any harm and that her mimicry is only sincere admiration. Until she discovers how far Simone's obsession has gone. It is then that Simone's entire world begins unraveling, and dreadful secrets from her past are exposed with no warning. Secrets that she'll do almost anything to protect.

Friday Black
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, hearbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and Black in America.

Yaa Gyasi
The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

I Almost Forgot About You
Terry McMillan
In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life—great friends, family, and successful career—aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.

A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines
A deep and compassionate novel about a young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to visit a Black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.

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DC Public Library Books with Unlimited Downloads

Why We Can't Wait
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King's best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963.

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement
Charlene Carruthers
Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. This book provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development.

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
Layla F. Saad
Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
Robin DiAngelo
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
Manning Marable
Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
Janet Mock
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman's quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another-and of ourselves-showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.

Sister Outsider - Essays and Speeches Crossing Press Feminist Series, Book 1
Audre Lorde
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change.

So You Want to Talk About Race
Ijeoma Oluo
A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor-at-Large of the Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, microaggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word.

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Movies, Films, Docs & Dance

Curated list of titles on Netflix that only begin to tell the complex and layered stories about racial injustice and Blackness in America.

The Thirteenth Amendment, slavery, mass incarceration.

The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson
About drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, who started the Stonewall riots.

When They See Us
About The Central Park 5.

American Son
An interracial couple waits for word on their missing son; set in Florida.

What Happened to Miss Simone?
About Black activist and singer, Nina Simone.

LA 92
The 1992 LA riots and the LAPD beating of Rodney King (incl. new footage).

Dear White People
Students of color navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that isn't nearly as post-racial as it thinks.

Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap (Season 1, Episode 20)
Cory Booker and others discuss how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap.

Two Mississippi families - one Black & one White; set in WWII.

Teach Us All
Brown v. Board of Education and schools still being segregated 60 years after the ruling.

Whose Streets?
Hulu and Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
Ferguson, MO and the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown.

Detroit riots and uprising that happened in 1967

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. chronicles 50 years of American history through a personal lens.

Reconstruction: America after the Civil War
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts; explores the transformative years following the American Civil War

The Talk
About the conversations BIPOC parents have with their children, especially their sons

Rosedale: The Way It Is
Bill Moyers Journal
Racial tensions soared as the Spencers, a middle-class black family moved into Rosedale, a Queens white working-class neighborhood. Bill Moyers examines the fear, hatred and courage generated as the have-nots of our society battle for a tiny piece of the good life. Full version may have to be purchased.

I Am Not Your Negro
Amazon Prime and Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
James Baldwin

Just Mercy
Amazon Prime and free rental for the month of June on numerous platforms.
A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (EJI) as he works to free a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence

Amazon Prime and free rental for the month of June on numerous platforms.
About the 1965 march on Selma.

Amazon Prime
The Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

Birth of a Movement
Amazon Prime
A response, of sorts, to Birth of a Nation.

John L. Walker: Striving for Equality
Amazon Prime
About the life and times (1850-1907) of a prominent Black attorney, politician, newspaper publisher, diplomat, and soldier.

The Black Power Mixtape
Amazon Prime
1967-1975 footage of leaders of the Black Power Movement; captured by Swedish journalists.

The Central Park Five (Ken Burns)
Amazon Prime
About the wrongful conviction of five Black and Latino teenagers for the rape of a white woman jogger in Central Park.

The Black Panthers: Vanguards of Revolution
Amazon Prime
About the Black Panthers.

Harriet Tubman: They Called Her Moses
Amazon Prime
About Harriet Tubman.

Amazon Prime
The life of a 73-yo Black trans woman who has been fighting for Black trans rights for 40 years.

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Amazon Prime
America's Shakespeare and his work chronicling the life of 20th century Black Americans.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
Amazon Prime
About Emmett Till's life and brutal lynching in Mississippi.

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
Amazon Prime
About Shirley Chisholm, the first Black women to run for president on a major policial party ticket.

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power
Amazon Prime
About Anita Hill and her testimony during the confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas.

February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four
Amazon Prime
Four black men who staged a sit-in at an all white lunch counter.

Freedom Summer
Amazon Prime
The summer of 1964 and the student volunteers who ventured into Mississippi despite threats and violence.

Spies of Mississippi
Amazon Prime
The CRM and spying by Mississippi entities - Black and White.

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall
Amazon Prime
Brown v. Board of education, culmination of 20 years of work.

Two Black Men A Week
Amazon Prime
Delving into why so many Black men are killed by the police.

The Hate U Give
Amazon Prime
Based on the book of the same name, a Black teenage girl must decide whether to testify about her best friend being shot by a police.

Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S.
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
This documentary investigates the complex issues of discretion within the system, racial targeting, and the largest spike in the number of people incarcerated in our nation's history.

Cruel and Unusual: Black Panthers Fighting for Justice in Prison
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
Story of the Angola Three who, as members of the Black Panther Party, have been fighting for justice since the early 1970s.

Law & Order: An Examination of Police Practices and Behavior
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
Surveys the wide range of work the police are asked to perform and the incidents shown illustrate how training, community expectations, socio-economic status of the subject, the threat of violence, and discretion affect police behavior.

Profiled: The Mothers of Murdered Black and Latino Youth
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
Knits the stories of mothers of black and Latino youth murdered by the NYPD into a powerful indictment of racial profiling and police brutality and places them within a historical context of the roots of racism in the U.S.

We All We Got: An Elegy of Urban America
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
In the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, the film is an intimate portrait of people affected by violence and residents who highlight the issues in Chicago.

White Like Me
Kanopy (via DC Public Library)
based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the US through the lens of whiteness and white privilege

A Life Well Spent

Criterion Channel
A tribute to Texas songster Mance Lipscomb, considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time.

Black Mother

Criterion Channel
Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but unfolding in the urgent present.

Black Panthers

Criterion Channel
Agnes Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton.

Cane River

Criterion Channel
Written, produced, and directed by Horace B. Jenkins and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew.

Daughters of the Dust

Criterion Channel
First film directed by an African American women to receive a wide release.

Down in the Delta

Criterion Channel
The only film directed by the iconic writer, poet, and activist Maya Angelou, it is a warm, richly evocative celebration of black southern family and resilience.

Losing Ground

Criterion Channel
An exploration of love, race, and gender.

My Brother's Wedding

Criterion Channel
Charles Burnett is a master of American cinema who led the way for black independent filmmakers to tell their stories on-screen.

The Watermelon Woman

Criterion Channel
A landmark look at the Black lesbian experience.

Hair Love
Hair Love, an Oscar®-winning animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

You Watched 'Tiger King' - Now Watch This
Various platforms
Just like the first time we came together around a television show to create a national conversation, we can do the same for a much more important cause, racism and social injustice. Then we can reflect and learn and use that knowledge to enact lasting ch

Where do we go from here? A conversation led by Oprah

Part 1 
Part 2
Oprah Winfrey leads the conversation speaking directly with Black thought leaders, activists and artists about systematic racism and the current state of America. Featured guests include: Stacey Abrams, Charles M. Blow, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ava DuVernay,

James Corden: It's Time for Change in the US
In the midst of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, James Corden offers a message of support and love for those fighting for justice. After, bandleader Reggie Watts shares his perspective and experience of growing up black in America. And James shares British rapper Dave's moving performance of "Black" from this year's BRIT Awards.

... when our hearts break, WE Dance (from Alvin Ailey Dancers)

Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses 'White Fragility'
University of Washington professor Dr. Robin DiAngelo reads from her book "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," explains the phenomenon, and discusses how white people can develop their capacity to engage more construc

Social psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt, interviewed on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
Dr. Eberhardt said the problems associated with racial bias are ones we have created. She also believes that these are problems we can solve.

Verna Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we've seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Verna Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

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Podcasts & Web/Short Stories

The Next Question
Chi Chi Okwu, Austin Channing Brown, Jenny Booth Potter
The TNQ Show engages leading voices on critical topics of racial justice in America.

NPR's Code Switch
Shereen Marisol Meraji, Gene Demby
What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. (The best Code Switch episodes to get you started: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2020/03/26/820991385/the-very-best-of-code-switch-in-8-episodes)

NY Times' Still Processing
Wesley Morris, Jenna Wortham
Hosted by two Black, queer culture writers from The New York Times, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, who make sense of the internet, trends, social issues and pop culture at large.

NY Times Magazine 1619 Project
Nikole Hannah Jones
An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.

The Atlantic's Floodlines
Vann R. Newkirk II
The story of an unnatural disaster.

African American Policy Forum's Intersectionality Matters
Kimberlé Crenshaw
The podcast that brings intersectionality to life.

NPR's White Lies
Chip Brantley, Andrew Beck
In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.

WaPo's Other: Mixed Race in America
Alex Laughlin
This podcast explores the inner workings of the mythic American melting pot; what happens when your parents come from two different countries, cultures, or races. It’s the kindergarten-level foreign language you can speak to your aunts, the taste for “foreign” flavors you've known since childhood, and the distinct feeling of otherness projected onto your face because you look just a little bit “different.”

This five-part miniseries will introduce you to stories of mixed race Americans who are grappling with questions about who they are, and what it means to be an American today.

American Public Media's (APM) Historically Black
Keegan-Michael Key, Roxane Gay, Issa Rae, Heben Nigatu, Tracy Clayton.
Objects hold history. They're evocative of stories stamped in time. As part of The Washington Post's coverage of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, people submitted dozens of objects that make up their own lived experiences of black history, creating a "people's museum" of personal objects, family photos and more.

The Historically Black podcast brings those objects and their stories to life through interviews, archival sound and music. The Washington Post and APM Reports are proud to collaborate in presenting these rich personal histories.

APM's Order 9066
Sab Shimono, Pat Suzuki
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten “relocation” camps, where they were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.

Order 9066 chronicles the history of this incarceration through vivid, first-person accounts of those who lived through it. The series explores how this shocking violation of American democracy came to pass, and its legacy in the present.

Sab Shimono and Pat Suzuki, veteran actors and stage performers who were both incarcerated at the Amache camp in Colorado, narrate the episodes. The series covers the racist atmosphere of the time, the camps’ makeshift living quarters and the extraordinary ways people adapted; the fierce patriotism many Japanese Americans continued to feel and the ways they were divided against each other as they were forced to answer questions of loyalty; the movement for redress that eventually led to a formal apology from the US government, and much more.

PBS's Say It Loud
Evelyn from the Internets, Azie Dungey
Say It Loud is a PBS Digital Studios series that celebrates Black culture, context, and history, often with a comedic take on identity and pop culture, from Black pride movements to Black Twitter shenanigans. The show explores the complexity of Black experience and finds joy in the many ways Black folks have influenced American life.

Lynching in America
The Equal Justice Initiative
Equal Justice Initiative has documented the lynchings of over 4,000 African Americans between 1877 and 1950. In this series, listen to how this era of racial terror continues to shape America to this day.

About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
Reni Eddo-Lodge
From the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge interviews key voices from the anti-racist activism community and addresses the recent history that lead to the politics of today.

BBC World's Witness Black History
This podcast features interviews with people who were there at key moments in black and civil rights history.

Hear to Slay
Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom
Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom unveil their new podcast, Hear to Slay, a black feminist perspective on celebrity, culture, politics, art, life, love—all the things they're obsessed with—and more.

Unlocking Us
Brene Brown
Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

Seeing White
John Biewen
Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story.

Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?

Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this 14-part documentary series.

Dahlia Lithwick
In this episode of Amicus, Dahlia discusses race, police, and the law and asks where is the justice in this Justice Department?

Systemic Racism Explained
A primer that begins to explain a complex topic in 4 minutes.  Meet Jamal and Kevin.

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(Some) Legal Organization Statements

Washington Supreme Court, 6/4/2020

American Bar Association, 5/29/2020

American College of Trial Lawyers, 6/4/2020

American Immigration Lawyers Association, 6/2/2020

National Bar Association 

Washington Bar Association (Region XII), 6/4/2020

GWAC, 6/2/2020

South Asian Bar Association of DC, 6/2/2020

Boston Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Connecticut Bar Association, 6/2/2020

DC Bar Court of Appeals, 6/11/2020

West Virginia State Bar Association, 6/12/2020

Albany County (NY) Bar Association, June 2020

The Baltimore County Bar Association, June 2020

Fayette County (KY) Bar Association, June 2020

New York State Defenders Association, June 2020

Association of Corporate Counsel, June 2020

Cuban American Bar Association, June 2020

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association, 6/4/2020

Disability Rights Bar Association, June 2020

NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 5/27/2020

Federal Bar Association, 6/9/2020

Federal Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division, 6/1/2020

Federal Bar Association - South Florida Chapter

Minnesota State Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Association, Ramsey County Bar Association, and Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Iranian American Bar Association, 6/1/2020

National Arab American Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 6/2/2020

National Conference of Bar Presidents, 6/2/2020

California Lawyers Association - Chair & President, June 2020

California Lawyers Association - CEO, June 2020

California Lawyers Association - Chair of Racial Justice Committee, June 2020

Alameda-Contra Costa (CA) Trial Lawyers' Association, 6/4/2020

Bar Association of San Francisco (CA), 6/2/2020

Contra Costa County (CA) Bar Association 

John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles (CA), 6/1/2020

Los Angeles County (CA) Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Orange County (CA) Bar Association, June 2020

San Diego County (CA) Bar Association, 6/3/2020

Tom Homann LGBT Law Association (CA), 6/2/2020

Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association (CA), June 2020

Florida Bar President, 6/4/2020

Jacksonville (FL) Bar Association, 6/5/2020

Orange County (FL) Bar Association, 6/5/2020

Palm Beach County (FL) Bar Association, 6/3/2020

South Palm Beach County (FL) Bar Association, 6/4/2020

State Bar of Georgia

Atlanta (GA) Bar Association, 6/5/2020

Illinois State BAr Association, 6/5/2020

Chicago (IL) Bar Association, 6/2/2020

LGBTQ+ Bar Association (Chicago, IL), 6/3/2020

Indianapolis Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Iowa State Bar Association, 6/4/2020

Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors, 6/3/2020

Louisville (KY) Bar Association, 6/4/2020

Louisiana State Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Shreveport Bar Association, 6/4/2020

Maryland State Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Massachusetts Bar Association, 6/4/2020

State Bar of Michigan, 6/1/2020

The Mississippi Bar, 6/1/2020

The Missouri Bar, 6/9/2020

Garden State Bar Association and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, 5/31/2020

Assigned Counsel Association - New York State, 6/10/2020

New York State Bar Association, 6/8/2020

Bar Association of Erie County (NY), 6/1/2020

New York City Bar, 6/2/2020

New York County Lawyers Association, 6/1/2020

Onondaga County (NY) Bar, 6/1/2020

North Carolina Bar Association, 6/1/2020

North Carolina State Bar, 6/4/2020

Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (OH) and  Cincinnati (OH) Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Oregon Judicial Department, 6/5/2020

Multnomah (OR) Bar Association Board of Directors, 6/4/2020

Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, 6/2/2020

Oregon Women Lawyers, 6/3/2020

South Asian Bar Association of Oregon, 6/4/2020

OGALLA, the LGBT Bar Association of Oregon, 6/1/2020

Pennsylvania Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Allegheny County (PA) Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Erie County (PA) Bar Association, 6/5/2020

Montgomery (PA) Bar Association, 6/2/2020

Philadelphia (PA) Bar Association, 6/2/2020

York County (PA) Bar Association/York County Bar Foundation, 6/2/2020

South Carolina Bar, 6/1/2020

Greenville County (SC) Bar Association, 6/3/2020

State Bar of South Dakota, 6/9/2020

Tennessee Bar Association - President, 6/1/2020

Tennessee Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division President, 6/1/2020

State Bar of Texas, 6/9/2020

Austin (TX) Bar Association, 6/3/2020

The Vermont Bar Association, 6/1/2020

Washington State Bar Association, 6/1/2020

King County Bar Association, 6/3/2020

State Bar of Wisconsin, 6/2/2020

National Conference of Women's Bar Associations, 6/15/2020

DC Bar, 6/17/2020

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Black-Owned Businesses to Support

Buy From a Black Woman
Since 2016, Buy From A Black Woman has empowered, educated, and inspired Black women business owners and the people who support them. A registered tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Buy from a Black Woman ensures that Black Women have the tools and resources that will allow them to be successful. Through educational programs, an online directory, and funding, Buy from a Black Woman continues to grow as a trusted resource that helps Black women in business.

Mahogany Books
Washington, DC bookstore specializing in books written “for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.” Place an online order or check out its blog, Black Books Matter, for staff recommendations, curated book lists, and information on (now virtual) events and conversations with authors.

Feed the Malik List of DMV Black-Owned Restaurants Open During COVID-19

eatOkra App
App to find Black restaurants/food trucks

The Furlough Cheesecake
Furloughed sisters used the government shutdown to launch a cheesecake business

22 Black-owned Bookstores to Support

30 Must-Try Black-Owned Restaurants In America, According To Local Food Lovers

McBride Sisters Collection

The Best Black-Owned Breweries in the U.S.

101 Black-Owned Restaurants You Need to Try in All 50 States

39 Black-Owned Businesses to Support Today and Everyday
Various businesses

Where to Find Black Chefs and Black-Owned Restaurants & Bars in Washington, DC
Restaurants & Bars

Black-Owned Businesses in Northern Virginia
Various businesses

7 Black-Owned Hotels Across the U.S. to Visit on Your Next Road Trip

Black-Owned Businesses in DC, MD, and VA

Healthy Roots Dolls
Dolls (Healthy Roots Dolls is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that empower young girls and represents the beauty of our diversity.)

Fifteen Percent Pledge
Black people account for 15% of the population in the United States. The pledge's mission is to call on major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf-space to Black-owned businesses.

Bellen's More than Peach Project
Sells the More than Peach exclusive Palette Packets and the More than Peach brand multicultural crayons and sketch pads to share with kids everywhere--to further the empathy and curiosity of all kids.

Black-Owned Coffee Companies

The Brown Bookcase
Children's Bookstore

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Supplemental Materials

This Has to Be a Seminal Moment: Black Law Firm Leaders on Inequity, Ire and What Comes Next
Lisa Helem and Vanessa Blum
A. Scott Bolden, D.C. managing partner of Reed Smith, and Ben Wilson, chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, discuss their own experiences with racism, how they practice authentic leadership and their hopes for greater understanding and inclusion in the legal profession and the nation beyond.

How White Managers Can Respond to Anti-Black Violence (Article)
Michael W. Kraus (Yale Insights)
Yale SOM’s Michael Kraus, a social psychologist whose research focuses on inequality, offers a series of concrete steps that leaders can take to combat racism in their own organizations—and contribute to the societal fight against injustice. Remaining silent, he says, communicates support for the status quo.

Toward a Racially Just Workplace (Article)
Laura Morgan Roberts and Anthony J. Mayo
Harvard Business School’s African American Student Union marked its 50th anniversary in 2018. To honor the occasion, Laura Morgan Roberts and Tony Mayo took an in-depth look at how African-Americans are faring in today’s workplace. The results, Morgan Roberts says, are both humbling and sobering. The article offers a better approach to the diversity efforts that are failing Black employees.

Why Women and People of Color in Law Still Hear “You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer” (Article)

Tsedale M. Melaku
The author discusses what she has learned through a series of in-depth interviews with black female lawyers in elite law firms.

The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias
Consider borrowing from your local library (and request your library purchase the book if it's not available), or purchasing the book from a local BIPOC-owned independent bookseller.
Dolly Chugh
An inspiring guide from Dolly Chugh, an award-winning social psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business, on how to confront difficult issues including sexism, racism, inequality, and injustice so that you can make the world (and yourself) better. Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion. But how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? The Person You Mean to Be is the smart, "semi-bold" person’s guide to fighting for what you believe in.

This List Of Books, Films And Podcasts About Racism Is A Start, Not A Panacea
Isabella Rosario
NPR's Code Switch compiled a list of books, films and podcasts about systemic racism, acknowledging that they are just books, films and podcasts. You'll find research on how racism permeates everything from the criminal justice system to health care.

Corporate America’s Work in Fighting Racism is Just Beginning
HBR IdeaCast
Georgetown University’s Ella Washington explains how to build more a more just workplace — and society — over the long term.

Owning the Space: A Candid Conversation with Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Kimberly S. Budd (Article)
Kimberly S. Budd is an Associate Justice for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), where she has served for nearly four years, and a former Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. 
Sophia Hall, Supervising Attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights
An interview with Justice Budd about her career path and experiences as a woman of color in the legal profession.

Walk in My Shoes: A Day in the Life of a Black Woman Attorney (Article)
Danielle Johnson, Staff Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services where her practice focuses on elder housing and disability benefits
The article is a call to action for cultural diversity in law firms and legal organizations, and more importantly, for reflection on and recognition of each of our implicit biases.

Reflections from a Token Black Friend (Article)
Ramesh A Nagarajah
The author reflects on being one of the only Black men in his friend group and how that experience as the token black friend for his entire life has allowed him a unique lens into many of the gaps that are currently preventing mutual understanding between white and Black people.

How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees (Article)
Angela Neal-Barnett
The article discusses how companies need to acknowledge that racism impacts Black staff emotionally, mentally, and physically, and that some employees will want more than just a safe space. Companies need to listen to what their Black employees are saying and advocate for the suggested changes.

“We Were Married on the Second Day of June, and the Police Came After Us the 14th of July.” (Article)
Hillary Kelly
An oral history of the landmark Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage.

A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources
Katie Couric
Medium compiled a list of resources to better understand systemic racism and implicit bias. Understanding begins with all of us looking inward, reflecting on our own attitudes, and of course, having difficult conversations with family and friends.

Alexandria, Virginia’s Waterfront Park Adds Olalekan Jeyifous Installation ‘Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies’ (Article)
Chadd Scott
How can art bridge America’s racial divide? How can it empower underrepresented black voices? How can it encourage productive conversations leading to greater understanding and equality?

Alexandria, Virginia finds out this year through the work of Nigerian born, Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous’ whose installation, Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies, was unveiled in the city’s Waterfront Park in March.

The Challenge of Creating a More Diverse Economics: Lessons from the UCR Minority Pipeline Project (Chapter from Building the Anti-Racist University
Gary A. Dymsk
This paper reflects on the experience of the 1999–2002 minority pipeline program (MPP) at the University of California, Riverside. With support from the American Economic Association, the MPP identifi ed students of color interested in economics, let them explore economic issues aff ecting minority communities, and encouraged them to consider postgraduate work in economics. The MPP’s successes and failures can be traced to the shifting balance in California’s racialized political economy, especially a state ballot initiative forbidding the use of applicant race or ethnicity in University of California admission decisions, and to the transformation of economics itself, especially at the level of doctoral training. The MPP experience may be of relevance for other eff orts to increase racial/ethnic diversity in social science disciplines.

The International Association of Dance - Blacks in Dance
Various authors
List of books discussing the Black Dance Legacy

Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not (Article)
Danielle Cadet
The article discusses the tale of two quarantines and how while some Americans have been consumed by banana bread, others have had to navigate surviving a pandemic in a country they were never actually meant to live in.

The Psychology of Racism
Steven O. Roberts & Michael T. Rizzo
American racism is alive and well. In the essay, the authors amass a large body of classic and contemporary research across multiple areas of psychology, as well as the broader social sciences and humanities to outline seven factors that contribute to American racism.

How to Film the Police in the U.S. (Article)
Fact-sheet outlining how to film police.

How to Safely and Ethically Film Police (Article)
Palika Makam (Teen Vogue)
The human rights organization WITNESS provides guidance on exposing violent and discriminatory policing.

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Additional Resources

Advancing and Retaining Women of Color in Today's Law Firms
In 2008, the WBA In partnership with co-sponsoring organizations: Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of DC, National Association of Women Lawyers, Howard University School of Law, moved into its second phase with a focus on the dwindling number of women of color in law firms. In May 2008, the WBA issued its report, Creating Pathways to Success for All, detailing the findings of the WBA’s Diversity Summit (Summit), held on March 19, 2008, at historic Howard University Law School. The 2008 Report makes concrete recommendations for addressing the combined effects of gender and race that affect the success and advancement of our colleagues who are women attorneys of color.

Corporate Counsel Women of Color
Laurie N. Robinson Haden (WBA's 2019 Woman Lawyer of the Year) is the founder & CEO of Corporate Counsel Women of Color, which was founded to provide a support network to in-house women of color and to facilitate networking around the nation and abroad, promote career advancement and the success of in-house women of color, and promote all aspects of global diversity in the legal profession and workplace.The organization hosts an annual career strategies conference.

Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program
The Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) is a non-profit corporation that addresses the continued and systematic decline of women of color lawyers in law firms and across other coveted positions in the legal profession. DAPP aims to diversify the legal profession by expanding opportunities for women of color law students to secure summer positions at law firms and corporations following their first year of law school. Students who work in law firms following their first year of law school are more likely to obtain summer associate positions and secure offers of employment following law school. Therefore, DAPP’s primary goal is to infuse the pipeline to the profession with talented, highly qualified women of color in order to combat and increase the dismal statistics surrounding the number of women of color who are hired, retained and promoted at large law firms across the nation.

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List of public sources used to compile these listings


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