Here’s what to read, listen to, and watch to better understand racism against Black people in the US

From left to right, #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, Laying Claim: African American Cultural Memory and Southern Identity. Illustration by Northeastern University.

Combatting racism and injustice against Black people requires both thought and action. To help inform changes in your own life, read, listen to, watch, and discuss the work of scholars, faculty, and students from the Northeastern community.



  • What’s New

    Margaret Burnham, speaking with Dan Cohen, dean of Northeastern libraries, discusses restorative measures for Black people who were unjustly killed (“Seeking Justice for Hidden Deaths”), and in “Hashtag Activism”, Moya Bailey and Brooke Foucault Welles talk about their book of the same name, exploring how people have rallied collectively online to extend their action beyond the digital world.


  • Zoomin’ In On… Rahsaan Hall

    Rahsaan Hall, law school graduate and current director of the racial justice program for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, spoke with Mielle Marquis on June 5 about the parallels between recent and past killings of Black people, as well as what this says about racial inequity and the need for police reform.

  • #BlackBoyJoy

    In response to harmful and false associations of violence and aggression with black men, graduate Brendan DeVoue created a social media campaign in 2018 to celebrate their successes, happiness, and versatility: “Those are things that aren’t usually shown when you’re talking about black men.”


Explore these additional resources, recommended by deans of Northeastern colleges. You can find additional materials in the Northeastern libraries’ diversity guide. This guide will be updated on an ongoing basis with recommendations from students, faculty, and staff.



Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Patricia Hill Collins

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, adrienne maree brown

Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, Derrick Bell

How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, Layla F. Saad

My Life, My Love, My Legacy, Coretta Scott King

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, Audre Lorde

So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein

The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

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

The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations, Toni Morrison

Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women, Mia E. Bay, Farah J. Griffin, Martha S. Jones, and Barbara D. Savage

White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo

Women, Race, & Class, Angela Y. Davis


6 Ways Asian Americans Can Tackle Anti-Black Racism in Their Families,” Kim Tran

11 Things To Do Besides Say ‘This Has To Stop’ In The Wake Of Police Brutality”, Brittany Wong

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change”, Barack Obama

How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and ‘Ally Theater’”, Mia McKenzie

Talking to Kids About George Floyd”, Harold S. Koplewicz

The Case for Reparations”, Ta-Nehisi Coates 


21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, YWCA Greater Cleveland

Anti-Racism Resources for White People, Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein

Anti-Racist Pedagogy Guide, University of Southern California


13th (Netflix), Ava DuVernay

Freedom Riders (Amazon), Stanley Nelson

How we can make racism a solvable problem—and improve policing” (TED), Phillip Atiba Goff

Just Mercy (YouTube), Destin Daniel Cretton

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Syndrome Passed on Through Generations”, Dr. Joy DeGruy

When They See Us (Netflix), Ava DuVernay




Code Switch

Hear to Slay

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Jemele Hill is Unbothered

Robin DiAngelo on White Fragility” (episode from Good Ancestor)

Small Doses with Amanda Seales

Still Processing

The Diversity Gap

The Nod

Turning the Lens: Seeing White (mini series from Scene on Radio)

What A Day


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