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Black History Month 2023: Black Resistance

by Abbey Thompson on 2023-01-18T12:15:00-08:00 in Biography, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies, History, Language & Culture, Multi-Subject | 0 Comments
Though it may still feel like 2023 has barely begun, Black History Month is now here. Every year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) chooses a theme for Black History Month. The theme acts as a kind of lens through which we can collectively focus our study, thoughts, readings, and discussions about issues of importance – both historical and present – within America’s Black community and beyond. 

This year, ASALH has chosen the theme of Black Resistance. They encourage us to explore just how much our society has gained through the vehicle of Black Resistance: “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since [arriving upon] these shores... Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.” One cannot accurately or truthfully discuss the history of this country and its people without acknowledging the deep, scarring wounds of racial injustice that shape both our past and present, and the threat they pose to our future. Black Resistance is, and has always been, a powerful vehicle for social, political, and environmental change. It has taken many forms over the centuries, both violent and non-violent, and these strategies themselves have “have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated.” ASALH writes more about the incredible history of Black Resistance in America and why they chose it to represent 2023 in their Executive Summary: 

We encourage you to take this month to learn more about the multi-faceted history of Black Resistance in America, the modern-day resistance fighters among us now, and ways you can become one of them too. The reading list below, all of which are available through the MSMU Libraries, is in no way comprehensive or complete: it is merely a starting point for anyone looking to learn more about these important topics, and maybe add some more strategies to their antiracist toolkit. 


Cover Art for Our Time is NowJK1994 .A37 2020 (Chalon Bestsellers & Doheny Bestsellers)Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams
Call Number: JK1994 .A37 2020 
Location: Chalon Bestsellers & Doheny Bestsellers
ISBN: 9781250257703  Publication Date: 2020

Voter suppression has plagued America since its inception, and so has the issue of identity-who is really American and what that means. When tied together, as they are in our modern politics, citizens are harmed in overt, subtle, and even personal ways. Stacey Abrams experienced the effects firsthand. From New York Times bestselling author of Lead From The Outside and political leader Stacey Abrams, Our Time is Now is a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country.

Cover Art for How to Be an AntiracistHow to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Call Number: Available ONLINE
Location: ProQuest Ebook Central
ISBN: 9780525509295   Publication Date: 2019

"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it - and then dismantle it." 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. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. 

Cover Art for Sing, Unburied, SingSing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Call Number: PS3623 .A7323 S56 2017  
Location: Chalon Bestsellers & Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9781501126062  Publication Date: 2017

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi's past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power--and limitations--of family bonds. 

Cover Art for Me and White SupremacyMe and White Supremacy : Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad ; foreword by Robin DiAngelo
Call Number: Available ONLINE 
Location: ProQuest Ebook Central
ISBN: 9781728209821  Publication Date: 2020

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and nearly 100,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook. Updated and expanded, this book takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories, and expands definitions, examples, and further resources. 

Cover Art for Eloquent RageEloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
Call Number: HQ1413 .C67 C67 2018 
Location: Chalon Bestsellers & Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9781250112576  Publication Date: 2018 

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. 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.

Cover Art for The Memory LibrarianThe Memory Librarian: and Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
Call Number: PS3613 .O52266 M46 2022
Location: Chalon Bestsellers
ISBN: 9780063070875   Publication Date: 2022

Singer-songwriter, actor, fashion icon, futurist, and worldwide superstar Janelle Monáe brings to the written page the Afrofuturistic world of one of her critically acclaimed albums, exploring how different threads of liberation--queerness, race, gender plurality, and love--become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape...and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms. Whoever controls our memories controls the future.

Cover Art for The Body is Not an ApologyThe Body Is Not an Apology: the Power of Radical Self-Love, Second Edition by Sonya Renee Taylor
Call Number: Available ONLINE 
Location: ProQuest Ebook Central
ISBN: 9781523091003   Publication Date: 2021

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. This second edition includes stories from Taylor's travels around the world combating body terrorism and shines a light on the path toward liberation guided by love.

Cover Art for From #BlackLivesMatter to Black LiberationFrom #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Call Number: HQ1413 .C67 C67 2018
Location: Chalon Main Stacks & Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9781608465620   Publication Date: 2016

The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.

Cover Art for Ida B. the QueenIda B. the Queen: the Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells by Michelle Duster and Hannah Giorgis
Call Number: E185.97 .W55 D88 2021  
Location: Chalon Bestsellers
ISBN: 9781982129811  Publication Date: 2021

Journalist. Suffragist. Antilynching crusader. In 1862, Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 2020, she won a Pulitzer Prize. Ida B. Wells committed herself to the needs of those who did not have power. In the eyes of the FBI, this made her a "dangerous negro agitator." In the annals of history, it makes her an icon. Like her contemporaries Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, Wells left an indelible mark on history--one that can still be felt today. As America confronts the unfinished business of systemic racism, Ida B. the Queen pays tribute to a transformational leader and reminds us of the power we all hold to smash the status quo.

Cover Art for His Name is George FloydHis Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice by Robert Samuels; Toluse Olorunnipa
Call Number: E185.615 .S245 2022  
Location: Doheny Bestsellers
ISBN: 9780593490617   Publication Date: 2022

A landmark biography by two prizewinning Washington Post reporters that reveals how systemic racism shaped George Floyd's life and legacy--from his family's roots in the tobacco fields of North Carolina, to ongoing inequality in housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and policing--telling the story of how one man's tragic experience brought about a global movement for change. 

Cover Art for This Will be my UndoingThis Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins
Call Number: E185.86 .J47 2018 
Location: Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9780062666154   Publication Date: 2018

From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins' highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today.

Cover Art for Colorizing Restorative JusticeColorizing Restorative Justice by Edward Charles Valandra, Editor
Call Number: HV8688 .C593 2020 
Location: Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9781937141233   Publication Date: 2020

In Colorizing Restorative Justice, noted practitioners in restorative justice / practices offer accounts of their own experiences and critical analyses, as the book explores issues of race and marginalization within the field. The book illuminates how racism and colonization show up in the movement and includes thought-provoking questions to help readers fully process the articles.

Cover Art for Anti-Racist LeadershipAnti-Racist Leadership : How to Transform Corporate Culture in a Race-Conscious World by James D. White, with Krista White
Call Number: Available ONLINE
Location: ProQuest Ebook Central 
ISBN: 9781647821982   Publication Date: 2022

Building anti-racist companies by design creates great places to work for all. This book is the comprehensive plan for leaders who are ready to get serious about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and creating an anti-racist company culture. Transformational leader James D. White has gained a deep understanding of how to operationalize and integrate DEI agendas as a leader with 30 years of experience at large companies. and as his lived experience as a Black man at that highest levels of corporate America.

Cover Art Reimagining the Middle PassageReimagining the Middle Passage : Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song by Tara T. Green
Call Number: Available ONLINE
Location: JSTOR
ISBN: 9780814276174   Publication Date: 2018

Examines contemporary reimaginings of the Middle Passage by Black artists in film, literature, and song, arguing that these writers and artists recognize the Middle Passage as a historical and geographical site of trauma but are able to reimagine the Middle Passage in their work in order to resist social death

Cover Art for BacklashBacklash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America by George Yancy ; foreword by Cornel West
Call Number: E185.61 .Y36 2018  
Location: Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9781538104057   Publication Date: 2018

When George Yancy penned a New York Times op-ed entitled "Dear White America" asking white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism, he knew his article would be controversial. But he was unprepared for the flood of vitriol in response. The resulting blowback played out in the national media, with critics attacking Yancy in every form possible--including death threats--and supporters rallying to his side. Despite the rhetoric of a "post-race" America, Yancy quickly discovered that racism is still alive, crude, and vicious in its expression. In Backlash, Yancy expands upon the original article and chronicles the ensuing controversy as he seeks to understand what it was about the op-ed that created so much rage among so many white readers. He challenges white Americans to rise above the vitriol and to develop a new empathy for the African American experience.

Cover Art for Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked StickHitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories From the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston, foreword by Tayari Jones, introduction by Genevieve West 
Call Number: PS3515 .U789 H58 2020 
Location: Doheny Main Stacks
ISBN: 9780062915795   Publication Date: 2020

In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston--the sole black student at the college--was living in New York, "desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world." During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nearly a century later, this singular talent is recognized as one of the most influential and revered American artists of the modern period. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston's world. 

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