“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” -Audre Lorde
At 1am on March 13, 2020 Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in their apartment when three plainclothes officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department arrived to execute a “no-knock” search warrant in a drug case. The police broke down the door and Walker, believing they were being robbed, called 911, grabbed a gun and fired once, shooting an officer in the leg. He had a license to carry. Taylor was unarmed. The police fired more than 20 shots into the apartment and Breonna Taylor was shot eight times and killed. Kenneth Walker was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. Since the raid and the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor, more information has come out about the incompetence of the police in this case, and the misconduct of one officer in particular, Brett Hankison, who has been accused in an ongoing Federal lawsuit of harassing suspects with unnecessary arrests and planting drugs on them. All three police officers are currently on leave and this week, Louisville’s mayor and police chief asked the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI to review the police department's internal investigation into the shooting. We join the call for the three officers, John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, to be charged immediately in the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor.
As the movement for Black lives has brought increased attention to the murders of Black men by police and white vigilantes--most recently the murder of Ahmaud Arbery right here in Georgia--we cannot allow the deaths of Black women like Breonna Taylor to go under-remarked and under-mourned.
#SayHerName is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the mainstream media's tendency to sideline the experiences of black women in the context of police brutality and anti-Black violence. Black women and girls have always been targets of structural and interpersonal white violence at rates similar to Black men, but because of structural sexism, their numbers and names are often not remembered or recorded in the same way. As feminists, we are always fighting multi-dimensional battles, knowing, as Audre said, we do not live single issue lives. To see men’s lives and deaths more honored and more centered than the lives and deaths of women, even within movement spaces, is painful.
As always, we believe that books build bridges and change lives even in times of great sadness, anger, and exhaustion. This booklist, inspired by the #SayHerName movement, features books on police brutality against Black women, the school to prison-pipeline and Black girls, the role of women and non-binary folks in the Black Lives Matter movement, and the historical underpinnings of our current moment. Whether you are a Black woman sitting with pain or terror or numbness at yet another murder, a Black man wanting to learn more about how to support the specific calls to action from Black feminists or a white or non-Black person of color trying to be an accomplice in the fight against police brutality and structural racism and sexism, this list offers many places of entry for recognition, for healing, for action. Together we can begin to envision and build a world that celebrates and fights for the dignity and freedom of Black women—mind, body and soul.
“A passionate, incisive critique of the many ways in which women and girls of color are systematically erased or marginalized in discussions of police violence.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls.$17.96ISBN: 9780262043373Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: MIT Press - March 10th, 2020
How marginalized groups use Twitter to advance counter-narratives, preempt political spin, and build diverse networks of dissent.
The power of hashtag activism became clear in 2011, when #IranElection served as an organizing tool for Iranians protesting a disputed election and offered a global audience a front-row seat to a nascent revolution.$17.06ISBN: 9781620973424Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: New Press - January 16th, 2018
The "powerful" (Michelle Alexander) exploration--featured by The Atlantic, Essence, the Washington Post, New York magazine, NPR, and others--of the harsh and harmful experiences confronting Black girls in schools
In a work that Lisa Delpit calls "imperative reading," Monique W.$17.06ISBN: 9780520292710Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: University of California Press - August 28th, 2018
"A powerful — and personal — account of the movement and its players."—The Washington Post
“This perceptive resource on radical black liberation movements in the 21st century can inform anyone wanting to better understand . . .$15.29ISBN: 9781250306906Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: St. Martin's Griffin - January 14th, 2020
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.
New York Times Editor’s Pick.
Library Journal Best Books of 2019.
TIME Magazine's "Best Memoirs of 2018 So Far."
O, Oprah’s Magazine’s “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.”
Politics & Current Events 2018 O.W.L. Book Awards Winner
The Root Best of 2018$13.46ISBN: 9780807039823Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Beacon Press - August 27th, 2019
A manifesto from one of America's most influential activists which disrupts political, economic, and social norms by reimagining the Black Radical Tradition.$21.95ISBN: 9780816539536Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: University of Arizona Press - September 24th, 2019Hashtag or trademark, personal or collective expression, #BlackGirlMagic is an articulation of the resolve of Black women and girls to triumph in the face of structural oppressions. The online life of #BlackGirlMagic insists on the visibility of Black women and girls as aspirational figures.$16.19ISBN: 9781568588490Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Bold Type Books - March 26th, 2019
This celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice -- and ideas for how each of us can contribute
$14.36ISBN: 9781608468553Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Haymarket Books - December 5th, 2017
"If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free." --Combahee River Collective Statement
Winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction$15.30ISBN: 9781635574616Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Bloomsbury Publishing - January 14th, 2020
Nominated for an NAACP Image Award
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 History Title for the season
Booklist's Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction titles for the year
BookRiot's "50 Must-Read Poetry Collections"
Most Anticipated Books of the Year--The Rumpus, Nylon$22.46ISBN: 9780807069158Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Beacon Press - February 19th, 2019
Winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award
Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.$30.80ISBN: 9780814776230Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: New York University Press - May 22nd, 2012
Black women in marginalized communities are uniquely at risk of battering, rape, sexual harassment, stalking and incest. Through the compelling stories of Black women who have been most affected by racism, persistent poverty, class inequality, limited access to support resources or institutions, Beth E.$15.29ISBN: 9781580911863Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Crossing Press - August 1st, 2007
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.
“[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”—The New York Times$15.26ISBN: 9780394713519Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Vintage - February 12th, 1983
A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.$15.26ISBN: 9780807039915Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Beacon Press - February 25th, 2020
An insider’s account of the infamous Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal that scapegoated black employees for problems rooted in the education reform movement.$22.46ISBN: 9781558619432Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Feminist Press - January 10th, 2017
Essays on hip-hop feminism featuring relevant, real conversations about how race and gender politics intersect with pop culture and current events.$16.20ISBN: 9780805050271Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Holt Paperbacks - October 15th, 1996
One of our country's premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race.$38.45ISBN: 9781438454382Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: State University of New York Press - March 1st, 2015
Bronze Medalist, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Anthologies Category$15.26ISBN: 9780307389244Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Vintage - October 4th, 2011
Groundbreaking, controversial, and courageous, here is the story of Rosa Parks and Recy Taylor—a story that reinterprets the history of America's civil rights movement in terms of the sexual violence committed against Black women by white men.$17.96ISBN: 9781509526406Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: Polity Press - June 17th, 2019
From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.$15.26ISBN: 9781684034147Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 DaysPublished: New Harbinger Publications - May 1st, 2020
An unapologetic exploration of the Black mental health crisis--and a comprehensive road map to getting the care you deserve in an unequal system.