Race, Oppression, and Social Change Resource Guide

Main Content

"What’s the problem with being 'not racist'? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: 'I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.' But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of 'racist' isn’t 'not racist.' It is 'antiracist.'" - Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

This guide highlights resources on race, oppression, and social change that are available digitally in the library collection. It is a living document and will be updated as the library identifies and acquires additional materials. Email with questions about these resources or suggestions for this guide.

For additional external sources, please review The Duke Law Coalition for Anti-Racist Action's resource guide, which includes articles, podcasts, social media accounts, and more. 


History of Oppression & Racism in America

Molly Higgins, Juneteenth: Fact Sheet (2020)

Roopali Mukherjee, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Herman Gray (eds.), Racism Postrace (2019).

Karen Gaffney, Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (2018).

Meghan Green, Racism in America: A Long History of Hate (2018).

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)

Emily West, Family or Freedom: People of Color in the Antebellum South (2012).

Melissa Kean, Desegregating Private Higher Education in the South: Duke, Emory, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt (2008).


Structures of Oppression

"It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part."
James Madison

E.J.R. David, Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups (2014).

Matt Taibbi, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap (2014).

Government Structures of Oppression

Patricia Reid-Merritt (ed.), A State-By-State History of Race and Racism in the United States (2019).

Michael G. Hanchard (ed.) The Spectre of Race: How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracy (2018).

Jessica Trounstine, Segregation By Design: Local Politics and Inequality in American Cities (2018).

Ian Haney López, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class (2014).

Joe R. Feagin, Systemic Racism: a Theory of Oppression (2006).

Private & Cultural Structures of Oppression

Sonu Bedi, Private Racism (2020).

Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, & Jean-Paul Chavas, The Economics of Poverty Traps (2019).

Gina C. Torino, et al., Microaggression Theory: Influence and Implications (2019).

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (2019).

Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color Of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (2017).

Barbara Trepagnier, Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide (2010).

Ann E. Cudd, Analyzing Oppression (2006).

Technology’s Effect on Structures of Oppression

Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019).

Ruha Benjamin, Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (2019).

Special Topics 

Criminal Injustice

"As difficult and disturbing as it is to see police officers using violent and excessive force to subdue peaceful protesters, do NOT look away! If these images make your blood boil... welcome to the struggle."
LeVar Burton

Alfredo Mirandé, Gringo Injustice: Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law (2020).

Ray Von Robertson & Cassandra D. Chaney, Police Use of Excessive Force Against African Americans: Historical Antecedents and Community Perceptions (2019).

Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (2016).

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (2014).

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (2011).

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010).

James W. Loewen, Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong (2000).

Disparities in Healthcare

Khiara M. Bridges, The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017).

Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology (2017).

Shirley A. Hill, Inequality and African-American Health: How Racial Disparities Create Sickness (2016)

Gretchen Long, Doctoring Freedom: The Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipation (2012).

Explorations of Marginalized Identities

"My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman, I'm not alone, I'm free. I no longer have to be a credit, I don't have to be a symbol to anybody, I don't have to be a first to anybody. I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else."
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne

Desmond Cole, The Skin We're In (2020).

Crystal L. Edwards, Black Girls Experiencing Their Intersectional Identities in School: a Her-Story (2020).

Russell A. McClain, The Guide to Belonging in Law School (2020).

Sachi Sekimoto & Christopher Brown, Race and the Senses: The Felt Politics of Racial Embodiment (2020).

Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity (2019).

Julian Agyeman, Caitlin Matthews, & Hannah Sobel (eds.), Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice: from Loncheras to Lobsta Love (2018).

Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (2016).

Gregory S. Parks & Matthew W. Hughey, 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today (2010).

Bell Hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation (2015).

Vershawn Ashanti Young, Your Average Nigga: Performing Race, Literacy, and Masculinity (2007).

Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (2000)

Allyship, Advocacy, and Action Resources

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
Nelson Mandela

Self Reflection & Skill Development

A circle divided by a line titled domination. The top represents positions of privilege, while the bottom shows examples of oppression based on cultural norms. E.g., Heterosexism has heterosexual above the line and LGBTQ below it.
Intersecting Axes of Privilege, Domination, & Oppression
Adapted from Kathryn Pauly Morgan, “Describing the Emperor’s New Clothes: Three Myths of Educational (In)Equality,” The Gender Question in Education: Theory, Pedagogy & Politics (1996).


Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism (2020).

Layla F. Saad, Me and My White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor (2020).

Joseph Zornado, Jill Harrison, & Daniel Weisman, Critical Thinking: Developing the Intellectual Tools for Social Justice (2020).

Barbara Tomlinson and George Lipsitz, Insubordinate Spaces: Improvisation and Accompaniment for Social Justice (2019).

Mara Marin, Connected by Commitment: Oppression and Our Responsibility to Undermine It (2017).

Kimberly Chabot Davis, Beyond the White Negro: Empathy and Anti-Racist Reading (2014).

Critical Conversations

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do (2019).

George Yancy, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America (2018).

Shelly Tochluk, Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It (2009).

Gregg Barak (ed.), Violence, Conflict, and World Order: Critical Conversations on State-Sanctioned Justice (2007).

Challenging Injustice

Ada Deer, Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice (2019).

Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (2019).

Robyn K. Mallett & Margo J. Monteith (eds.), Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination: The Science of Changing Minds and Behaviors (2019).

Max Klau, Race and Social Change: A Quest, a Study, a Call to Action (2017).

Eddie Moore, Jr., Marguerite W. Penick-Parks, & Ali Michael (eds.), Everyday White People Confront Racial & Social Injustice: 15 Stories (2015).

Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (2003).


"Nothing disrupts dehumanization more quickly than inviting someone over, looking into their eyes, hearing their voice, and listening."
Sarah Schulman


Ethnicity & Identity – Movies and documentaries exploring race, gender, sexual and other identities.

Diversity – Almost three thousand clips, television specials, and documentaries on issues affecting marginalized communities.

Race & Racism – Documentaries related to race and racism in the United States and the world.

Restorative Justice – Six documentaries discussing hate, justice, and community healing.

Slavery – A collection of television specials and documentaries on slavery.

Movies & Documentaries

Say Her Name : The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (2019).

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality (2019)

The Talk: Race in America (2017).

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018).

I Am Not Your Negro (2017).

White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America (2014).

Anne Braden: Southern Patriot (2012).

Panels & Presentations

David R. Williams, How Racism Makes Us Sick (2017)

Tim Wise, On White Privilege: Racism, White denial & the Cost of Inequality (2008).

Rosie Bingham, The Daily Battle with Oppression : Empowerment Through Inclusion (2009).

Other Videos

America After Ferguson (2014) (PBS Town Hall).

Color of Freedom Series (1986):

Resources for Educators

"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education."
Charlotte Brontë 

For a list of suggested readings related to the 1L curriculum, please reference the University of Washington's guide Diversity Readings Related to First-Year Courses.

Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance Magazine.

Shalin Lena Raye, Stephanie Masta, Sarah Taylor Cook, Jake Burdick  (eds.), Ideating Pedagogy in Troubled Times: Approaches to Identity, Theory, Teaching, and Research (2020).

Hoang Vu Tran, Race, Law, and Higher Education in the Colorblind Era: Critical Investigations into Race-Related Supreme Court Disputes (2020).

Tara L. Affolter, Through the Fog: Towards Inclusive Anti-racist Teaching (2019).

Philathia Bolton, Cassander L. Smith, and Lee Bebout (eds.), Teaching with Tension: Race, Resistance, and Reality in the Classroom (2019).

Khiara M. Bridges, Critical Race Theory : A Primer (2019).

Azeezat Johnson, Remi Joseph-Salisbury and Beth Kamunge, The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence (2018).

Shannon K. McManimon, Zachary A. Casey, and Christina Berchini (eds.), Whiteness at the Table : Antiracism, Racism, and Identity in Education (2018).

Beth Berila, Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy: Social Justice in Higher Education (2016).

Rachel F. Moran & Devon Wayne Carbado (eds.), Race Law Stories (2008).

  • Note: The Law Stories Series, available through West Academic Study Aids, provides background on the parties and historical of major cases not always available in textbooks. Each book in the series focuses on major cases in a particular area of law. 

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2005).

Beverly Daniel Tatum, "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?": And Other Conversations About Race (2003).

James Joseph Scheurich (ed.), Anti-Racist Scholarship: An Advocacy (2002).


Last updated: 6/22/2020