New Social Justice Books

Books exploring themes of social justice released during 2020.

Now that many Oakland Public Library branches are offering sidewalk pick-up, you can once again place print books on hold. We have many new social justice books that were released in 2020, many during the past few months, that you may have missed during our closure. Highlighted below are some of these new books.

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       Say it Louder Beyond Survival Prison News

       The Purpose of Power Healing Resistance Taking a Stand

       The Organ Thieves Disability Love and Rage

 Taking a Knee Taking a Stand Sensuous Knowledge Drving While Black Disability Visibility

Say it louder! : Black voters, white narratives, and saving our democracy / Tiffany D. Cross
An examination of how America’s composition was designed to exclude black voters but paradoxically would likely cease to exist without them. With multiple tentacles stretching into the cable news echo chamber, campaign leadership, and black voter data, Cross creates a wrinkle in time with a reflective look at the timeless efforts endlessly attempting to deny people of color the right to vote - a basic tenet of American democracy.

Beyond survival : strategies and stories from the transformative justice movement / edited by Ejeris Dixon and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Transformative justice seeks to solve the problem of violence at the grassroots level, without relying on punishment, incarceration, or policing. Community-based approaches to preventing crime and repairing its damage have existed for centuries. However, in the putative atmosphere of contemporary criminal justice systems, they are often marginalized and operate under the radar. Beyond Survival puts these strategies front and center as real alternatives to today's failed models of confinement and "correction." In this collection, a diverse group of authors focuses on concrete and practical forms of redress and accountability, assessing existing practices and marking paths forward. They use a variety of forms--from toolkits to personal essays--to delve deeply into the "how to" of transformative justice, providing alternatives to calling the police, ways to support people having mental health crises, stories of community-based murder investigations, and much more.

Prison truth : the story of the San Quentin news / William J. Drummond
This book tells the story of how prisoners in San Quentin, many serving life terms, transformed the prison climate from what Johnny Cash called a living hell to an environment that fostered positive change in prisoners' lives. Legendary journalist William Drummond takes us behind bars, introducing us to Arnulfo and Nick Garcia, prisoners and brothers who revived the newspaper, and describes how the newspaper developed under the care of an enlightened warden and a small group of grizzled newspaper veterans serving as advisors, Drummond among them.

Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists, and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve.

Healing resistance : a radically different response to harm / Kazu Haga ; foreword by Bernard LaFayette Jr. and David C. Jehnsen
With over 20 years of experience practicing and teaching Kingian Nonviolence, Haga offers us a practical approach to societal conflict first begun by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, which has been developed into a fully workable, step-by-step training and deeply transformative philosophy (as utilized by the Women's March and Black Lives Matter movements). Kingian Nonviolence takes on the timely issues of endless protest and activist burnout, and presents tried-and-tested strategies for staying resilient, creating equity, and restoring peace.

Use the power you have : a brown woman's guide to politics and political change / Pramila Jayapal
Use the Power You Have is Jayapal's account of the path from sixteen-year-old Indian immigrant to grassroots activist, state senator, and now progressive powerhouse in Washington, DC. Written with passion and insight, this book offers a wealth of ideas and inspiration for a new generation of engaged citizens interested in fighting back and making change, whether in Washington or in their own communities.

The organ thieves : the shocking story of the first heart transplant in the segregated South / Chip Jones 
In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a black man, went into Virginia’s top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart taken out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman. Now, in The Organ Thieves, Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying inequality surrounding Tucker’s death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family’s permission or knowledge. The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of mistreating African Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

From the periphery : real-life stories of disability / Pia Justesen
From the Periphery consists of nearly forty first-person narratives from activists and everyday people who describe what it’s like to be treated differently by society because of their disabilities. Their stories are raw and painful but also surprisingly funny and deeply moving—describing anger, independence, bigotry, solidarity, and love, in the family, at school, and in the workplace.

Love and rage : the path of liberation through anger / Lama Rod Owens
White supremacy in the United States has long necessitated that Black rage be suppressed, repressed, or denied, often as a means of survival, a literal matter of life and death. In Love and Rage, Lama Rod Owens, coauthor of Radical Dharma, shows how this unmetabolized anger--and the grief, hurt, and transhistorical trauma beneath it needs to be explored, respected, and fully embodied to heal from heartbreak and walk the path of liberation. This is not a book about bypassing anger to focus on happiness, or a road map for using spirituality to transform the nature of rage into something else. Instead, it is one that offers a potent vision of anger that acknowledges and honors its power as a vehicle for radical social change and enduring spiritual transformation.

Taking a knee, taking a stand : African American athletes and the fight for social justice / Bob Schron ; foreword by Devin McCourty
A decade-by-decade account of African-American athlete activism told through the stories of prominent athletes who fought for racial or gender equality, often at the expense of their reputation or their ability to practice their sport. From Jesse Owens's performance in the 1936 Olympics to Colin Kaepernick's controversial kneel during the national anthem, this book show that the actions of these brave men and women are living history, part of an arc of progress on civil rights that is ongoing and far from over.

Sensuous knowledge : a Black feminist approach for everyone / Minna Salami
Creator of the internationally popular, multiple award-winning blog, MsAfropolitan, Minna Salami, takes an original look at racism and sexism, from an Africa-centered feminist sensibility that challenges illusions around oppression and liberation-in a global publication.

Driving while black : African American travel and the road to civil rights / Gretchen Sorin
The ultimate symbol of independence and possibility, the automobile has shaped this country from the moment the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line. Yet cars have always held distinct importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Gretchen Sorin recovers a forgotten history of black motorists, and recounts their creation of a parallel, unseen world of travel guides, black only hotels, and informal communications networks that kept black drivers safe. At the heart of this story is Victor and Alma Green's famous Green Book, begun in 1936, which made possible that most basic American right, the family vacation, and encouraged a new method of resisting oppression.

Disability visibility : first-person stories from the Twenty-first century / edited by Alice Wong
According to the last census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some are visible, some are hidden--but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by contemporary disabled writers. There is Harriet McBryde Johnson's "Unspeakable Conversations," which describes her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood. There is columnist s. e. smith's celebratory review of a work of theater by disabled performers. There are original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma. There are blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, and testimonies to Congress. Taken together, this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community.

All descriptions are provided by the publishers.