New Social Justice Books

A selection of new books on social justice.

In this week's blog post we're highlighting some of the new social justice titles received by OPL during the first half of the year. These books cover a range of topics from education, to spirituality, to art, to political organizing. In Four Hundred Souls, edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blane, ninety different writers share essays and short stories that capture the four hundred year history of African Americans from 1619 to the present. In The Sum of Us Heather McGhee challenges the idea that "progress for some must come at the expense of others" and explores how people coming together across race benefits us all. We Do This 'til We Free Us is a collection of interviews and essays by Mariame Kaba reflecting on the power of ordinary people working toward social justice and Bree Picower discusses ways that social justice and anti-racism practices can be built into teacher training programs and school curriculum in Reading, Writing and Racism. These books and many more are featured in the list below.  

,Nisei Radicals Be the Refuge We Do This Till We Free Us Four Hundred Souls                              

This is the Fire The Conversation Who will pay reparations The Sum of Us     

Reading Writing and Whiteness  Do Better Anti-Racist Ally

Nisei radicals : the feminist poetics and transformative ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake / Diane C. Fujino
Demanding liberation, advocating for the oppressed, and organizing for justice, siblings Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake rebelled against respectability and assimilation, charting their own paths for what it means to be Nisei.

Be the refuge : raising the voices of Asian American Buddhists / Chenxing Han
Despite the fact that two thirds of U.S. Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream perceptions about what it means to be Buddhist in America often whitewash and invisibilize the diverse, inclusive, and intersectional communities that lie at the heart of American Buddhism. Be the Refuge is both critique and celebration, calling out the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting the complexity and nuance of their authentic stories and vital, thriving communities.

We do this 'til we free us : abolitionist organizing and transforming justice / Mariame Kaba ; foreword by Naomi Murakawa
What if social transformation and liberation isn't about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle

Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019 / edited by Ibram X. Kendi, and Keisha N. Blain
"A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain.

This is the fire : what I say to my friends about racism / Don Lemon
As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Don Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them.

The conversation : how seeking and speaking the truth about racism can radically transform individuals and organizations : a science-based approach / Robert Livingston
An essential tool for individuals, organizations, and communities of all sizes to jump-start dialogue on racism and bias and to transform well-intentioned statements on diversity into concrete actions-from a leading Harvard social psychologist.

Who will pay reparations on my soul? : essays / Jesse McCarthy
Ranging from Ta-Nehisi Coates's case for reparations to Toni Morrison's revolutionary humanism to D'Angelo's simmering blend of R and racial justice, Jesse McCarthy's bracing essays investigate with virtuosic intensity the art, music, literature, and political stances that have defined the twenty-first century. Even as our world has suffered through successive upheavals, McCarthy contends, 'something was happening in the world of culture: a surging and unprecedented visibility at every level of black art making.' Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul? reckons with this resurgence, arguing for the central role of art and intellectual culture in an age of widening inequality and moral crisis.

The sum of us : what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together / Heather C. McGhee
Racism is a toxin in the American body and it weakens us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? To find the way, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to Maine, tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others.

Reading, writing, and racism : disrupting whiteness in teacher education and in the classroom / Bree Picower
When racist curriculum “goes viral” on social media, it is typically dismissed as an isolated incident from a “bad” teacher. Educator Bree Picower, however, holds that racist curriculum isn’t an anomaly. It’s a systemic problem that reflects how Whiteness is embedded and reproduced in education. 

¡Printing the revolution! : the rise and impact of Chicano graphics, 1965 to now / edited by E. Carmen Ramos ; with contributions by E. Carmen Ramos, Tatiana Reinoza, Terezita Romo, and Claudia E. Zapata
"In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period's social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. ¡Printing the Revolution! explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since then have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.

Do better : spiritual activism for fighting and healing from white supremacy / Rachel Ricketts
Thought leader, racial justice educator, and sought-after spiritual activist Rachel Ricketts offers mindful and practical steps for all humans to dismantle white supremacy on a personal and collective level.

Anti racist ally : an introduction to action & activism / Sophie Williams
As the tragic murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated, not being racist is not enough. To fulfill the American ideal, to ensure that all people are equal, you must be actively anti-racist. In this essential guide, Sophie Williams, goes beyond her popular Instagram @officialmillennialblack, providing sharp, simple, and insightful steps anyone can take to be a better ally in the fight against racism. While the books focus is on race, it also touches on sexism, classism, ableism, oppression, and white supremacy
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All descriptions provided by the publishers.