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Featured Reading List: Angela Y. Davis
Davis at Juneteenth shut down of Port of Oakland, June 2020. - Accessed from Angela Davis Facebook page.
Cornell University Library's Angela Davis Research Guide is a great place to find an up to date, annotated list of her publications.
While you won't be able to access books directly from this guide, you can decide which you'd like to read first, then Ask a Librarian for help locating the book in digital format.
Freedom is a Constant Struggle is available as an e-book from Skyline College Library.
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2016
At the Bay Region Community Colleges Racial Justice Forum held December 11, 2020, an audience member asked Davis for the books that most influenced her own activism. Here's her short-list:
Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 by The pioneering work in the study of the role of Black Americans during Reconstruction by the most influential Black intellectual of his time. This pioneering work was the first full-length study of the role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War, when the slaves had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct American society. Hailed at the time, Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 has justly been called a classic.
Publication Date: 1999
Black Women in White America: a documentary history by Recipient of the 2002 Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing. In this "stunning collection of documents" (Washington Post Book World), African-American women speak of themselves, their lives, ambitions, and struggles from the colonial period to the present day. Theirs are stories of oppression and survival, of family and community self-help, of inspiring heroism and grass-roots organizational continuity in the face of racism, economic hardship, and, far too often, violence. Their vivid accounts, their strong and insistent voices, make for inspiring reading, enriching our understanding of the American past. "A very timely and powerful collection which gives emphasis to the magnificent role of Black women in the struggle of Black people to survive in this, the United States,"--Nathan Irvin Huggins "Gerda Lerner has collected . . . material which can change images that whites have had of Blacks, and possibly even those which we, as Blacks, have of ourselves,"--Maya Angelou
Call Number: E-Book available through the Peninsula Library System
Publication Date: 1972
Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday by "Jazz, it is widely accepted, is the signal original American contribution to world culture. Angela Davis shows us how the roots of that form in the blues must be viewed not only as a musical tradition but as a life-sustaining vehicle for an alternative black working-class collective memory and social consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American middle-class values. And she explains how the tradition of black women blues singers - represented by Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday - embodies not only an artistic triumph and aesthetic dominance over a hostile popular music industry but an unacknowledged proto-feminist consciousness within working-class black communities. Through a close and riveting analysis of these artists' performances, words, and lives, Davis uncovers the unmistakable assertion and uncompromising celebration of non-middle-class, non-heterosexual social, moral, and sexual values."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Call Number: Available from Peninsula Library System
Publication Date: 1998
When and Where I Enter: the impact of Black women on race and sex in America by History at its best--clear, intelligent, moving. Paula Giddings has written a book as priceless as its subject;--Toni Morrison Acclaimed by writers Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, Paula Giddings's When and Where I Enter is not only an eloquent testament to the unsung contributions of individual women to our nation, but to the collective activism which elevated the race and women's movements that define our times. From Ida B. Wells to the first black Presidential candidate, Shirley Chisholm; from the anti-lynching movement to the struggle for suffrage and equal protection under the law; Giddings tells the stories of black women who transcended the dual discrimination of race and gender--and whose legacy inspires our own generation. Forty years after the passing of the Voting Rights Act, when phrases like ;affirmative action and wrongful imprisonment are rallying cries, Giddings words resonate now more than ever.
Publication Date: 2007
Women, Race and Class by 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.
Call Number: E-Book, available from Peninsula Library System
Publication Date: 1983-
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Spotlight on Audre Lorde
Photo credit: Robert Alexander, Getty Images
Audre Lorde, 1934-1992
Poet, essayist, and lecturer Audre Lorde spent a lifetime exploring the pleasures and pain of being a black woman in America. Lorde's was an essential voice in African American letters. Her work bravely confronted some of the most important crises in American society: racism, homophobia, the insensitivity of the health care system, relations between the sexes, and parenthood. (Gale in Context: Biography)
Audre Lorde's Transnational Legacies by Among the most influential and insightful thinkers of her generation, Audre Lorde inspired readers and activists through her poetry, autobiography, essays, and her political action. Most scholars have situated her work within the context of the women's, gay and lesbian, and black civil rights movements within the United States. However, Lorde forged coalitions with women in Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa, and twenty years after her passing, these alliances remain largely undocumented and unexplored. Audre Lorde's Transnational Legacies is the first book to systematically document and thoroughly investigate Lorde's influence beyond the United States. Arranged in three thematically interrelated sections -- Archives, Connections, and Work -- the volume brings together scholarly essays, interviews, Lorde's unpublished speech about Europe, and personal reflections and testimonials from key figures throughout the world. Using a range of interdisciplinary approaches, contributors assess the reception, translation, and circulation of Lorde's writing and activism within different communities, audiences, and circles. They also shed new light on the work Lorde inspired across disciplinary borders. In addition the volume editors, contributors include Sarah Cefai, Cassandra Ellerbe-Dueck, Paul M. Farber, Tiffany N. Florvil, Katharina Gerund, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Gloria Joseph, Jackie Kay, Marion Kraft, Christiana Lambrinidis, Zeedah Meierhofer-Mangeli, Rina Nissim, Chantal Oakes, Lester C. Olson, Pratibha Parmar, Peggy Piesche, Dagmar Schultz, Tamara Lea Spira, and Gloria Wekker.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2015
A Burst of Light and Other Essays by "Lorde's words -- on race, cancer, intersectionality, parenthood, injustice -- burn with relevance 25 years after her death." -- O, The Oprah Magazine Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit. Lorde announces the need for a radical politics of intersectionality while struggling to maintain her own faith as she wages a battle against liver cancer. From reflections on her struggle with the disease to thoughts on lesbian sexuality and African-American identity in a straight white man's world, Lorde's voice remains enduringly relevant in today's political landscape. Those who practice and encourage social justice activism frequently quote her exhortation, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." In addition to the journal entries of "A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer," this edition includes an interview, "Sadomasochism: Not About Condemnation," and three essays, "I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities," "Apartheid U.S.A.," and "Turning the Beat Around: Lesbian Parenting 1986," as well as a new Foreword by Sonia Sanchez. "You don't read Audre Lorde, you feel her." -- Essence "Lorde's timeless prose in this collection provides contemporary social justice warriors the language, strategies, and lessons around resistance, through the power of intersectionality, a Pan-African vision, and -- ultimately -- through the power of love and radical self-care." -- NBC News "When I don't know what to do, I turn to the Lorde." -- Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Bitch Media "Whenever my mind is heavy with questions and my heart thirsts for nourishment, I turn to the writing of Audre Lorde. Every time I revisit the words of Audre Lorde, I marvel over how relevant they continue to be." -- AfterEllen.com "The self-described black feminist lesbian mother poet used a mixture of prose, theory, poetry, and experience to interrogate oppressions and uplift marginalized communities. She was one of the first black feminists to target heteronormativity, and to encourage black feminists to expand their understanding of erotic pleasure. She amplified anti-oppression, even as breast cancer ravaged her ailing body." -- Evette Dionne, Bustle Magazine "This was my first time reading Audre Lorde (finally!) and now I can't wait to devour everything she ever wrote. This was the kind of book that you end up highlighting so many great quotes, words you want to memorize, apply, breathe. Empowering read." -- Litsy
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2017
The Selected Works of Audre Lorde by Self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet" Audre Lorde is an unforgettable voice in 20th-century literature, and one of the first to center the experiences of black, queer women. This essential reader showcases her indelible contributions to intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies in 12 landmark essays and more than 60 poems--selected and introduced by one of our most powerful contemporary voices on race and gender, Roxane Gay. Among the essays included here are: "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action," "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House," "I Am Your Sister," and excerpts from “A Burst of Light.” The poems are drawn from Lorde's nine volumes, including “The Black Unicorn” and “From a Land Where Other People Live.”
Publication Date: 2020
Sister Outsider by Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, “Sister Outsider” celebrates an influential voice in 20th-century literature. In this collection of 15 essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to "never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is . . . "
Call Number: Audio E-Book
Publication Date: 2007
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Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith by Reveals a remarkable woman's life and her contributions to social justice movements related to Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism. As an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, Barbara Smith has played key roles in multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism. Her four decades of grassroots activism forged collaborations that introduced the idea that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality. By combining hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists, this book uncovers the deep roots of today's identity politics and intersectionality and serves as an essential primer for practicing solidarity and resistance.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2014
Ain't I a Woman by A classic work of feminist scholarship, “Ain't I a Woman” has become a must-read for all those interested in the nature of black womanhood. Examining the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism among feminists, and the black woman's involvement with feminism, Hooks attempts to move us beyond racist and sexist assumptions. The result is nothing short of groundbreaking, giving this book a critical place on every feminist scholar's bookshelf.
Call Number: E-audiobook
Publication Date: 2019
Beyond the Frame by Beyond the Frame explores the importance of visual images in the identities and material conditions of women of color as they relate to social power, oppression, and resistance. The goal of the collection is to rethink the category of visual theory through women of color. It also explores the political and social ramifications of visual imagery for women of color, and the political consciousness that can emerge alongside a critical understanding of the impact of visual imagery. The book begins with a general exploration of what it means to develop a women of color criticism (rather than an analysis of women of color), and goes on to look specifically at topics such as 90s fashion advertisements, the politics of cosmetic surgery, and female fans of East LA rock bands.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2005
Hood Feminism by A potent and electrifying critique of today's feminist movement announcing a fresh new voice in Black feminism. Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord, and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others? In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hyper-sexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.
Call Number: PLS e-book
Publication Date: 2020
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by 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--perfect for fans of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists. Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn't afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to "be"--to live as, to exist as--a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it's necessary reading for all Americans. Doubly disenfranchised by race and gender, often deprived of a place within the mostly white mainstream feminist movement, black women are objectified, silenced, and marginalized with devastating consequences, in ways both obvious and subtle, that are rarely acknowledged in our country's larger discussion about inequality. In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large. Whether she's writing about Sailor Moon; Rachel Dolezal; the stigma of therapy; her complex relationship with her own physical body; the pain of dating when men say they don't "see color"; being a black visitor in Russia; the specter of "the fast-tailed girl" and the paradox of black female sexuality; or disabled black women in the context of the "Black Girl Magic" movement, Jerkins is compelling and revelatory.
Publication Date: 2018
Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation by Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation is a first-of-its-kind guide on the subject of microaggressions. This book insightfully looks at the various kinds of microaggressions and their psychological effects on both perpetrators and their targets. Thought provoking and timely, Dr. Sue suggests realistic and optimistic guidance for combating--and ending--microaggressions in our society.
Publication Date: 2010
Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by "Reproductive Justice" is a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field. Written by two legendary scholar-activists, "Reproductive Justice" introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger put the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and use a human rights analysis to show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. Arguing that reproductive justice is a political movement, the authors illuminate, for example, the complex web of structural obstacles a low-income, physically disabled woman living in West Texas faces as she contemplates her sexual and reproductive intentions. In a period in which women's reproductive lives are imperiled, "Reproductive Justice" provides an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women's human rights in the 21st century. The series will nclude primers intended for students and those new to reproductive justice as well as books of original research. Learn more at www.ucpress.edu/go/reproductivejustice.
Call Number: E-Book
Publication Date: 2017
We Want Our Bodies Back by A dazzling full-length collection of verse from one of the leading poets of our time. Over the past two decades, jessica Care moore has become a cultural force as a poet, performer, publisher, activist, and critic. Reflecting her transcendent electric voice, this searing poetry collection is filled with moving, original stanzas that speak to both Black women's creative and intellectual power, and express the pain, sadness, and anger of those who suffer constant scrutiny because of their gender and race. Fierce and passionate, Jessica Care moore argues that Black women spend their lives building a physical and emotional shelter to protect themselves from misogyny, criminalization, hatred, stereotypes, sexual assault, objectification, patriarchy, and death threats. We Want Our Bodies Back is an exploration--and defiant stance against--these many attacks.
Publication Date: 2020
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