Reading Lists

These reading lists are provided so folks interested in antiracist topics might engage them on their own time at their own speed. They might also be reintegrated into academic syllabi. The lists provide links to full texts of materials in most all cases. Please note that linked material is subject to intellectual property guidelines.

 

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MODES OF RESISTANCE IN THE US EXPERIENCE
Reading List

Excerpted from “First Year English Composition” (Fall 2015)

From political speeches, to sporting events, and music award shows, one gets the sense that US culture prides itself on its revolutionary (founding) spirit. However, the meanings and modes of resistance in the twenty-first century differ greatly from their American beginnings. We will critically analyze how resistance to systems of power works in current society, while interrogating how new forms of resistance such as social media activism operate in conjunction and/or in opposition to more traditionally ‘active’ forms of protest.

not an elegy for Mike Brown,” Danez Smith:

“Fruitvale to Ferguson,” Kellie Carter Jackson

#BlackLivesMatter Kitchen Talk,” Rachael Faithful (Preview)

Is Twitter the Underground Railroad of Activism,” Feminista Jones

#Ferguson: Digital Protest, Hashtag Ethnography, and the Racial Politics of Social Media in the United States,” Yarimar Bonilla and Jonathan Rosa

 

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RACE, RESISTANCE, REPRESENTATION
Reading List

Based on “Language, Culture, and Identity in the US Experience” (Fall 2017)

We will read texts that actively push against systems of power as a means of illustrating opposition, distrust, and struggle against the status quo. Such systems might be governments, privileged views of history, gender normativity, class, race, and even conceptions of history. We will analyze these texts as a means of understanding the US experience (historicized, lived, and imagined) to locate readings of resistance that might illuminate our current cultural understandings of how society came to operate and does operate within the context of an America always already born through revolution. Our critiques will acknowledge that our contemporary understandings of American resistance narratives both pre- and post-Ferguson have come to be shaped by the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Ain’t I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth:

I Have a Dream (Speech)” Martin Luther King Jr.

Of Spiritual Strivings,” from The Souls of Black Folk W. E. B. DuBois:

How We Drifted Away from the Truth,” from The Miseducation of the Negro, Carter Godwin Woodson

I, Too” Langston Hughes

The Ballot or the Bullet,” Malcolm X:

Redemption Song,” Bob Marley

Dad Bods,” 2 Dope Queens

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” Audre Lorde

A Litany for Survival,” Audre Lorde

Flawless (Remix),” Beyoncé featuring Nicki Minaj

Power,” Audre Lorde

Formation,” Beyoncé

Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination,” from Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Patricia Hill Collins

Teaching While Black: Witnessing Disciplinary Whiteness, Racial Violence, and Race-Management,” Carmen Kynard

Some Instructions on Black Masculinity Offered to My Black Friend by the White Woman He Briefly Dated, A Monologue,” Ross Gay

A Herstory of the Black Lives Matter Movement,” Alicia Garza

From Citizen: An American Lyric,” Claudia Rankine

Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization,” from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

American Oxygen,” Rihanna

 

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POETRY OF RESISTANCE IN THE US
Reading List

Based on “Literatures in the US Experience” (Spring 2015)

We will read poems that actively push against systems of power as a means of illustrating opposition, distrust, and struggle against the status quo. Such systems might be governments, privileged views of history, gender normativity, class, race, and even memory or poetic convention. We will analyze these poems as a means of understanding the US experience (historicized, lived, and imagined) from the perception of the Other seeking to locate a poetics of resistance that might illuminate our current cultural understandings of how society came to operate and does operate within the context of an America always already born through revolution.

Poetry is not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde

The Close Reading of Poetry,” G. Kim Blank and Magdelena Kay

We Real Cool,” Gwendolyn Brooks

A Litany for Survival,” Audre Lorde

Power,” Audre Lorde

To Those Who Have Lost Everything,” Francisco X. Alarcón

‘Mexican’ is Not a Noun,” Francisco X. Alarcón

Blood on the Wheel,” Juan Felipe Herrera

South,” Natasha Tretheway

The Facts of Art,” Natalie Diaz

Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation,” Natalie Diaz

To the Man Who Shouted ‘I like pork fried rice’ at Me on the Street,” Franny Choi

alternate names for black boys,” Danez Smith

From Citizen: An American Lyric,” Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine of Blackness as Second Person,” Meara Sharma

Arroz Poetica,” Aracelis Girmay

 

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BLACK RHETORICS
Reading List

Selected Material from “Storying Black Resistance” (Spring 2019, Graduate Seminar)

What do Black rhetorics look like in the age of #BlackLivesMatter, Black Twitter, and burgeoning media representation of Black lives and narratives? In a cultural moment where public visibility can easily be distorted and turned against those made visible, how does Kendirck Lamar’s signifin’ on Alice Walker’s Sofia to declare “Alls my life I has to fight” reverberate a past, present, and future for Black rhetorics in US (and by extension transnational) contexts? We will consider her/his/their-stories of Black resistance and how they shape rhetorics, compositions, and literacies of Black folk in the US still searching for social justice.

#BlackLivesMatter Rhetorics

A Herstory of the Black Lives Matter Movement,” Alicia Garza

Whose Black Lives Matter?: The Politics of Black Love and Violence,” Cathy Cohen

Black Women, Black Feminisms

Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination,” from Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Patricia Hill Collins

Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” Audre Lorde

“I’m supposed to be locked up too”

Are Prisons Obsolete? Angela Davis

Telling as Theory

The Race for Theory,” Barbara Christian

Teaching While Black: Witnessing Disciplinary Whiteness, Racial Violence, and Race-Management,” Carmen Kynard

Poetry is not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde

Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan,” June Jordan

Fugitive Blackness

The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, Stephano Harney and Fred Moten