Books of Knowledge

Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls’ Escape from Slavery to Union Hero

Author Cate Lineberry
It was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old enslaved man named Robert Smalls boldly seized a Confederate steamer.

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A Colony in a Nation

Author Chris Hayes
America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure—wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation—reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president.

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This Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement

Author Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonahtan Wilson-Hartgrove
At a time when divide-and-conquer politics are exacerbating racial strife and economic inequality, Rev. Barber offers an impassioned, historically grounded argument …

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Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment

Author Angela J. Davis
A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars.

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In “Chokehold: Policing Black Men,” Attorney Paul Butler Takes on Police Brutality

Author Paul Butler
Police brutality in the Black community is as old as law enforcement itself.  Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler speaks in depth on the issue in his new book, “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.”

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Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond

Author Marc Lamont Hill
Heralded as an essential text for our times, Marc Lamont Hill’s galvanizing work embodies the best traditions of scholarship, journalism, and storytelling to lift unheard voices and to address the necessary question, “how did we get here?”

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Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

Author Douglas A. Blackmon
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War

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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Author James Forman, Jr.
Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction.

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Book Feature: False Black Power?

Author Jason L. Riley
Black civil rights leaders have long supported ethnic identity politics and prioritized the integration of political institutions, and seldom has that strategy been questioned.

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On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

Author Alice Goffman
Alice Goffman spent six years in one Philadelphia neighborhood, documenting the routine stops, searches, raids, and beatings that young men navigate as they come of age.

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Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination

Author Herb Boyd
The author of Baldwin’s Harlem looks at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit—a blend of memoir, love letter, history, and clear-eyed reportage …

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Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Author Ari Berman
There have been countless books written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 …

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