Mass Incarceration & Race: Selected Readings

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Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Americanah. A Novel, c. 2013

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindedness, c. 2010

Allen, James, Hilton Als, Congressman John Lewis, Leon F. Litwack. Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, c. 2000

Without Sanctuary brings to life one of the darkest and sickest periods in American history … The photographs in this book make real the hideous crimes that were committed against humanity.” Congressman John Lewis

Banks, Russell. Cloudsplitter: A Novel, c. 1998

A triumph of the imagination and a masterpiece of modern storytelling, Cloudsplitter is narrated by the enigmatic Owen Brown, last surviving son of America’s most famous and still controversial political terrorist and martyr, John Brown. Cloudsplitter is dazzling in its re-creation of the political and social landscape of our history during the years before the Civil War, when slavery was tearing the country apart.

Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, c. 2008

Boesak, Allan Aubrey & Curtiss Paul DeYoung. Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism, c. 2012

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me, c.2015

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, c. 1845

Eggers, Dave. What is the What: A Novel, c. 2006

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. The true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina, c. 2009.

Glaude, Jr., Eddie S. Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, c. 2016

Haley, Alex. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, c. 1964

Irving, Debby. Waking up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, c. 2014

Kimmel, Michael. Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era, c. 2013

Lederach, John Paul. The Little Book of Conflict Transformation. Clear articulation of the guiding principles by a pioneer in the field, c. 2003

Magnani, Laura & Harmon L. Wray. Beyond Prisons: A New Interfaith Paradigm for Our Failed Prison System, c. 2006

Noah, Trevor. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, c. 2016

Obama, Michelle. Becoming, c. 2018

Pfaff, John F. Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, c. 2017

Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, c. 2014.

Styron, William. The Confessions of Nat Turner, c. 1966

Syphax, Tracey D. From the Block to the Boardroom. As told to Detric “Qadiriyyah” Goss

Taylor, Mark Lewis. The Executed God: The Way of the Cross in Lockdown America, c. 2015

Van Der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, c. 2014

Wallis, Jim. America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, c. 2016

West, Cornel. Race Matters, c. 1993

Western, Bruce. Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, c. 2018

Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad: A Novel, c. 2016

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, c. 2010

Zehr, Howard. The Little Book of Restorative Justice. A bestselling book by one of the founders of the movement, c. 2015


Bill Moyers interview with Michelle Alexander


Bryan Stevenson speaking at Harvard



A Netflix documentary referencing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution – excellent summary of mass incarceration issues. https://www.netflix.com/watch/80091741

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