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Jessica Harris: Resources for Exploring Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism

Recent events have pushed the issues of race and racism a to the forefront of our public and private conversations and into the streets, UCLA GSE&IS Assistant Professor Jessica Harris compiled a list of resources for family and friends seeking to explore race, racism, and anti-racism in a U.S. context. She kindly shares it with us in this blog post for Knowledge that Matters. It is not, as she says, an exhaustive list, but one she hopes will serve as one of many starting points to engage in concepts of anti-racism. 


  • Code Switch ( They talk about race all day everyday (okay, but not, because they only put an episode out once a week). But, if you have not listened to Code Switch please get your life and START TODAY! 
  • Still Processing ( The hosts, both People of Color, talk about issues in a U.S. context, but usually they map back to race, class, sexuality, and other identities. It’s also a super fun podcast. 
  • Seeing White ( If y’all want to interrogate (your own) whiteness, start here. A whole podcast series dedicated to the history of whiteness in the U.S. 
  • MorePerfect  (  The podcast covers supreme court cases that guide why and how we do some routine/normalized things in the U.S., such as the death penalty, red-lining, and upholding the legality of race-based injuries. This podcast is not explicitly about race, but there are many court cases/ episodes that relate directly to race and the U.S. 


  • How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi-  an all-around thorough, but not too dense, book on, you guessed it, how to be an anti-racist. Definitely recommended for all. If you feel you can take on a bit more of a dense book, try Kendi’s very big book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. If you have children/little people in your life, check out Kendi’s children book, Antiracist Baby
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. (Jessica’s favorite book). It is non-fiction, reads like fiction, and is about the Great Migration and gets a bit more at how segregation and slavery continue to influence Black lives today. Also, pre-order, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Wilkerson’s next book to be released this summer. 
  • Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
  • Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Davis
  • This Will be my Undoing by Morgan Jenkins and Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower by Brittney Cooper. Both by Black women very much for the empowerment of Women of Color, specifically Black women. 
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of how our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (Watch 13th on Netflix for a video exploration of this same issue)
  • White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race by Ian Haney Lopez. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, also by Lopez. 


  • When White Women Cry: How White Women’s Tears Oppress Women of Color by Mamta Accapadi: This is in the context of higher education, but is a great example of how, when white women cry, it further marginalizes people of color and is wildly disempowering to and decentering of women of color)
  • Settler Colonialism as Structure: A Framework for Comparative Studies of U.S. Race and Gender Formation by Evelyn Glenn: This nation was founded on the rape, murder, cultural genocide of native peoples. If we are truly to understand and root out the embeddedness of racism in the U.S. we need to talk about SETTLER COLONIALISM as well as- in connection to- anti-Blackness. If you’re interested in learning more about settler colonialism, please visit:
  • The Chronicle of the Space Traders by Derrick Bell: Written by the one and only Derrick Bell- who some would call the founder of critical race theory. Bell was a legal scholar, but wrote some really interesting futuristic stuff about Blackness in the U.S. Jessica says this is one of the most amazing article she has have read- ever. Also check out George Clinton’s video based off of Bell’s Space Traders Buckle up for a wild ride. 
  • Racism is Here to Stay: Now What? by Derrick Bell: Another Bell reading, this one is a bit…controversial. But, critical race theorists believe that racism will never be eradicated from the U.S. (I agree) but it doesn’t mean we should not stop seeking to be anti-racist or root out racism. 



  • Brittany Packnett: @mspackyetti 
  • Ibram X. Kendi: @DrIbram
  • Alicia Garza: @aliciagarza
  • Roxane Gay: @rgay
  • Brittney Cooper: @professorcrunk
  • Morgan Jenkins: @morganjenkins
  • Joy Reid: @JoyAnnReid
  • History Cool Kids: @historycoolkids

Courtesy of the University of Kansas