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JFKI Reading List on Anti-Black Violence, (Structural) Racism, and Anti-Racist Thought in the US

In light of the killing of George Floyd and the worldwide protests it has caused, members of the JFK Institute have created a list of recommended readings with a focus on anti-black violence, structural racism, and anti-racist thought and practice. The following is not intended as a comprehensive selection; many experts and institutions have recently recommended important scholarship, criticism, and research that deal with these issues. We would encourage everyone to seek out and make use of these resources as well.

Our reading list is based on the interdisciplinary structure of our institute, including perspectives from history, cultural studies, literary studies, political science, sociology, and economics. We have attempted to make the most of the resources currently available here on campus, especially now that many publishers and digital repositories have made research publications accessible for free due to the Covid-19 situation. As such, we have included books and essays that are available to read online and to download for everyone affiliated with FU Berlin as a student, faculty member, staff member etc. Our library staff has created a digital reserve shelf via Primo containing most of the books listed below – you can access this resource here: https://primo.fu-berlin.de/search/courses/32130

All essays can be read in full and downloaded as PDFs via the links provided below (please make sure to use the official ZEDAT VPN connection).

Since this list might also be of interest to readers outside the university context, we’re documenting it here in its entirety.

Abdur-Rahman, Aliyyah I. Against the Closet: Black Political Longing and the Erotics of Race. Duke University Press, 2012.


Ahmed, Sara. “Declarations of Whiteness: The Non-Performativity of Anti-Racism.” Borderlands, 3.2 (2004).

Link: http://www.borderlands.net.au/vol3no2_2004/ahmed_declarations.htm

Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Duke University Press, 2012.


After #Ferguson, After #Baltimore: The Challenge of Black Death and Black Life for Black Political Thought. South Atlantic Quarterly, Special Issue 116.3 (2017).

Link: https://read.dukeupress.edu/south-atlantic-quarterly/issue/116/3?utm_source=web&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=j-Syllabi_2019-2020


Bhambra, Gurminder K. “A sociological dilemma: Race, segregation and US sociology.” Current Sociology 62 (2014): 472-492.

Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0011392114524506


Benjamin, Ruha. Race After Technology. Polity Press, 2019.


Browne, Simone. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Duke University Press, 2015.


Buck-Morss, Susan. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.


Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. 1990. New York: Routledge, 2008.


DiAngelo, Robin. “White Fragility.” The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy 3.3 (2011): 54–70.

Link: https://libjournal.uncg.edu/ijcp/article/view/249


DuVernay, Ava. 13th. Netflix, 2016. 

Currently available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8


Fields, Karen E. & Fields, Barbara J. Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. Verso, 2014.


Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. University of California Press, 2007.


Guterl, Matthew Pratt. Seeing Race in Modern America. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 2013.

Harper, Phillip Brian. Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture. New York University Press, 2015.


Johnson, E. Patrick & Mae G. Henderson, eds. Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Duke University Press, 2005.


Hall, Stuart. The Fateful Triangle: Race, Ethnicity, Nation. Harvard University Press, 2017.


Hancock, Ange-Marie. The Politics of Disgust: The Public Identity of the Welfare Queen. New York University Press, 2004.


Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. Minor Compositions, 2013.

Link: https://www.minorcompositions.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/undercommons-web.pdf


Harris, Cheryl I. Whiteness as Property. Harvard Law Review 106 (1993): 1707-1791.

Link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1341787


Hartman, Saidiya. “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe, Number 26 (2008): 1–14.

Link: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/241115


Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. New York: Nation Books, 2016. [Online Version only available in German]


Lee, Taeku. “Race, Immigration, and the Identity-to-Politics Link.Annual Review of Political Science 11 (2008): 457-478.

Link: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.polisci.11.051707.122615


Lipsitz, George. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics. Temple University Press, 2018.


Lorde, Audre. “The Uses of Anger.” Women's Studies Quarterly 25.1-2 (1997): 278-85.

Link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40003905?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

Alternative Link: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1981-audre-lorde-uses-anger-women-responding-racism/


Masuoka, Natalie, and Jane Junn. The Politics of Belonging: Race, Public Opinion, and Immigration. University of Chicago Press, 2013.


Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Harvard University Press, 1982.


Quadagno, Jill. The Color of Welfare: How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty. Oxford University Press, 1995.


Raiford, Leigh. Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle. University of North Carolina Press, 2011.


Redding Jr., Robert. “Black Voices, White Power: Members of the Black Press Make Meaning of Media Hegemony.” Journal of Black Studies 48.2 (2017): 143–164.

Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0021934716681152


Reid-Pharr, Robert. Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual. New York University Press, 2007.


Sawyer, Michael. Black Minded: The Political Philosophy of Malcolm X. Pluto Press, 2020.


Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake. On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.


Spillers, Hortense. Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture. University of Chicago Press, 2003.


Squires, Catherine R. Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-first Century. New York University Press, 2014.


Steinmetz, Kevin F., Brian P. Schaefer, and Howard Henderson. “Wicked Overseers: American Policing and Colonialism.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 3 (2017): 68-81.

Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332649216665639


Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. University of North Carolina Press, 2019.


Weheliye, Alexander G. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Duke University Press, 2014.


Wilderson, Frank B. Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms. Duke University Press, 2010.