Salaam, exonerated after being wrongfully imprisoned for seven years as one of the Central Park Five, recounts his life and shares the lessons it has taught him. He explores the oppression of Black people and encourages readers to channel anger into action. Salaam also collaborated with author Ibi Zoboi on “Punching the Air,” a novel in verse based on his experiences.
As violence against Black community members at the hands of law enforcement continues to rise, we may feel rage, sadness, fear or emotions too overwhelming to name. We may wonder why and how such injustice could continue for so long.
Above all, we may feel the urge to change a system rooted in racism and inequality and replace it with a system that dispenses justice rather than violence. These books offer detailed histories and critiques of America’s police system as well as passionate, thoughtful ways we can all work and advocate for change. Because Black lives matter.
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Encompassing multiple viewpoints, this collection of essays explains and explores the Black Lives Matter movement.
Krasner, a civil rights lawyer, recounts his successful 2017 campaign for Philadelphia district attorney and presents alternatives to current policing tactics, including increased treatment for mental illness and greater economic development.
Barnett pairs a memoir of growing up as the daughter of an incarcerated mother and becoming a lawyer with her efforts to gain clemency for Sharanda Jones, a Black mother who received a life sentence for a first-time drug offense. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.
A sociologist examines the impact of aggressive tactics such as stop-and-frisk on immigrants, parents, and young adults in New York City’s South Bronx. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.
Examining issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, discrimination against Black women and trans people, and mass incarceration, Hattery demonstrates how police violence against Black people is part of a broadly racist system and presents strategies for change.
The controversial former New York police commissioner relates how well-intentioned but misguided policies may have given Black people more reasons to mistrust the police. Mingling anecdotes from his decades-long career and current events, he examines American policing and explores alternatives, such as defunding the police.
Incorporating police and bystander perspectives as well as a history of police and race dynamics, journalist Thompson chronicles a gunman’s attack on law enforcement officers at a protest honoring Philando Castile and Alton Sterling–both of whom were killed by police. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.
An in-depth examination of traffic stops explores the motivations behind drug busts and the systemic bias against Black people.
Journalist and law professor Brooks vividly recounts her stint as a reserve cop in Washington, DC. Noting how racism and mass incarceration were detrimental to the community, she explains how her training led her to create a fellowship for educating new recruits about these issues.
An examination of the racial divide in Chicago’s Austin community, exploring the impact of austerity measures and increased punishment on poor and minority residents. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.
In a collection of interviews and essays, Hill sharply explores how the injustices and tragedies of 2020–including COVID-19 and the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd–galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked a hope for change. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.
Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System
Federal Judge Rakoff examines inequality in the justice system, explaining such issues as plea deals, corporate impunity, unreliable witness testimony, and the death penalty. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla.