Recommended by PittEd Justice Collective

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The PittEd Justice Collective is a three-year working group at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education that is engaged in antiracist, justice-directed initiatives with students, staff, faculty, alumni, families, youth, and district and community partners.   

Like the PittEd Justice Collective, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh aims to make information and resources available to those seeking to self-educate and engage in productive dialogue around systemic oppression and antiracism. In collaboration with the PittEd Justice Collective, the following titles have been selected to spark conversation within our community, as we all work towards equity, inclusion and belonging.  

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Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.  

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412-622-3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org. 

All American Boys

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn’s alternating viewpoints. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

Between the World and Me

A powerful “letter” of love from a father to his teenage son, and the similarities and differences in their experiences of growing up as black men in modern America. Coates shares his story and struggles of growing up in urban Baltimore and his path to becoming a writer and voice for the African-American community as a guiding lesson for his son. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.

Citizen: An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV – everywhere, all the time. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation–that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. De jure segregation–the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments–promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Good Lord Bird

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857; a battlefield between anti and pro slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes Henry is a girl. Over the next months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. He finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harper’s Ferry, one of the catalysts for the Civil War. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow Laws, the system that once forced African Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts America, the US criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and an entire segment of the population is deprived of their basic rights. Outside of prisons, a web of laws and regulations discriminates against these wrongly convicted ex-offenders in voting, housing, employment and education. Alexander here offers an urgent call for justice. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby, as eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

In this beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.