#CharlottesvilleCurriculum: Books for Understanding Systemic Racism

University of Illinois Press has always prided ourselves on our commitment to social justice. In light of the recent events in Charlottesville, here are 8 books and journals for understanding systemic racism.

PrivateHallettF05 Prisons in America: A Critical Race Perspective by Michael A. Hallet

Demonstrating that imprisonment serves numerous agendas other than “crime control,” Hallett’s analysis suggests that private prisons are best understood not as the product of increasing crime rates, but instead as the latest chapter in a troubling history of discrimination aimed primarily at African American men.






Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death  By Courtney R. Baker

An innovative cultural study that connects visual theory to African American history, Humane Insight asserts the importance of ethics in our analysis of race and visual culture, and reveals how representations of pain can become the currency of black liberation from injustice.






Race Struggles Edited by Theodore Koditschek, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, and Helen A. Neville

This collection examines race in its relation to class and gender. The essays in the volume start with the premise that although race like class and gender is socially constructed, the three categories have been shaped profoundly by their context in a capitalist society. Race, in other words, is a historical category that develops not only in dialectical relation to class and gender but also in relation to the material conditions in which all three are forged.




Spatiashabazzlizing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago By Rashad Shabazz                                         

A geographic study of race and gender, Spatializing Blackness casts light upon the ubiquitous–and ordinary–ways carceral power functions in places where African Americans live.





BarrettF13Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity By Lindon Barrett, Edited by Justin A. Joyce, Dwight A. McBride, and John Carlos Rowe

Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity is the unfinished manuscript of literary and cultural theorist Lindon Barrett, who died in 2008. The study offers a genealogy of how the development of racial blackness within the mercantile capitalist system of Euro-American colonial imperialism was constitutive of Western modernity. Barrett explores the complex transnational systems of economic transactions and political exchanges foundational to the formation of modern subjectivities.


Evans A2.inddOpen Wound: The Long View of Race in America by William McKee Evans

In this boldly interpretive narrative, William McKee Evans tells the story of America’s paradox of democracy entangled with a centuries-old system of racial oppression.







wgfccoverWomen, Gender, and Families of Color

Women, Gender, and Families of Color is a multidisciplinary journal that centers on the study of Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian American women, gender, and families. Within this framework, the journal encourages theoretical and empirical research from history, the social and behavioral sciences, and humanities including comparative and transnational research, and analyses of domestic social, political, economic, and cultural policies and practices within the United States.



jaehcoverJournal of American Ethnic StudiesThe Official Journal of the Immigration & Ethnic History Society

The Journal of American Ethnic History (JAEH) addresses various aspects of North American immigration history and American ethnic history, including background of emigration, ethnic and racial groups, Native Americans, race and ethnic relations, immigration policies, and the processes of incorporation, integration, and acculturation.