Carnegie Mellon University

We have complied a brief listing of articles, documentaries, reading lists, podcasts and books relating to police brutality and #BLM movement.

List Last Updated: October 2020

CMU Libraries Anti-Racist Reading List
This list of titles was informed by the anti-racist reading list curated by Ibram X. Kendi and posted on the Chicago Public Library website. Each title was selected due to format and availability in the University Libraries’ collection.

Justice in June
This resource was compiled with learning resources and scheduled activites to provide a starting place for individuals trying to become a better ally to the black community.

Prison Culture: Essential Reading
A list of useful articles/essays about mass incarceration and the prision industrial complex.

UNEION 101 is the introductory course in the UNEION (UCAR|NCAR Equity and Inclusion) training series. In the link you will find a list of resources we use during the four training sessions. UNEION is open to all NCAR and UCAR employees and visitors.

Police, Violence, and Data: The Black Lives Matter Movement
A conversation with Heinz Professor Daniel Nagin, one of the world’s leading experts on policing, discusses the Black Lives Matter Movement and the legacy that sparked it.

Protests Spread Over Police Shootings. Police Promised Reforms. Every Year, They Still Shoot and Kill Nearly 1,000 People.
Washington Post article on police shootings (2015-2020) and the lack of reforms. Mentions study by CMU researchers.

‘Black Lives Matter’ is About More than the Police
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors discusses how black life must be valued at every stage and in every facet of society. (ACLU)

Obama on Dallas: ‘Vicious, calculated, despicable attack on law enforcement’
In the wake of the Dallas shootings that claimed the lives of five police officers, then president Barak Obama responds. (CNN)

Policing in America: What the Cops Say
Is there something about America’s policing culture that leads an over-reliance on violence? (Economist)

We Should Still Defund the Police
Cuts to public services that might mitigate poverty and promote social mobility have become a perpetual excuse for more policing. (The New Yorker)

The Double Standard of the American Riot
The nationwide protests against police killings have been called un-American by critics, but rebellion has always been used to defend liberty.

Say Her Name Report
Say Her Name sheds light on Black women’s experiences of police violence in an effort to support a gender-inclusive approach to racial justice that centers all Black lives equally.

A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement
Alicia Garza discusses formation, background, and goals of BLM movement.

The Case for Reparations
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. (The Atlantic)

Between the World and Me (Excerpt titled “Letter to My Son”)
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. (The Atlantic)

I, Racist
Text of a “sermon” that John Metta gave as a “congregational reflection” to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ and is a reflection on white privilege and racism. (Huffington Post)

Black Lives Matter: About
Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada. Provides information about their mission and values.

Mapping Police Violence
Information has been meticulously sourced from the three largest, most comprehensive and impartial crowdsourced databases on police killings in the country.

The Counted
The database will combined Guardian reporting with verified crowdsourced information to build a more comprehensive record of such fatalities. (2015-2016)

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement
2016 American television documentary film starring Jesse Williams about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the events that led to the uprising of the movement. (:39)

What Black Lives Matter Protests Mean to Asian American Communities
Black Lives Matter movement unifies people across race and cultures. Asian American activists are also joining the protests and stand with the black communities for justice.

In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. (Netflix - 1:40)

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder: Our Goal Is to Make All Lives Matter
Alicia Garza is one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter. For Bloomberg Businessweek›s Interview Issue, she talks about her response to people who say All Lives Matter, how their focus goes beyond policing, and how the movement has grown.

When They See Us
When They See Us is a 2019 American crime web television miniseries created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix, that premiered in four parts. It is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault.

The Danger of a Single Story
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. (TEDGlobal)

Under The Blacklight Series  - Especially episode 10 titled “The Fire This Time”
African American Policy Forum series of wide-ranging conversations that have featured scholars including Dorothy Roberts, Naomi Klein, and other organizers, artists and writers. (*Especially episode 10 titled “The Fire This Time”)

Do Black Lives Matter?
Critical Resistance hosts Fred Moten and Robin D.G. Kelley for a conversation on the impacts of the prison industrial complex on Black communities.

Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter
Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement›s three founders share what they›ve learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to participate in ensuring freedom for everybody: join something, start something and «sharpen each other, so that we all can rise.» (TED)

Black Skin, White Masks: Racism, Vulnerability & Refuting Black Pathology
Professor Ruha Benjamin shifts the discussion of the intersection of race to focus on the kind of transformation that has to happen, that IS happening, at the level of our social consciousness, where anti-blackness is so deeply lodged, justifying the forms of inequity upon which the rest of our structures are built.

Reveal: The Uprising
Protesters in Minneapolis, Miami, San Francisco and other cities tell us why they’re speaking out. Then host Al Letson speaks to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is prosecuting the case against Derek Chauvin and the other officers involved in the death of George Floyd. Letson reflects on the history of policing in America with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “The Condemnation of Blackness.”

Ear Hustle
The daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration.

An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling. (NYT)

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.

Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter
Combining firsthand accounts from activists with the research of scholars and reflections from artists, Policing the Planet traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton. It’s a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power the world over—to deadly effect.

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
From one of the leading voices on civil rights in America, a thoughtful and urgent analysis of recent headline-making police brutality cases and the systems and policies that enabled them.

Golden Gulag: Prison, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California
In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Isabel Wilkerson examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

Are Prisons Obsolete?
Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
This book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color
Invisible No More is a timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement.

Choke Hold: Policing Black Men
Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Paul Butler’s controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it’s better for a black man to plead guilty—even if he’s innocent—are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.  (to read with young readers)

In Defense of Looting
Vicky Osterweil argues that stealing goods and destroying property are direct, pragmatic strategies of wealth redistribution and improving life for the working class -- not to mention the brazen messages these methods send to the police and the state. All our beliefs about the innate righteousness of property and ownership, Osterweil explains, are built on the history of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous oppression.