We at Sargent Memorial Library are committed to creating and supporting a socially equitable community. Here you will find materials on a variety of social justice topics. Materials we are compiling include: book lists, movie recommendations, podcasts, TED Talks, and more. We hope that you find this page useful in expanding your worldview and reading, watching, or listening to many different perspectives.
Books and Book Lists
Items on lists available at Sargent Memorial Library or through Overdrive.
Books that explore themes of racism, diversity, and acceptance.
Fiction and Memoirs by Black Authors
Stories from Black authors spanning across a variety of fiction genres and including memoirs.
Indigenous Authors and Stories
Fiction and non-fiction books by Indigenous authors. Also included are non-fiction books about Indigenous people and history written by non-Indigenous authors.
A list of children's books and links to videos of the books being read out loud on the following topics: Activism & Advocacy, Self-Love and Empowerment, and Black History. There are also a few books in Spanish.
13th by Ava DuVernay
Available through Netflix or for free on Youtube. A documentary exposing the injustice in the United States criminal justice system and the country's history of racial inequity.
Kanopy Curated Movie Lists
An audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.
From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, comes a podcast that takes the conversation a step further. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that lead to the politics of today.
Code Switch is a multi-racial, multi-generational team of NPR journalists who cover race and identity.
A weekly-published podcast community centering Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color in liberatory living and learning practices. With a particular interest in unschooling and the Self-Directed Education movement, Akilah S. Richards and guests discuss the fears and the fares (costs) of raising free black and brown children in a world that tends to diminish, dehumanize, and disappear them.
A podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory. Presented by The African American Policy Forum (AAPF).
Features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice. Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.
Presented by The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights. From the courts to immigration, we’re seeing unprecedented attacks on the values we hold near and dear. At Pod for the Cause, we’re going to tackle these issues and more. Our friends in the movement will be stopping by to have these conversations, and they promise to be real, straightforward and honest.
On Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.
Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017. The series editor is Loretta Williams.
Eve Abrams, The Human Stories Beyond Mass Incarceration
The United States locks up more people than any other country in the world, says documentarian Eve Abrams, and somewhere between one and four percent of those in prison are likely innocent. That's 87,000 brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers -- predominantly African American -- unnecessarily separated from their families, their lives and dreams put on hold. Using audio from her interviews with incarcerated people and their families, Abrams shares touching stories of those impacted by mass incarceration and calls on us all to take a stand and ensure that the justice system works for everyone.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 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.
Kimberle Crenshaw, The Urgency of Intersectionality
Now more than ever, it's important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias -- and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term "intersectionality" to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you're standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you're likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.
T. Morgan Dixon & Vanessa Garrison, The Trauma of Systemic Racism is Killing Black Women
T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among Black women -- and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.
Rayna Gordon, Don’t Be A Savior, Be An Ally
In this talk, Rayna Gordon discusses intersectionality and the different types of identity we all negotiate. And within these identities, how we can all learn to be advocates for social positive social change.
In this TEDx talk, Emma Harrison explains how the United States prison system is fundamentally broken and needs to be restructured. Born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Emma Harrison is a senior studying political science and multidisciplinary studies with areas of emphasis in Africana studies, women's and gender studies, and leadership studies at West Virginia University. A 2018 Truman Scholar, her volunteer work and studies have led to a passionate pursuit of fairness and justice in our criminal justice system.
Heather McGhee, Racism Has A Cost for Everyone
Racism makes our economy worse -- and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential -- and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided."
Verna Meyers, How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Towards Them
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we've seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.
Marlon Peterson, Am I Not Human?
For a crime he committed in his early twenties, the courts sentenced Marlon Peterson to 10 years in prison -- and, as he says, a lifetime of irrelevance. While behind bars, Peterson found redemption through a penpal mentorship program with students from Brooklyn. In this brave talk, he reminds us why we should invest in the humanity of those people society would like to disregard and discard.
Bryan Stevenson, We Need to Talk About An Injustice
In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
Baratunde Thurston, How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time
Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of ... eating, walking or generally "living while black." In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious talk, he reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing -- while challenging us all to level up.