Equity and Action

Communities of conscience are calling, with unified voices, for an end to police and paramilitary violence against Black and Indigenous people and people of color, and for a true reckoning with the bitter legacies of white supremacy. We hope this moment will bring forth radical change for good. We will continue to listen to and learn from our communities of color, to share their knowledge, and to elevate their voices in our pages and in our leadership, collaborations, consultation, and friendship. Read the full Southern Cultures statement of solidarity here, and look below for a list of resources that we will continue to update and expand.


Anti-racism 101

Anti-racist packet compiled by Jasmine Mitchell

Black Lives Matter: A Resource Guide

→ Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be Antiracist

→ Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

→ Scene on Radio, Seeing White (season 2)

→ Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation 


Histories of white supremacy and racial violence in the South

→ Elizabeth Gillespie McRae, Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy 

Crystal S. Feimster, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

→ Nan Woodruff, American Congo: The African American Freedom Struggle in the Delta

→ Kidada Williams, They Left Great Marks on Me: African American Testimonies of Racial Violence from Emancipation to World War I

→ Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890–1940 

→ Malinda Maynor Lowery, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation

→ William Sturkey, Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White

→ Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide


Histories of police brutality and mass incarceration in the South

→ Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity

→ Talitha L. LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

→ Dan Berger, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (chapter one)

→ Seth Kotch, Lethal State: A History of the Death Penalty in North Carolina

→ Ava DuVernay, Director, 13th (National; Netflix only)

→ Robert T. Chase, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America


Histories of racial justice and civil rights efforts in the South

→ Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision

→ Septima Clark, Ready from Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement, ed. by Cynthia Stokes Brown

SNCC Digital Gateway

→ Emilye Crosby, ed. Civil Rights Histories from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, A National Movement 

→ Vicki L. Crawford, Jacqueline Anne Rouse, & Barbara Woods, eds., Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Torchbearers and Trailblazers, 1941–1965 

→ Bettye Collier-Thomas & V.P. Franklin, eds., Sisters in the Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement

→ Hassan Kwame Jeffries, Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt 

→ Timothy B. Tyson, Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power

→ Wesley Hogan, Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America 

→ Pete Daniel, Dispossession: Discrimination against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights 

→ Jeanne Theoharis, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History

→ Owen J. Dwyer and Derek H. Alderman, Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory 

→ Claudrena Harold, New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South 

→ Blair Kelley, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson

→ Danielle McGuire, At the Dark End of the Street–Black Women, Rape, and Resistance- a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power

→ Robert Korstad, Civil Rights Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth Century South

→ Max Krochmal, Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Coalition in the Civil Rights Era


Intersectional perspectives

→ E. Patrick Johnson, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South

→ E. Patrick Johnson, Black. Queer. Southern. Women. An Oral History

→ Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States

Haitian Diaspora Oral Histories, University of Miami Libraries

→ Pippa Holloway, ed. Other Souths: Diversity and Difference in the U.S. South, Reconstruction to the Present 

→ Hannah Joyner and Susan Burch, Unspeakable: The Story of Junius Wilson 

→ Angela Stuesse, Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South 

Black Disabled Lives Matter: A Reading List

→ Barbara Smith, ed., Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology

→ Mary Gray, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America

→ Brittney Cooper, A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower 

→ Imani Perry, Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation



→ Jasmine Roberts, “White Academia: Do Better”

→ Kiese Laymon and Tressie McMillan Cottom in conversation, Southern Cultures

→ Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick


Oral History Collections

→ Library of Congress, Civil Rights History Project

Southern Oral History Program

→ Duke University, Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South


Histories of struggles for racial, economic, and environmental justice in the post-civil rights era (texts that are key to understanding structural inequalities that endure)

→ Greta de Jong, You Can’t Eat Freedom: Southerners and Social Justice after the Civil Rights Movement 

→ Karlyn Forner, Why the Vote Wasn’t Enough for Selma 

→ Bryant Simon, The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives 

→ Eileen McGurty, Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice 

→ Robert D. Bullard, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality

→ Spike Lee, Dir., When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts 

→ Barbara Kopple, Dir., Harlan County U.S.A.

→ Jessica Wilkerson, To Live Here, You Have to Fight: How Women Led Appalachian Movements for Social Justice

→ Lane Windham, Knocking on Labor’s Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide

→ Cindy Hahamovitch, No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor

→ Perla M. Guerrero, Nuevo South: Latina/os, Asians, and the Remaking of Place

→ Zandria F. Robinson, This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South


Foundational texts

→ Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, “‘The Mind that Burns in Each Body’: Women, Rape, and Racial Violence,” Southern Exposure 21 (Nov–Dec 1984): 61–72

→ Darlene Clark Hine, “Rape and the Inner Lives of Black Women in the Middle West: Prelimary Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance,” Signs 14 (Summer 1989): 912–920

→ Evelyn Brooks Higgenbotham, Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church 

→ Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896–1920

→ W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America: 1860–1880

→ David M. Oshinsky, “Worse than Slavery”: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

→ Pete Daniel, The Shadow of Slavery: Peonage in the South, 1901–1969

→ Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s

→ John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi 

→ Charles M. Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle 

→ Aldon D. Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change

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