Essential Readings: Revolution Edition

This list of free-to-access readings has been curated from a variety of resources found on social media.

On Whiteness

Articles

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack

How White Women’s Tears Threaten Black Existence by Cameron Glover

When Feminism is White Supremacy in Heels by Rachel Cargle

The Souls of White Folk by Stephen Jamal Leeper

The Abolition of Whiteness by Stephen Jamal Leeper

What Do We Do with White Folks? by Anthony James William

White People Have No Culture by Lorena Wallace

White Fragility: an interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo by The Conscious Kid

Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’ by Rosie Gray

Discourse and Debate: Is performative activism inherently bad? by Kayla Abrams

Amy Cooper, White Spaces, and the Political Projection of Whiteness by Lara Witt

The White Space by Elijah Anderson

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

How White People Can Hold Each Other Accountable to Stop Institutional Racism by Elly Belle

Books

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

The Invention of the White Race: Volume I by Theodore W. Allen

The Invention of the White Race: Volume II by Theodore W. Allen

The Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roediger

How Jews Became White Folks & What That Says About Race in America by Karen Brodkin

On Abolition

Articles

Understanding the Role of Police Towards Abolitionism: On Black Death as an American Necessity, Abolition, Non-violence, and Whiteness by Joshua Briond

What a World Without Cops Would Look Like by Madison Pauly

The answer to police violence is not ‘reform’. It’s defunding. by Alex S. Vitale

Against Innocence: Race, Gender, and the politics of Safety by Jackie Wang

What Abolitionists Do by Dan Berger, Mariame Kaba, & David Stein

You Are Already an Abolitionist by Benji Hart

The Case for Abolition by Ruth Wilson Gilmore & James Kilgore

What Is Prison Abolition? by John Washington

What the Prison-Abolition Movement Wants by Kim Kelly

Books

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Blood in My Eye by George L. Jackson

The Prison Letters of George Jackson by Soledad Brother

Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation by Angela Davis

Voices of African American Women in Prison by Paula C. Johnson

On Racism & Blackness in America

The 1619 Project compiled by New York Times

Articles

In Defense of Looting by Vicky Osterweil

Forget “Looting.” Capitalism Is the Real Robbery. by William C. Anderson

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

We’re Sick of Racism, Literally by Douglas Jacobs

Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Where Is the Outrage for Breonna Taylor? by Renee Nishawn Scott

Race to the Bottom by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Police Brutality Aimed at Black People Is as American as Apple Pie by Monica Roberts

On Black and Intersectional Feminism

Articles

Black Female Writers Who Changed Feminist Theory by Abbey de Fulviis

A History of Black Feminism in the U.S. by MIT

Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics by Kimberlé Crenshaw

The Intersectionality Wars by Jane Coaston

Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Books

How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics by bell hooks

I Am Your Sister by Audre Lorde

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

On Racial Capitalism

Articles

Racial Capitalism by Harvard Law Review

What Did Cedric Robinson Mean by Racial Capitalism? by Robin D. G. Kelley

How capitalism reduced diversity to a brand by Sean Illing

Racial capitalism: Making money off black and brown bodies by David Whitfield

Racial Capitalism and the Structural Roots of White Nationalism by Matt Birkhold

Books

Carceral Capitalism by Jackie Wang

Black Bourgeoisie by E. Franklin Frazier

Black Marxism by Cedric J. Robinson


Compilations

Black Revolutionary Texts
This Google Drive resource features prominent Black authors and covers a variety of issues, including class struggle in Africa and revolutionary solidarity.

Master List of Black Revolutionary Readings
This resource is organized by topic, including: Introduction to Black Radical Politics; Critical Race Class Studies; Capitalism, Fascism, Imperialism, Neocolonialism, and Settler-Colonialism; Indigenous Studies; and more.

Antiracist Allyship Starter Park
Resources and tools regarding racism, anti/Blackness, and how to be a better ally.

A World Without Police: Study Guide
This study guide is intended to help activists understand the police and craft strategies to abolish them. The guide examines the role police play in modern society and how they came to serve this function. It explores the impacts and contradictions of policing, and closes with a look at how communities have resisted police impunity and created alternative means of safety.

Abolition Study Resources
These resources are to support anyone who’s interested in learning more about abolition. The texts vary, and there are many different viewpoints and approaches to theorizing and working toward abolition. Some of what is included doesn’t mention abolition specifically but may offer some historical and political education.

Camila’s Abolition Reading List
These free/online pieces have shaped the curator’s understanding of abolition and what forms of real accountability individuals can collectively build to address and interrupt cycles of violence.

Quarantine and Chill

Out of movies to watch? Check out this list of recommendations from our staff film connoisseur.

Suspiria (2018)
dir. Luca Guadagnino
City of God (2002)
dir. Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund
Moon (2009)
dir. Duncan Jones
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
dir. Spike Lee
American Ultra (2015)
dir. Nima Nourizadeh
The Family I Had (2017)
dir. Katie Green and Carlye Rubin
The Birds (1963)
dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Juliana Belle’s Quarantine Must-Watch List

TV Shows

High Fidelity (2020)
Available on Hulu

Can we talk about Zoë Kravitz? For one, she is gorgeous. For two, she plays a music snob/record store owner/introspective millennial named Rob. It truly is the best of both worlds. I binged the whole series in one night, it was that good. The soundtrack is also killer; I found myself shazamming at least three songs per episode. It is originally based on a book of the same name, which was adapted into a 2000 film starring John Cusack and Lisa Bonet (Zoë’s mom!).

Source: Rolling Stone

Nathan For You (2013-2018)
Available on Hulu

This hilarious series follows Nathan Felder, Canadian business school graduate, as he provides really bad (or good, depending on how you view it) advice to help small business owners, with a little of trying to help his own personal life in between. In case you need more proof of its excellence: this is the only show that all of my friends and I can agree on when deciding what to watch.  

Source: IndieWire

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Available on Hulu

Listen, I know that you have already heard of this show. But, it truly is one of the best! I would only start watching if you’re willing to commit to all seven seasons because, once you start, you won’t wanna stop. Buffy is a normal teenage girl except she has crazy super strength and other superpowers (but they seem kind of…normal? Not like that superhero type of stuff), falls in love with two (2) vampires, slays all kinds of evil, and saves the world multiple times with some help from her friends. It has action, drama, love, death, demons, vampires, and Sarah Michelle Gellar!

Source: Vox

Daria (1997-2002)
Available on Hulu

A classic MTV animated series that you’ve probably seen screen stills from, Daria is a monotone angsty teenager who is just trying to navigate the simps of her school and home life with her best friend Jane Lane. She’s witty, smart, and funny and totally annoyed with the rest of the world. *sigh*

Source: Variety

Derry Girls (2018)
Available on Netflix

I cannot stress how funny this show is.  I definitely recommend using subtitles, because these Derry girls have quite thick accents. This sitcom follows four Northern Irish teenage girls (and one English teenage boy) and their shenanigans all while “The Troubles” bring a (pretty much unrecognized) military presence throughout Derry. Watch them navigate war, sexuality, teenagehood, and the ‘90s! 

Source: ChannelFour

Fleabag (2016-2019)
Available on Amazon

Written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this show was adapted from her one-woman stage show of the same name. Fleabag is a depressed sex addict who masks all of her problems (personal and otherwise) with humor. She talks to the camera throughout the series, which is definitely a bit unsettling at first. She’s facing her demons and growing up, while being a hilarious, narcissistic asshole. This is another show that I binged in one night. 

(I also recommend Killing Eve, another show written by Waller-Bridge. It’s about a psychotic hit woman being hunted down by Sandra Oh.  And yes, it’s as great as it sounds…)

Source: Deadline

Movies

Good Time (2017)
Available on Netflix

The first thing I’m gonna say about this movie is: do not watch it before you go to bed. Not because of any type of nightmarish elements, but because this movie will undoubtedly get your adrenaline pumping. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, produced by A24, and starring Robert Pattinson; quite the formula for a bank-robbery-gone-wrong flick. It also has an original song by Iggy Pop (written for the movie) to close it out. If he thought it was worth his time, it is certainly worth yours.

(I would also obviously recommend one of the most talked-about films of last year, Uncut Gems, which is also a Safdie Brothers film. They truly are the kings of New York!)

Source: Vogue

Clue The Movie (1985)
Available on Amazon

Okay, okay… I know what you’re thinking. And yes, it is a little cheesy because it was made in 1985.  But, pretty much every film that was promoted as a “blockbuster” was cheesy, so give it a chance! This star-studded cast brought their A-game when it came to portraying board game characters. It’s a hilarious murder-mystery starring Tim Curry as a mysterious butler who invites a list of secretive government-employed characters, including the frontman of punk rock band Fear, Lee Ving. The ‘80s really were an interesting time…

Source: Hartford Courant

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
Available on Amazon

Another A24 film, we follow San Franciscan native Jimmie Fails and his best friend Montgomery as they try to reclaim Jimmie’s family home in the Fillmore District. Directed and written by Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails, the story is heavily based on Fails’ real family history. This film gracefully tackles gentrification through the lens of sentimentality and family. It’s a love letter to San Francisco, a family home, and the duality of change. “You don’t get to hate it unless you love it.”

Source: Rolling Stone

Tangerine (2015)
Available on Hulu

This Sean Baker film, which was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S, follows the story of two transgender sex workers, one of whom just got out of jail, as well as their customers and friends in Hollywood. A beautifully shot film, it is historical without trying to be. Interestingly, Baker gave the actresses the freedom to say whatever and act however they saw fit. In combination with its low budget production, Baker succeeded in producing a unique, high quality film. I would also recommend Baker’s other film The Florida Project, available to stream on Amazon, for a beautifully heartbreaking story of three young children living in impoverished Orlando motels.

Source: MovieMaker Magazine

Dumplin’ (2018)
Available on Netflix

Set in a small Texas town, this film revolves around the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant and a teenage girl’s determination to stir the pot and make her town (and her mother) see how alienating pageant culture can be. With characters named Willowdean, Ellen, Bekah, Candee, and Delia, it has a real southern feel, but in the most charming way. There are drag queens, a very cute love interest, and a soundtrack of only Dolly Parton songs. It does an amazing job of being inclusive without tokenizing the wide variety of characters. Also, it stars Jennifer Aniston with a Texan accent!

Source: Variety