Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: A reading list for the present moment

Compiled by Peddie's English and History faculty, this list of articles, books, films and more is designed to broaden perspective and deepen engagement. On behalf of the English and History departments, English department head Matthew Roach writes, "Explore these works and broaden your understanding -- even if you simply start with one link, video, or book. Then, reach out to us for further discussion. We look forward to hearing from you."


Nonfiction Articles

Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests (The New Yorker)

The Black Plague, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (The New Yorker)

Who Gets to Be Afraid In America, by Ibram X. Kendi (The Atlantic)

The 1619 Project (The New York Times)

The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic)

For Cops Who Kill, Special Supreme Court Protection, by Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Jackie Botts, Andrea Januta and Guillermo Gomez (Reuters Investigates)

How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country, by Karen Attiah (The Washington Post)

An exchange on Twitter between Tressie McMillan Cottom and Zeynep Tufekci regarding framing, verb choice and passive v. active voice in media coverage of protests (as well as a similar thread from @shareeny addressing the same post from The New York Times and an examination of front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post by @johnedwinmason)


Nonfiction Books

Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

Race Matters, by Cornel West

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, by DeRay McKesson

Thick: And Other Essays, by Tressie McMillan Cottom

White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo

The History of White People, by Nell Irvin Painter

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond

The Revolt of the Black Athlete, by Harry Edwards

How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, by Anna Deavere Smith

From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, by Michael Eric Dyson

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry


Historical Articles & Documents

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? by Frederick Douglass (1852)

Speech Addressing Police Brutality (video) - Malcolm X (1962)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail - Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

Speech at the Embassy Auditorium (about incarceration & black rights) - Angela Davis (1972)

Candidate Barack Obama’s Speech on Race (2008)

President Obama Issues a Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision (2014)



The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead

Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry

A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest Gaines

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

The Sellout, by Paul Beatty

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin


Short Story and Poetry Collections

Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Going to Meet the Man, by James Baldwin

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes



13th (Netflix) (Full Feature available for free on Youtube)

LA 92 (Netflix) (Full Feature available for free on Youtube)

Race: The Power of an Illusion (PBS; Episode Two: We are the Stories we Tell)

Crime + Punishment (Hulu) (Trailer)

Eyes on the Prize series:



Do the Right Thing (Amazon Prime)

Sorry to Bother You (Hulu)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)

Hidden Figures (Amazon)

Blindspotting (Amazon Prime)

American Son (Netflix)

Fruitvale Station (Amazon)

Just Mercy (free on Amazon in June 2020)

Queen and Slim (Amazon)

Luce (Hulu)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO)


Television Shows

When They See Us (Netflix)

Patriot Act - Vol. IV, “The Broken Policing System” (Netflix and YouTube) 

Dear White People - Vol. I, Chapter V (Netflix)

Black-ish - Season 2, Episode 16 “Hope” (Hulu)

Watchmen (HBO)

The Wire (HBO)


TED Talks

The Danger of a Single Story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Danger of Silence, Clint Smith

How Racism is Making Us Sick, David Williams