Resources for Understanding: Books on the Social Movement to End Police Violence Against African Americans

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has sparked protests across the country, and reignited the social movement against racism and police violence. As conversations about racial injustice take shape in homes, in the news, on social media, and in the streets of American cities, it is important to recall the long history of discrimination and its relation to policing, as well as the history of resistance and innovative activism against racism.

Toward this end, the Library has produced a list of books, which can help us better understand this social problem, and hopefully, to assist in the construction of lasting, equitable and just solutions. The list includes books on civil rights, police violence, racial discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of these books were included in a list we assembled five years ago, after the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. These still relevant titles are joined by several important new works that push the analysis further.

It is not an exhaustive list, and it only represents a fraction of available resources, but it does illustrate the varied approaches taken by scholars who are thinking deeply about the condition of the problem, and working to create the positive social change necessary to end injustice against African Americans.

Resources for Understanding: Books on the Social Movement to End Police Violence Against African Americans

Additional resources and support for researchers studying this topic, or related topics, can be found by way of these library subject guides on African and African American Studies, Sociology, and History.

As research evolves and progresses in this area, the Library will be providing access to new resources. Please feel free to recommend titles and sources as we build our collections and guides.