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Trojan Bookshelf

This guide provides resources and information for the USC Libraries Trojan Bookshelf Series.

Browse our Living Bookshelf

Discover a Trojan Book in our Trojan Bookshelf below and read their title and back-cover blurb (a brief description of their story) below. Use the arrow to scroll through the bookshelf gallery. Trojan Books are real people sharing their unique stories of obstacles & triumph, joy & sadness, wisdom & encouragement.

Want to learn more?  "Checkout" a Trojan Book and have a conversation during our Trojan Bookshelf event! 

Have a story you would like to share? Apply to be a Trojan Book here
*Trojan Books will be compensated for their time and contribution to this event*

Trojan Bookshelf

Image of Alma B.

In the Pursuit of Justice by Alma B.

Topic: Career Paths
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Alma is a first generation college student, daughter of migrant worker, she found herself in a cultural dilemma.  As a woman raised in a strict catholic setting, you are expected to get married and have children.  In her case, she became the first to go on to college, became a police officer and changed how women are viewed in law enforcement.  She has never wavered when it comes to justice and equality for the people she serves. 

She has served as the president of the first female law enforcement support group that also included the first LGBTQ board member.  She has remained true to her community roots by helping establish a non-profit group to help underprivilege kids learn science and engineering (Rockets in the Projects). 

Image of Javier G.

Combining Passion with Career: The Life of a Dance Librarian by Javier G.

Topic: Career Paths
Pronouns: he/him/his

Professionally, Javier is a librarian, but by passion, a Mexican folk dancer. Learn about his journey, and how he intersects his work with his artistic interests at USC Libraries.

I Am a Family Torch-Bearer: How I've Learned to Be the Family I Needed by Becoming the Family They Didn't Have by Shenishe K.

Topic: Family Literacies
Pronouns: she/her/hers

As a first-generation college student who belongs to a family that is often deemed dysfunctional by societal standards, for many years Shenishe tried to divorce herself from her family unit. She tried for decades to erase the most essential sense of her self and history that she believed others interpreted with a deficit and pejorative lens. It never worked-as it shouldn't and couldn't. As she progresses on her forever journey with her family--to and through healing and wholeness, she'd like to offering a few of the evolving wisdoms she's gleaned from her experience with individuals who are learning to cope with/through complex family dynamics and histories.

Racism and Colorism: Which Way to Go by Martin N.

Topic: Microaggression 

Anthony is a foreign alien who visits a country for the first time. Having never understood the nuances of microaggression and how it can be subliminal, he experiences for the first time the awareness of being facially brunette. Rather than feel sad and depressed, although he was appalled, he thought for a moment that this was a case of inferiority complex... that perpetrators are in great need of help, and likened it to differing world views between a psychiatrist and a patient. Convinced he must act, he decided to take on the task of being a travelling teacher, with much sympathy for folks who devise ways of sustaining and evolving their racism via shrewd means.  

'La Pinche Feminista': How I Fit in With My Family (That Doesn't Like Me As Much Anymore) by Maya R.

Topic: Conversations about Race, Gender, and Political Views within Latinx families
Pronouns: she/her/hers

As a Latina, chubby, atheist, leftist, I have been encountering so many difficult situations while I interact with my family. Recently, they've been getting to know the person I am right now, who, by the way, is so different from the person they used to know. I call them out on their racism, sexism, fatphobia, homophobia, etc. And, it's been incredibly hard to find common ground or understanding. I want people to know that even if they are drifting from their family, they can find power within themselves. Familial disapproval is not an indicator of your worth as a person, and it's okay to grow and find yourself as you come into the world.

Image of Sara W.

I Can See Clearly Now by Sara W.

Topic: Self-consciousness
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sara finally got the courage to wear her huge new glasses to school, but her self-esteem shattered when her glasses shattered too. Sara's journey of healing and reflection taught her that she is not meant to look at herself. She wants to share her lens through which she views life, which allows her to truly focus on seeing others around her. Though her journey was painful and blurry, she can see clearly now.