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Resources for Ferguson: Books and Articles

This guide is based on the exceptional work done by the University of Arizona librarians. Their guide can be found here:

Race Relations & Intersectionality

Institutional Racism and Social Work: A Call to Action
National Association of Social Workers, 2007

Race Relations in the United States: A chronology, 1896 - 2005
Paul Buchanan, 2005, McFarland & Co

Intersectionality : a foundations and frontiers reader
Patrick R. Grzanka, 2014, Westview Press

Carol Faulkner and Allison Parker, 2012, Boydel & Brewer Publishing

 The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy Through Race, Class, and Gender | e-book
Michele Tracy Berger and Kathleen Guidroz, 2009, University of North Carolina Press

Veiled Visions : The 1906 Atlanta Race Riot and the Reshaping of American Race Relations | e-book
David Fort Godshalk, 2005, University of North Carolina Press

Race in the Age of Obama | e-book
Marino Bruce, 2010, Emerald Group Publishing

Michael Brown, 2003, University of California Press
Robert J. Norrell, 2005, Oxford University Press

Jean Halley, 2011, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers,

Activism & Social Organizing

New Media and Public Activism : Neoliberalism, the State and Radical Protest in the Public Sphere
John Michael Roberts, 2014, The Policy Press

Black Youth Rising : Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America
Shawn Ginwright, 2010, Teachers College Press

Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism | e-book
Paolo Gerbaudo, 2012, Pluto Press

After-school community-based spaces are often recognized in political and educational discourse as institutions that “save” and “rescue” Black youth. Such rhetoric perpetuates an ethos of pathology that diminishes the agency of youth and their communities. Through ethnographic research with 20 youth workers at a college completion and youth development after-school program in the urban Northeast, findings indicate that tensions arise as youth workers strive to reimagine Black youth in humanizing ways despite pressures to frame them as broken and in need of fixing to compete for funding with charter schools. Data also reveal deep tensions in youth workers’ experiences as they critique neoliberal reforms that shape their work; yet, at the same time, they are forced to hold students to markers of success defined by neoliberal ideals. These tensions result in youth workers downplaying the social, cultural, and emotional dimensions of their work.

This article investigates whether school activism diminishes the alienation that accompanies urban youths’ observations of unequal educational conditions, and often leads to underachievement and school rejection. The study is based on interviews with 13 urban youth about their participation in a community-based program that supports education organizing. Findings reveal that school activism is a promising intervention that encourages more constructive responses to schooling. However, the opportunity to participate in school activism was more influential for students who were already integrated into school life and initially felt less acutely alienated. Implications for enhancing the prevalence of success among urban students are considered.

Police Brutality & Militarization

Meeks, D. (2005). Police militarization in urban areas: The obscure war against the underclass. The Black Scholar, 35(4), 33-41.

The war on crime in inner-city urban America has changed the breadth and scope of urban policy, urban policing, and the perception of the urban underclass. While the inner-city urban underclass has become socially and economically encapsulated by the urban war on crime and an increasingly militarized urban policing forced waging that war, ironically, it has also become both enemy and victim in an obscure economic and social war that is sanctioned by federal, state, and local governments. This essay will not only examine the question of whether this is a war against crime or a war against the urban underclass, but will also examine the context of police militarization and its negative impact on the urban underclass.

Cha-Jua, S. K. (2014). "We believe it was murder": mobilizing black resistance to police brutality in Champaign, Illinois. The Black Scholar, 44(1), 58+.

This paper explores how black men in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, mobilized the black community's critical social capital to respond to what many believe was the murder of Kiwane by either Officer Norbits or Chief Finney, as Manning-Carter claimed. (4) By "critical social capital," a term I borrow from sociologist Shawn A. Ginwright, I refer to human and material resources of an oppressed community that consists of social networks, associations, institutions, and relationships through which trust, values, norms, and beliefs are established with an emphasis on "the collective dimensions of community change" particularly "on how racial identity and political awareness serve as important community and social resource[s]."

Racial profiling : research, racism, and resistance
Karen Glover, 2009, Rowman & Littlefield.



Race & Community Building

Talking about Race : Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference | e-book
Katherine Cramer Walsh, 2008, University of Chicago Press

In a quantitative analysis of class consciousness, race is shown to be one of the important determinants. Erik Olin Wright's exploitative asset-based theory of class structure is critiqued because it does not take sufficient account of race as it shapes the class content of consciousness. This paper proposes that blacks in the United States constitute a symbolic community with a strong component of working class consciousness rooted in an experience with, and an awareness of oppression and exploitation. In bi- and multivariate analyses race produces cross-class effects on class consciousness. African-Americans in different class locations tend to have more pro-working class consciousness than their white counterparts.

Race remains a significant issue in the lives of many people in Australia. For example, Indigenous Australians lives continue to be marked by social and economic disadvantage and everyday experiences of exclusion. Within this context, the Community Arts Network Western Australia promote social change and the empowerment of Indigenous groups through community cultural development. With an emphasis on community strengths and resources, community arts practice is employed to create, promote, and improve opportunities for participation, network development and empowerment. In this article, we explore these projects from a community psychology orientation, which is committed to developing opportunities for inclusion and also exposing the workings of power in everyday settings. Although there have been many positive outcomes that have resulted from the different activities with communities, there have also been significant barriers to transformative practice, in particular, issues of racialisation and continuing colonisation. We discuss our efforts aimed at understanding racism, which have included engaging with critical race theory and whiteness studies within the context of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partnerships for change.

For several decades, in response to the severe conditions found in low-income urban areas, educational opportunity programs have offered high-achieving students scholarships and placement in predominantly White college preparatory schools in affluent areas. Those who complete their studies most often go to elite colleges and universities, earn advanced degrees, and enjoy the privileged status of educated professionals. Much research has been done on the restricted residential mobility of low-income urban residents and the possibility, or relative lack thereof, of out-migration from neighborhoods with the fewest resources. And while scholars differ on whether out-migration has in fact been achieved by more advantaged residents, they agree that the desire and efforts to do so, particularly among the middle class, are evident. These studies suggest then that given the opportunity, those with the resources and opportunity will choose to live elsewhere. Data presented here offer a more complex picture of residential choice, the way in which the newly middle class born in low-income urban areas conceptualize community, and how and why some of those most poised to permanently out-migrate might make the choice to return to their former neighborhoods or ones that are similarly situated.