In recent weeks, sociologists, historians, activists, critics, and others have been compiling reading lists to help people understand the social and historical contexts for recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, following the police killing of Michael Brown. These lists include recently-published scholarly and popular essays and books, as well as historic primary sources. Here are some of the most helpful lists we’ve seen.
Have you encountered other lists, or are there sources you’d recommend members of the Hampshire community read/view/hear? Please add links or suggest resources in the comments. We’d love to build a shared knowledge base with you.
The Ferguson Syllabus – Compiled by Sociologists for Justice. Most of the articles included in the syllabus are open access (so you can read and download them without a journal subscription or database access). The books on the syllabus are available in Five College libraries:
Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship, by Charles R. Epp
Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest, eds. Jane Mansbridge & Aldon Morris
Ferguson’s Literary History – Compiled by Avidly/the Los Angeles Review of Books. A list of primary/historic sources, including essays, novels and journalism. If you’re interested in reading Ida B. Wells’ essay “The Negro Case in Equity,” it’s been anthologized in African American Feminisms, 1828-1923 and in ‘We Must Be Up and Doing’: A Reader in Early African American Feminisms.
Ferguson: How We Got Here – Compiled by staff of Left Bank Books, a community bookstore in St. Louis. Includes books specific to the history of St. Louis.
How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson – A crowd-sourced syllabus about race, African American history, civil rights, and policing. Links to many news stories, articles and blog posts in addition to books. Compiled by The Atlantic.
Georgia State University Libraries also published a blog post pointing to resources on histories of segregation, desegregation, and the struggle for educational equality in St. Louis. Many of the links in the blog entry are to the GSU online catalog. To see if we have these books in our Five College collections, just search the library catalog by title.
Additional books we’d recommend:
Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation, by Beth E. Ritchie (also available as a print book)
Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics, eds. George Yancy and Janine Jones (also available in print)