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Racial Disparity


1. Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas (2016).

This book discusses how racism is disseminated through American society. This book analyzes American institutions and their role in continuing anti-blackness. “Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.”

2. Meera Deo, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (2019).

This book compares the personal experiences of women of color professors with those of white women, white men, and other men of color who serve as faculty and administrators in American law schools. This book analyzes how racial and gender biases have become pervasive in hiring, colleague interaction, promotion, and the legal education taught within law schools today.

3. Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference (2011).

This book has become a cornerstone of modern feminist thought through its analysis of distributive justice. This book studies how different privileges exclude historically marginalized groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, the disabled, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

4. Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017).

"Richard Rothstein explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes it clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day."

5. Khiara M. Bridges, Critical Race Theory: A Primer (2019). 

This book discusses the development and application of critical race theory (CRT) in the legal context, with a focus on privilege, implicit bias, and intersections with sexuality, religion, and disability. Modern issues explored in depth include criminal justice, education, and healthcare. “Part I provides a history of CRT... Part II introduces and explores...institutional/structural racism, implicit bias, microaggressions, racial privilege, the relationship between race and class, and intersectionality. Part III builds on Part II’s discussion of intersectionality by exploring the intersection of race with a variety of other characteristics...Part IV analyzes...racial disparities in health, affirmative action, the criminal justice system, the welfare state, and education.”

6. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2020).

This book describes racial disparities and discrimination in the U.S. criminal justice system. The tenth anniversary edition includes a new preface from the author. “Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads... and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.”


1. Ian Haney-Lopez, Intentional Blindness, 87 NYU L. Rev. 1779 (2012).

This article discusses colorblindness as a limiting factor in realizing the promises and guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment. Focusing on the Supreme Court’s search for discriminatory intent, the article analyzes how blindness as to the color of litigants ultimately impedes the pursuit for justice.

2. Jonathan Simon, Racing Abnormality, Normalizing Race: The Origins of America’s Peculiar Carceral State and its Prospects for Democratic Transformation Today, 111 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1625 (2017).

This article discusses how the normalization of incarcerating communities based on race disrupts communities. This article analyzes how policing becomes a way of utilizing state power to correct and deter elements of society that seem out of place or outside the norm.

3. Grace Lo, "Aliens” vs. Catalogers: Bias in the Library of Congress Subject Heading, 34 L. Ref. Serv. Q. 170 (2019). 

This article discusses, through the analysis of “aliens,” or undocumented persons, how the Library of Congress Subject Headings racially discriminate against those that fall outside the norm determined by the federal government.

4. Angela Harris, Equality Trouble: Sameness and Difference in Twentieth Century Race Law, 88 C.L.R. 1923 (2000).

This article discusses the application of laws based on concepts of sameness and the differences between races and communities. It tackles issues such as color blindness, over application, and other inequitable means that exacerbate inequalities based on race.

5. Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations, The Atlantic (June 2014).

This article highlights socioeconomic racial disparities throughout U.S. history.



“The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”


This website examines different abuses of police power across California utilizing a mix of official and citizen-produced data. “It was built using data from California's OpenJustice database, public records requests, national databases and media reports.”


This website tracks inequality at the intersection of multiple identities, with sections on racial economic inequality, statistics on the current state of race and wealth, and solutions to resolve the disparities.


A list containing resources about basics of mass criminalization, prison and police abolition, criminalization of blackness, sexual violence and anti-carceral feminism, community accountability, restorative justice, and intersections between criminalization and climate justice, immigration, and LGBTQ justice.


1. ACLU News & Commentary

A collection of commentary and news articles about civil rights issues from the ACLU.


A blog from Harvard Civil Rights focused on civil liberties issues and the law.

Short Videos

1. The Atlantic, The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality, YouTube (Sept. 14, 2015),

This 3-minute video, narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates, examines mass incarceration.

2. The Atlantic, Mass Incarceration, Visualized, YouTube (Oct. 2, 2015),

This 2-minute video explains the impact mass incarceration in the United States has had on the African American community and the inequalities it has created therein.

3. PBS, Brief But Spectacular: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Discussing Racism Directly, Honestly, YouTube (July 2, 2015),

In this 3-minute video Ta-Nehisi Coates summarizes issues of systemic racism stemming from white supremacy in American society.

4. NowThis News, Dr. Fauci on Health Disparities in Coronavirus Cases for African Americans, YouTube (April 13, 2020),

This timely 3-minute video describes, in Dr. Fauci’s own words, how health disparities in access to medical care and national policy have exacerbated the impact of Covid-19.

5. Equal Justice Initiative, Terror Lynching in America, YouTube (Oct. 11, 2016),

This 5-minute video narrated by Bryan Stevenson examines the history of lynching and racial violence in America.

6. Equal Justice Initiative, Slavery to Mass Incarceration, YouTube (July 7, 2015),

This 6-minute video narrated by Bryan Stevenson outlines the history of slavery in America and the evolution into a system of mass incarceration.

7. Democracy Now, “Most Important Indian Law Case in Half a Century:” Supreme Court Upholds Tribal Sovereignty in OKi, YouTube (July 10, 2020),

A 13-minute video about the Supreme Court’s landmark decision which recognized and upheld a 19th century treaty ruling that much of eastern Oklahoma is Native American land.

8. BESE, BESE Explains: Tribal Sovereignty, YouTube (Jan. 2, 2019),

A 3-minute video explaining the impact of U.S. policies on Native Americans’ sovereignty.



An American anti-poverty campaign advocating for better societal treatment of marginalized persons.


SPLC was founded in 1971 to combat institutional racism and hate remaining from Jim Crow. The organization has since grown to combat other forms of hate, including hate against immigrants, children, the LGBT community, the poor, and the incarcerated.


The Innocence Project is dedicated to helping undo wrong convictions and mass incarceration in the United States. The website shares news, information on how to get involved, and other services provided by the organization.


The ACLU is one of the nation’s oldest organizations championing for civil liberties. The ACLU’s national website includes information on the organization’s affiliates, how to get involved, as well as information about racial justice, prisoner’s rights, criminal reform, immigration rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.


“The Sentencing Project is a national nonprofit organization which promotes sentencing reform and the use of alternatives to incarceration through program development and research on criminal justice issues.” This manual shares information about racial disparity, especially regarding the U.S. legal system and some specific ways that people in the legal field may be able to remedy it.

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