As students of history you are probably hungry to learn more about the roots of racial violence and institutionalized racism. The history faculty put together a list of recommended readings that can help you understand the history of race. Because of the pandemic, some of these books are temporarily available online through the library. Or if you want to buy a book, consider supporting a Black-owned bookstore;

  • Marisa Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive. A book about how history has obscured the stories of enslaved women, and what historians can do to recover them.
  • Kevin M. Kruse, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. A rich study of how segregationist resistance to civil rights activism gave rise to modern conservatism and its defining aims, including the tax revolt and the privatization of public services.
  • Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts, Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy. With the horrid 2015 massacre of nine African American worshipers recently in view, these historians completed a study of contested public memories of slavery in Charleston from 1865 to the present.
  • Richard. H. Minear et al., Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Examines the intellectual and artistic development of Dr. Seuss through his political (and racist) WWII cartoons.
  • Charles Montgomery, The Spanish Redemption: Heritage, Power, and Loss on New Mexico’s Rio Grande. Explores how elite Hispanos and conquering white Americans reimagined the region’s Mexican/Indian/Black past to promote a romantic white European “Spanish” origin story that helped to pave the way for Statehood in 1912. ONLINE THROUGH GIL
  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad,The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. An intellectual history of crime and race that traces key debates among early twentieth-century Black reformers and a new class of professionals called social scientists. ONLINE THROUGH GIL
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.  A clear and concise account of the role of the federal government’s banking and housing policies fostered economic inequality and segregation in the twentieth century.
  • Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This story about race and bioethics examines how scientists at Johns Hopkins Hospital began medical research on the cancer cells of a poor Virginia tobacco farmer without her knowledge.
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. This unforgiving historical study documents how federal policies and the real estate and insurance industries systematically exploited Black communities through what the author calls “predatory inclusion.” ONLINE THROUGH GIL
  • Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. A ground-breaking book on how history as a discipline has been structured to obscure the dispossessed, and suggestions on how to rectify the imbalance. ONLINE THROUGH GIL
  • Frank H. Wu, Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White. A cogent critique of the myth of the “model minority” at the end of the twentieth century and a compelling argument for how and why Asian-Americans must engage in social justice. ONLINE THROUGH GIL
  • The Public Medievalist's series on Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages. A series of articles by scholars of medieval history and literature: modern racism has medieval roots, in some ways, but it also thrives on misinterpretations and deliberate distortions of the history of race in the Middle Ages.


Athens and UGA -

  • Charlayne Hunter-Gault. In My Place (Race and UGA)
  • Robert Pratt. We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the University of Georgia. (Race and UGA)
  • Calvin Trillin. An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, and the Integration of the University of Georgia. (Race and UGA)
  • Michael Thurmond. A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History. (Race and Athens)


Students interested in learning more on these topics may find some of our upcoming fall 2020 courses very helpful. We welcome all majors in these courses, there are no prerequisites. Go to to register.

Even more reading! Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery; Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration; Hunter, To Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War; Kelley, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression; Williams, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom; Berlin and Morgan, Cultivation and Culture : Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas; Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations; Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage : The Transformation of the Plantation Household; Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism; Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market; Jordan, White over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812; Higginbotham, In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process; Gomez, Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora; Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom; Hunter, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century; Higginbotham, Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880–1920.

  • HIST4125/6125 The New Jim Crow: The Criminalization of Black People in America
  • HIST 3101 Early African American History
  • HIST 3760 and HIST 3720H The History of Racism