Anti-Racist Materials in the Wallace Library collection

As the COVID-19 pandemic remains prevalent in the lives of all of us – another pandemic has reared its ever-present and ugly head. Systemic racism has a long history in this country, and the staff of the Wallace Library condemn hate and discrimination of all kinds. Visit our Instagram page to read the Wallace Library’s official statement.

In a time of so much uncertainty, education and knowledge are important pieces to developing well-rounded and informed opinions. Though the Wallace Library is currently closed, we offer an outstanding number of resources with multiple access options for all Wheaton community members.

Below are recommended print, electronic, and visual resources the Wallace Library is proud to provide. Looking for more? Please view our interactive list to find more materials on the topic of racism and Black lives in America.

You can also find information below about how to request materials not readily available in digital formats.

Suggested Resources

White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo (2018)

Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
Available in Print Book format

Slavery By Another Name: The Reenslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas Blackmon (2008)

A sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today. From the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II, under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these “debts,” prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries, and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Armies of “free” black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.
Available in Print Book format

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (2011)

Law professor Alexander argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community – and all of us – to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
Available in Print Book format

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum (2003)

Psychology professor Daniel Tatum shares real-life examples and current research that support the author’s recommendations for “straight talk” about racial identity, identifying practices that contribute to self-segregation in childhood groups.
Available in Print and eBook format

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble (2018)

Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, especially women of color.
Available in eBook format

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Based on the true story of Solomon Northup. It is 1841, and Northup, an accomplished, free citizen of New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is ultimately purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps and must find the strength within to survive.
Available in DVD format

Roots (1977)

An adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots, in which he traces his family’s history from the mid-18th century when one of his ancestors was captured and sold into slavery. Follows the struggle for freedom that began with the boys’ abduction to America and continues throughout the generations that follow.
Available in DVD format

40 Years Later: Our People (2013)

In the 40 Years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., how far have African Americans advanced in American society? This film touches on the socioeconomic status of Blacks in America, the election of Barack Obama and explores the question “does racism still exist?”
Available in eVideo format

Good White People: The Problem With Middle-Class White Anti-Racism by Shannon Sullivan (2014)

Shannon Sullivan identifies a constellation of attitudes common among well-meaning white liberals that she sums up as “white middle-class goodness,” an orientation she critiques for being more concerned with establishing anti-racist bona fides than with confronting systematic racism and privilege. Sullivan untangles the complex relationships between class and race in contemporary white identity and outlines four ways this orientation is expressed, each serving to establish one’s lack of racism: the denigration of lower-class white people as responsible for ongoing white racism, the demonization of antebellum slaveholders, an emphasis on colorblindness–especially in the context of white childrearing–and the cultivation of attitudes of white guilt, shame, and betrayal.
Available in Print and eBook format

TEDTalks : T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison—The Trauma Of Systematic Racism Is Killing Black Women. A First Step Toward Change… (2018)

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among black women—and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes, and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.
Available in eVideo format

Accessing Materials

Books and eVideo: Can be opened in your browser directly through the library catalog.

Physical books and DVDs: Please visit our FAQ for more information.

– Jacob Lotter, Access Services Assistant