Literary Playlists: A collection of readings and references that inspire the artifacts.

Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds

Jayna Brown

In Black Utopias Jayna Brown takes up the concept of utopia as a way of exploring alternative states of being, doing, and imagining in Black culture. Musical, literary, and mystic practices become utopian enclaves in which Black people engage in modes of creative worldmaking.

Freedom Dreams: Black Radical Imagination

Robin Kelly

First published in 2002,Freedom Dreams is a staple in the study of the Black radical tradition. Unearthing the thrilling history of grassroots movements and renegade intellectuals and artists, Kelley recovers the dreams of the future worlds Black radicals struggled to achieve.

All About Love

bell hooks

All About Love reveals what causes a polarized society, and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed 

Paulo Freire

Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. In the book, Freire calls traditional pedagogy the "banking model of education" because it treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge, like a piggy bank. He argues that pedagogy should instead treat the learner as a co-creator of knowledge.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America 

Richard Rothstein

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

Black Ivy: A Revolt in Style

Jason Jules, Graham Marsh

From the most avant-garde jazz musicians, visual artists and poets to architects, philosophers and writers,Black Ivy: A Revolt in Style charts a period in American history when Black men across the country adopted the clothing of a privileged elite and made it their own.

The Art of Loving

Erich Fromm

The renowned psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm has helped millions of men and women achieve rich, productive lives by developing their hidden capacities for love. In this astonishingly frank and candid book, he explores the ways in which this extraordinary emotion can alter the whole course of your life.

Black Boy Fly

Joshua Renfroe

Black Boy Fly is the inaugural photography book by Joshua Renfroe, designed by Fred Sands IV. The book is a compilation of visuals that showcases the unique makeup of black male culture, featuring concepts such as sneaker culture, fatherhood, brotherhood, police brutality, music and more.




Stokely Speaks

Stokely Carmichael

In the speeches and articles collected in this book, the black activist, organizer, and freedom fighter Stokely Carmichael traces the dramatic changes in his own consciousness and that of black Americans that took place during the evolving movements of Civil Rights, Black Power, and Pan-Africanism.

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

Angela Y. Davis

In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

edited by Alan Lomax and Raoul Abdul

Here's an anthology which opens doors to a virtual biblical treasury of human intensities, love, tenderness and human pride. Black poets from Akhenton in Egypt (14th century B.C.) to Gwen Brooks, LeRoi Jones and the new strong voices of contemporary black America are represented in their rich variety; yet personalities shed their uniqueness to contribute to the vision of the continuous stream of more than 3000 years of 'black poetry' which the editors, Alan Lomax and Raoul Abdul, have culled and presented as a serious labor of love


Wadsworth A. Jarrell

Formed on the South Side of Chicago in 1968 at the height of the civil rights, Black power, and Black arts movements, the AFRICOBRA collective created a new artistic visual language rooted in the culture of Chicago's Black neighborhoods.

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression & Reflection


The Black Experience in Design, an anthology centering a range of perspectives, spotlights teaching practices, research, stories, and conversations from a Black/African diasporic lens.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Cathy O'Neil

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we can get a job or a loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by machines. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules.
But as mathematician and data scientist Cathy O’Neil reveals, the mathematical models being used today are unregulated and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination—propping up the lucky, punishing the downtrodden, and undermining our democracy in the process. Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.