Amir Gilmore’s non-exhaustive reading list

Gilmore sitting on a flight of stairs.
Amir Gilmore

Reading lists can be a great starting point for providing context and understanding of the sociality of Black life. They do have limits, however. First, they’re worthless unless you actually read or listen to an audiobook of the material. Second, reading lists don’t necessarily lead to solutions or absolution; they lead to more reading. Third, a reading list cannot replace the communal and transformative experience of majoring or minoring in Comparative Ethnic Studies (hint, hint). Lastly, reading literary works cannot replace genuine empathy or the material demands of Black communities.

Please reach out if you have thoughts or questions. 

— Amir Gilmore 


  • “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • “Black Looks: Race and Representation”
      bell hooks 
  • “The Trayvon Generation”
      Elizabeth Alexander 
  • “Black Women Writers at Work”
      Claudia Tate (ed.)
  • “The Souls of Black Folk”
      W.E.B. Du Bois 
  • “Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880”
      W.E.B. Du Bois 
  • “Notes of a Native Son”
      James Baldwin 
  • “Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo””
      Zora Neale Hurston 
  • “Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance”
      Moya Bailey 
  • “No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies”
      E. Patrick Johnson (ed.)
  • “Blues People: Negro Music in White America”
      Leroi Jones

Read Amir Gilmore’s Q&A on the need for a broader view of Black history.

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