Black, African American, and African Diasporic Topics

African American Policy Forum - Compiled Reading List

Led and founded by scholar-activist Kimberle Crenshaw, the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is a think tank that strives to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality.

Policing and Incarceration

Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Mass Incarceration on Trial by Jonathan Simon

Arbitrary Justice by Angela J. Davis

Life in Prison by Stanley “Tookie” Williams

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence and Teenagers on Death Row by Susan Kuklin


The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by
Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir by Michele Norris

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America by Jessica B. Harris

March, Book 1 by John Lewis

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 

Contemporary Civil Rights Issues

Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America by Eugene Robinson

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel

The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Y. Davis

Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and
Quiet Lovers of Justice
by Si Kahn 

Children’s Books

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford 

Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom by Virginia Hamilton 

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Black Is A Rainbow Color by Angela Joy



Black Power Image
A 1983 protest march in Detroit after Vincent Chin’s killers, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and were given three months probation and fined $3,000.
Selma Bridge

Virtual Talks/Workshops

UCSB MSA Presents Islam In The Black Community 2019

African American Muslims make up a majority of the Muslims in America. However, their experiences are often overshadowed by the Arab Muslim experience. Islam has a deep history in our roots, from the Africans brought over during the slave trade who were forced to abandon Islam to the organizations in the 20th century who adopted Islam into the black identity and approached black liberation through Islam. 

Come find out more about this from Professor Butch Ware and Professor Douglas Daniels. 

UCSB MCC Presents Kavi Ade 2019

Kavi Ade is a Black, Trans, and Queer poet and arts educator. “Ade’s work meets at the intersection of personal and political — navigating what it means to be a survivor of innumerable violences.  Kavi speaks on race, class, gender, sexuality, mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, and social justice— chronicling despair, grasping at hope, and exploring the ways a body can learn to survive.”

UCSB MCC Presents Fania Davis - Healing Through Restorative Justice 2019

Fania E. Davis is a leading national voice on the intersection of racial and restorative justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, and writer and scholar with a PhD in indigenous knowledge. Founding director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY), her numerous honors include the Ubuntu Award for Service to Humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for Youth-Based Community and Restorative Justice, the Tikkun Olam (Repair the World) Award, the Ella Jo Baker Human Rights Award, the Bioneers Change Maker Award, and the EBONY Power 100 Community Crusaders Award. She is a Woodrow Wilson fellow, and the Los Angeles Times named her a “New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.” She resides in Oakland, California.


Kimberle Crenshaw, “What Is Intersectionality?"

Summary: Kimberlé Crenshaw, a 2017 NAIS People of Color Conference speaker, civil rights advocate, and professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, talks about intersectional theory, the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities—and particularly minority identities—relate to systems and structures of discrimination.

Black Queer Town Hall

Summary: Black Queer Town Hall is a three-day series of performances, appearances, and roundtable discussions centered around a diverse collection of Black, queer thinkers, artists, community leaders and advocates as well as outspoken allies. Taking place on June 19, 20, 21st from 6:30-8 PM ET, this event is meant to create space to heal, mourn, and rejoice Black lives, while raising money for Black, queer talent and The Okra Project.

Why We “Lift Every Voice and Sing” | The Story Behind the Black National Anthem

Summary: With so much debate around the national anthem recently, we thought it was

time to revisit the historic meaning of "Lift Ev'ry and Sing," the song unofficially known as the 'black national anthem.' theGrio's Deputy Editor, Natasha Alford, breaks down the story behind the 100+ year old hymn and its meaning to our culture. 

People Try To Live Without Black Inventions for 72 Hours

Summary: Buzzfeed video highlighting multiple inventions that were created by Black inventors who were often not credited with changing our daily life.

I’m Black, but I’m Not…

Summary: “I’m black, but I’m not concerned with being your definition of blackness.”

What It Feels Like to Be Black When Police Kill

Summary: “It was unbelievable in the fact that it wasn’t unbelievable.” Black employees at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures respond to the back to back deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.


UCSB African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center

The African diasporic Cultural Resource Center (AdCRC) educates, promotes, and encourages the interaction and dialogue among the diverse ethnic groups within the African diasporic communities of UCSB and to promote cross cultural learning and interaction amongst all ethnic groups. The AdCRC is an environment for students, staff, faculty and community members to develop an understanding of and appreciation for their African diasporic cultural identities. AdCRC staff strives to create and maintain a welcoming atmosphere for all to acquire knowledge in relation to the diversity of cultures within the African diaspora. 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter was formed in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in 2013 and quickly became a national movement to end police brutality. The organization continues to mobilize and amplify national dialogue around state-sanctioned violence.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

BAJI’s efforts to unite black immigrants and African Americans is extremely crucial to overcoming the current anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s been gaining momentum since President Donald Trump’s campaign. The organization works to ensure social justice and equality for black immigrants.

Trans Women of Color Collective

TWOC offers support and resources for trans women of color, a highly marginalized community.

Common Ground Foundation

Rapper Common founded this organization in the 1990s to provide greater opportunities for under-serviced children through mentorship, community service and the arts.

Black Youth Project

BYP studies the attitudes and cultural norms of black millennials in an effort to maximize their life experiences.  

National Urban League

Founded in 1910, The National Urban League uses programs, research and advocacy to advance civil rights for people of color.


Healing Action Toolkit

This toolkit was created to collate, condense and share the lessons we have learned in ensuring that our direct actions are centered on healing justice. This toolkit is a beta version; it will develop in real time as we continue to uncover the implications for healing justice in our organizing. We extend our gratitude to the BLM Healing Justice Working Group and all the chapter members who shared your insights, your innovations and your struggles to support our shared knowledge.

Healing Justice Toolkit

The Toolkit for Black Lives Matter Healing Justice & Direct Action was created to collate, condense, and share the lessons we have learned in ensuring that our direct actions are centered on healing justice. This toolkit is a beta version; it will develop in real time as we continue to uncover the implications for healing justice in our organizing. We extend our gratitude to the BLM Healing Justice Working Group and all the chapter members who shared your insights, your innovations and your struggles to support our shared knowledge.

Trayvon Taught Me Toolkit

For BIPOC Organizers | For White People | En Español

The #TrayvonTaughtMe digital campaign highlights the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and how Trayvon’s extrajudicial murder and his family’s commitment to ending gun violence and strengthening communities catalyzed a generation of organizers and activists to take action for Black lives. Five years later, the same conditions that led to Trayvon’s death have been exacerbated under the Trump administration. Anti-Blackness is pervasive and implicit, and Black children and adults continue to be put on trial for our own murders. The perceptions of Black people and Blackness in America, and globally, have resulted in the refusal to acknowledge the unique cultural contributions of Black people. Moreover, they perpetuate prejudice, deadly policing, racist legislation, and interpersonal violence. Trayvon Martin’s death sparked a movement. #TrayvonTaughtMe allows us to capture how he and the movement changed all of our lives.