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Penrose Library Blog

Anti-Racist Reading List

This is a brief list of anti-racist books, focused on books we have digital access to while the library is closed. We also want to make a particular point to call out the years of work done by Whitman students through their theses to explore and contend with police brutality, anti-blackness, and race through a variety of prisms and disciplines. 

Reading lists are inherently a passive solution to a problem. As white library workers, we can feel like they absolve us by creating them. However, we still need to do the reading ourselves, and we hope others join us. One way to hold yourself accountable to doing the work is creating a reading group with friends, family, neighbors, or other communities to work through texts together. It’s also important to acknowledge that having time to read is a privilege, and even with the time, many of us do not have the attention spans or mental energy to engage in reading right now. You may find something like the Justice in June calendar useful to engage at the level that you are able to.

Books we have digital access to

Whitman Theses (if marked “Limited Access,” you will have to have a current Whitman ID and log-in to view) 


Black Thought and Culture (requires a Whitman Login)

Black Thought and Culture contains 1,303 sources with 1,210 authors, covering the non-fiction published works of leading African Americans. Where possible the complete published non-fiction works are included, as well as interviews, journal articles, speeches, essays, pamplets, letters and other fugitive material. Includes the complete run of the Black Panther Party newspaper.