For those searching for answers following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and the resulting unrest across the nation, it’s important to understand the history and context of racism in the United States.
The University of Chicago Press has identified 11 books that it has published that provide a primer on police violence, educational inequity, and other forms of institutional racism. These books come from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, including education, history, medicine and sociology, but they all have similar missions: to better inform our opinions, offer insight into the perspectives and lives of others, and to give voice to those who have often been silenced.
You can browse even more books on these topics in the Press’s subject listings. A collection of free journal articles on policing, civil rights, and racism is also available here.
The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence
(Available as a free e-book until June 6.)
In The Torture Letters, Laurence Ralph chronicles the history of torture in Chicago, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public’s complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad.
Citizen Brown: Race, Democracy and Inequality in the St. Louis Suburbs
The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri ignited nationwide protests and brought widespread attention police brutality and institutional racism. But Ferguson was no aberration. As Colin Gordon shows, the events in Ferguson exposed not only the deep racism of the local police department but also the ways in which decades of public policy effectively segregated people and curtailed citizenship, not just in Ferguson but across the St. Louis suburbs.