If we could, we would spend the majority of our time here on earth skimming through our favorite bookshops and running through libraries. But even if we could, there sadly wouldn’t be enough time to read every book in existence—that’s why we rely on recommendations from friends, family, and our favorite authors. Every week, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite reads because literature is, well, lit.
Unless you attended a really progressive school, chances are that the only book a teacher forced you to read that opened your eyes to the corruption of the American justice system is To Kill A Mockingbird. The same can probably be said for anything borderline controversial like feminism and LGBTQA issues. (Heaven forbid we spend as much time learning about cultures in all those U.S. history classes.)
Even if you decide to continue your education at the collegiate level, there's no guarantee that you'll enroll in courses that challenge your previous notions. So if you're exhausted from being recycled all that questionable information from the past, here are some books that will change your perspective.
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This non-fiction book recounts the history of the LAPD, particularly its continued corruption and vehement racism. It also discusses its attempts to reform the department, how the NYPD was able to do so a decade prior and (ending in 2014) how policing is still extremely troubling.
This novel gives a first-person account from Assata Shakur, a founding member of the Black Liberation Army, former Black Panther, and godmother of Tupac Shakur, who was controversially convicted for the murder of a white state trooper in 1973.
This book gives an overview of the mass incarceration of people of color in the U.S. and how black men have specifically been targeted since the War on Drugs. Furthermore, it shows how the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control and perpetuates colorblindness.