Resist List

Poster with words Resist List repeated multiple times

In partnership with the Joanne Waxman Library for Resilience Week at MECA, The Resist List is a curated reading list that challenges the Western art historical canons and euro-centric pedagogies that get continuously recycled in all levels of institutional learning. These readings reintroduce the unknown, the erased, and the disregarded perspectives of people of color, immigrants, and social activists to insert them back into the larger narrative. The goal of this collection is to assist in the decolonization of our curriculum and provide a wide range of media to aid in the deconstruction of imbedded racial and social bias. This requires that you, as the reader, accept the responsibility of educating yourself on the magnitude of diversity and inclusion. Read a book.

Take a Stand: Methods and Materials of Resistance

Signs of Change Book CoverSigns of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now
Drawn from an exhibition at Exit Art, a cultural center in New York City, Signs of Change is a visual archive of more than 350 posters, prints, photographs, films, videos, music, and ephemera from more than twenty-five nations. Surveying the creative work of dozens of international social movements, from the do-it-yourself graphics and media of the 1960s to today’s instantaneous digital technologies, it investigates the themes and representations of global struggles for equality, democracy, freedom, and basic human rights.

Book cover with wires entangledDisability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada
Disability Incarcerated gathers thirteen contributions from an impressive array of fields. Taken together, these essays assert that a complex understanding of disability is crucial to an understanding of incarceration, and that we must expand what has come to be called ‘incarceration.’

Book cover with photo of PalestineThe Question of Palestine
This original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate–one that remains as critical as ever. With the rigorous scholarship he brought to his influential Orientalism and an exile’s passion (he is Palestinian by birth), Edward W. Said traces the fatal collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied–as well as in the conscience of the West.

Book cover with photo of Ella BakerElla Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision
In this deeply researched biography, Barbara Ransby chronicles Baker’s long and rich political career as an organizer, an intellectual, and a teacher, from her early experiences in depression-era Harlem to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Ransby shows Baker to be a complex figure whose radical, democratic worldview, commitment to empowering the black poor, and emphasis on group-centered, grassroots leadership set her apart from most of her political contemporaries.

Book cover with Latinx person with arms foldedCitizens But not Americans: Race & Belonging Among Latino Millennials
Latino millennials constitute the second largest segment of the millennial population. By sheer numbers they will inevitably have a significant social, economic, and political impact on U.S. society. Beyond basic demographics, however, not much is known about how they make sense of themselves as Americans. In Citizens but Not Americans, Nilda Flores-González examines how Latino millennials understand race, experience race, and develop notions of belonging.

Book cover with simple textTheaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum
Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, whose projects range from small-scale sculptures to ambitious urban interventions, investigates the transformative powers of art in this provocative book. As the force behind the much-acclaimed Stony Island Arts Bank, Gates responds creatively to the challenges of space, whether working in museums or in communities. In this instance, he explores notions of blackness, freedom, and the history of house music.

Book cover with person covering their mouthDefeating Mau Mau, Creating Kenya: Counterinsurgency, Civil War and Decolonization
This book details the devastating Mau Mau civil war fought in Kenya during the 1950s and the legacies of that conflict for the post-colonial state. As many Kikuyu fought with the colonial government as loyalists joined the Mau Mau rebellion. Focusing on the role of those loyalists, the book examines the ways in which residents of the country’s Central Highlands sought to navigate a path through the bloodshed and uncertainty of civil war. It explores the instrumental use of violence, changes to allegiances, and the ways in which cleavages created by the war informed local politics for decades after the conflict’s conclusion.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

Book cover with Black personFrom #BLACKLIVES
MATTER To Black Liberation
The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.

Book cover with simple textCuratorial Activism: Towards an Ethnics of Curating
Current art world statistics demonstrate that the fight for gender and race equality in the art world is far from over: only sixteen percent of this year’s Venice Biennale artists were female; only fourteen percent of the work displayed at MoMA in 2016 was by nonwhite artists; only a third of artists represented by U.S. galleries are female, but over two-thirds of students enrolled in art and art-history programs are young women.

Book cover with traffic sign of family runningNo One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S-Mexico Border
In “No one is illegal” Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis expose the racism of anti-immigration vigilantes and put a human face on the immigrants who daily risk their lives to cross the border to work in the United States. Counting the mounting chorus of anti-immigrant voices, “No one is illegal” debunks the leading ideas behind the often violent right-wing backlash against immigrants, revealing their deep roots in U.S. history, and documents the new civil rights movement that has mounted protests around the country to demand justice and dignity for immigrants.

Book cover with outlines of people's facesBarbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite
Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite’ features lithographs, woodcuts, and screenprints that the artist made while pursuing a master’s degree at ID in 1968 and collaborating with AFRICOBRA through the early 1970s. The exhbition traces the changing arc of her work, from social critique to Black pride.

Critical Theories: Unlearn and Relearn

Book coverThe Citizen Artist
From conceptual art experiments to community based, inner city art projects, The Citizen Artist chronicles the work of artists devoted to breaking down the proverbial wall between participant and spectator. Compiling articles, artwork, and essays from twenty years of High Performance magazine, and featuring outspoken views from artists dedicated to maximizing their roles as civic gadflies, this sourcebook makes for essential reading on all issues pertaining to public art.

Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice
With over 40,000 copies sold, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice has been the indispensable guide to studying culture for generations of students. Here is everything students need to know, with all the key concepts, theories and thinkers in one comprehensive, authoritative yet accessible resource.

Perspectives: Angles on African Art
Ten diverse and articulate connoisseurs of African art are called upon in this volume to each select and discuss ten African pieces and to explain the particular allure which draws them all to African work. The authors include a writer, two contemporary American artists, museum administrators, a Baule villager, and four American and African authorities on African art; all share both a passion for and unique insight into a broad range of African sculpture, here beautifully photographed and reproduced.

Black Balled: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses
College’ is a word that means many things to many people: a space for knowledge, a place to gain lifelong friends, and an opportunity to transcend one’s socioeconomic station. Today, though, this word also recalls a slew of headlines that have revealed a dark and persistent world of racial politics on campus. Does this association disturb our idealized visions of what happens behind the ivied walls of higher learning? It should – because campus racism on college campuses is as American as college football on Fall Saturdays.

The Alchemy of Race and Rights
Patricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law, the great-great-granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer. The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical essay in which the author reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class. Using the tools of critical literary and legal theory, she sets out her views of contemporary popular culture and current events, from Howard Beach to homelessness, from Tawana Brawley to the law-school classroom, from civil rights to Oprah Winfrey, from Bernhard Goetz to Mary Beth Whitehead. She also traces the workings of “ordinary racism”—everyday occurrences, casual, unintended, banal perhaps, but mortifying.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history.

Liberating Praxis: Paulo Freire’s Legacy for Radical Education and Politics
This volume provides a holistic study of the work of Paulo Freire. It is a comprehensive review of Freire’s ideas against the context from which they emerged. It provides a broad reading of Freire including the posthumous publication of a number of his remaining works into English. It draws connections between his work and a number of the figures with whom he is identified, as well as his experiences as an educator and consultant.

Indian Given: Radical Geographies across Mexico and the United States
In Indian Given María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo addresses current racialized violence and resistance in Mexico and the United States with a genealogy that reaches back to the sixteenth century. Saldaña-Portillo formulates the central place of indigenous peoples in the construction of national spaces and racialized notions of citizenship, showing, for instance, how Chicanos/as in the U.S./Mexico borderlands might affirm or reject their indigenous background based on their location.

Visualizing Black America
The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition by famed sociologist and black rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois offered a look behind the veil into the lives of black Americans to convey a literal and figurative representation of what Du Bois famously termed “the color line,” and became the talk of the Expo.

Book cover with close-up of faceAmalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues
Published as part of a collaboration between the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, this catalog of an exhibition of the same name presents the captivating work of mixed media artist Amaki. The exhibition focuses on her work from 1993 to 2005, and includes boxes, quilts, souvenir fans, mixed media assemblages, and manipulated photographs.

People’s Biennial 2010: A Guide to America’s Most Amazing Artists
People’s Biennial is a celebration of the unknown, the peculiar and the disregarded. It was conceived through the curators’ desire to explore the overlooked and the marginalized, and to present artistic positions usually dismissed by the mainstream art world. For the exhibition, five American art institutions present works by artists in each of the institutions’ local communities, selected by the exhibition co-curators, Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann.

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment
In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without. Here Collins provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde.

Orientalism
More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said’s groundbreaking critique of the West’s historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of “orientalism” to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined “the orient” simply as “other than” the occident.

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how beneath our contemporary conversation about race lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for–and ultimately justify–racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society. The fourth edition adds a chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls the ‘new racism, ‘ which provides the essential foundation to explore issue of race and ethnicity in more depth. This edition also updates Bonilla-Silva’s assessment of race in America after President Barack Obama’s reelection.

A Pedagogy for Liberation: Dialogues on Transforming Education
Two world renowned educators, Paulo Freire and Ira Shor, speak passionately about the role of education in various cultural and political arenas. They demonstrate the effectiveness of dialogue in action as a practical means by which teachers and students can become active participants in the learning process.

Sabers and Utopias: Visions of Latin America
Throughout his career, the Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa has grappled with the concept of Latin America on a global stage. Examining liberal claims and searching for cohesion, he continuously weighs the reality of the continent against the image it projects, and considers the political dangers and possibilities that face this diverse set of countries. Now this illuminating and versatile collection assembles these never-before-translated criticisms and meditations.

Asiko: On the Future of Artistic and Curatorial Pedagogies in Africa
The publication documents the work and reflections of the more than 70 cultural producers (from 15 African countries) who have participated in Àsìkò from 2010-2016 and offers a foundation for new debates on visual culture in Africa, and methods for articulating, presenting, documenting, and historicizing cultural practices in the future.

Black Reconstruction in America 1860 – 1880
The pioneering work in the study of the role of Black Americans during Reconstruction by the most influential Black intellectual of his time.

This pioneering work was the first full-length study of the role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War, when the slaves had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct American society. Hailed at the time, Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 has justly been called a classic.

Exploring the Nuances

Beloved
Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Sula
Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.

Color, Sex & Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance
A biographical/critical study of three Harlem Renaissance poets―Angelina Weld Grimké, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and Georgia Douglas Johnson―during a rich and colorful period. Writing from a black feminist critical perspective, Hull recovers these black foremothers and in the process shakes up the traditional black literary canon.

Women, Race and Class
A powerful study of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Originally released in 1981, This Bridge Called My Back is a testimony to women of color feminism as it emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, as coeditor Cherríe Moraga writes, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story
Elaine Brown assumed her role as the first and only female leader of the Black Panther Party with these words: “I have all the guns and all the money. I can withstand challenge from without and from within. Am I right, Comrade?” It was August 1974. From a small Oakland-based cell, the Panthers had grown to become a revolutionary national organization, mobilizing black communities and white supporters across the country—but relentlessly targeted by the police and the FBI, and increasingly riven by violence and strife within.

Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love
One of the most influential critical educators of the twentieth century, Paulo Freire challenged those educational inequalities and conditions of injustice faced by oppressed populations. In this new edition of Reinventing Paulo Freire, Antonia Darder re-examines his legacy through reflections on Freirean pedagogy and the narratives of teachers who reinvent his work. The fully revised first part provides important historical, political, and economic connections between major societal concerns and educational questions raised by Freire and their link to the contemporary moment, including questions tied to neoliberalism, coloniality, and educational inequalities.

The New Black Vanguard
In The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, curator and critic Antwaun Sargent addresses a radical transformation taking place in fashion and art today. The presentation of black figures and black runway and cover models in the media and art has been one marker of increasingly inclusive fashion and art communities.

Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History
It is a poignant and inspirational story of people who dreamed of flying and their attempts to break through discrimination and barriers, including flight schools that refused to teach them and an elitist all-white U.S. Army Air Corps whose officers insisted that blacks couldn’t successfully pilot military aircraft.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendia family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo one sees all of Latin America.

Autumn Knight: In Rehearsal
This first comprehensive publication on New York–based interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight documents her performances addressing the regulation of African American female bodies. Accompanying these images are scores and notes, text by performance studies scholars and an artist interview with choreographer Cynthia Oliver.

Aesthetics Equals Politics: New Discourses Across Art, Architecture and Philosophy
These essays make the case for a reignited understanding of aesthetics—one that casts aesthetics not as illusory, subjective, or superficial, but as a more encompassing framework for human activity. Such an aesthetics, the contributors suggest, could become the primary discourse for political and social engagement. Departing from the “critical” stance of twentieth-century artists and theorists who embraced a counter-aesthetic framework for political engagement, this book documents how a broader understanding of aesthetics can offer insights into our relationships not only with objects, spaces, environments, and ecologies, but also with each other and the political structures in which we are all enmeshed.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants
As a leading researcher in the field of biology, Robin Wall Kimmerer understands the delicate state of our world. But as an active member of the Potawatomi nation, she senses and relates to the world through a way of knowing far older than any science. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she intertwines these two modes of awareness–the analytic and the emotional, the scientific and the cultural–to ultimately reveal a path toward healing the rift that grows between people and nature.

Song of Solomon
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.

Sister Outsider
In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle
Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

William Pope. L: The Friendliest Black Artist in America
This book, which accompanies a nationally touring exhibition of Pope.L’s work, explores his impact on American art and culture. It contains sections on practices, body, performance, dialogue, consumption, and a selection of the artist’s writings and a chronology. The essays are by Mark H. C. Bessire, Suzanne Preston Blier, C. Carr, Geoffrey Hendricks, Stuart Horodner, Lowery Stokes Sims, Kristine Stiles, and Martha Wilson.

Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation
First published in 1999, the groundbreaking Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare’s revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability and permanently changed the landscape of disability politics and queer liberation.

Assata: An Autobiography
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur, a k a JoAnne Chesimard, lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to defame, infilitrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. … Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art
Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art offers a sweeping new perspective on the contributions black artists have made to the evolution of visual art from the 1940s to the present moment. Artists featured include pioneers of postwar abstraction once overlooked by history, such as Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas, and Jack Whitten, as well as artists from a younger generation such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear, Lorna Simpson, and many others.

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
This stunning collection of photographic portraits traces US history through the lives of well-known abolitionists, artists, scientists, writers, statesman, entertainers, and sports figures. Drawing on the photographic collections of the National Portrait Gallery, author Deborah Willis explores how these images—many by famous photographers—reveal the nation’s history through an African American lens and challenge us all to uphold America’s highest ideals and promises. Let Your Motto Be Resistance is the inaugural publication of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Marisol: Sculpture and Works on Paper
he Paris-born, Venezuelan artist Marisol (b. 1930) burst onto the 1960s New York art scene with large figural sculptures in a wild amalgam of mixed media. Often satirical, Marisol’s art is inspired by sources as diverse as Pre-Columbian art, folk art, Cubism, and Surrealism. For the past several decades, however, Marisol has shunned the spotlight and her artwork has been overlooked as a result. Accompanying the first retrospective of Marisol’s work in more than a decade, this long-awaited and beautifully illustrated volume offers a much-needed corrective, reestablishing her role as a major figure in postwar American art.

De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century
The unique Chicana voice of Elizabeth Martinez arises from more than thirty years of experience in the movements for civil rights, women’s liberation, and Latina/o empowerment.With sections on women’s organizing, struggles for economic justice. and the Latina/o youth movement, De Colores Means All of Us will appeal to readers and activists seeking to organize for the future and build new movements for liberation.

Fired Up! Ready to Go!: Finding Beauty, Demanding Equity: An African American Life in Art
After decades of art collecting, prominent Washington, D.C. based activist, philanthropist, and founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Peggy Cooper Cafritz had amassed one of the most important collections of contemporary African American art in the country. But in 2009, the more than 300 works that composed this extraordinary collection were destroyed in the largest residential fire in Washington, D.C. history. The pioneering collection included work by Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Barkley Hendricks, David Hammons, Chris Ofili, and Carrie Mae Weems, among many others.