The Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Collection comprises books, films, and other resources that foster communication and discussion on diversity, inclusion, and belonging at HKS, and that represent and celebrate the multitude of identities and backgrounds that make up our vibrant community. It features texts that highlight the direct experiences – whether joyful, painful, or otherwise – of those who have faced systemic marginalization and oppression, historically and/or today; and it primarily focuses on literary nonfiction, memoirs, essays, as well as fiction.

The collection is driven primarily by input from members of the HKS community as well as key partners, such as the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB) and Institutional Antiracist and Accountability (IARA) initiative within the HKS Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

As a rule of thumb, titles in the DIB Collection are primarily titles that highlight experiences and identities. Research or policy-focused titles may also be included on a case-by-case basis, especially if they focus on personal experiences of or advice to faculty, staff, and student communities.

The DIB Collection is available for browsing online and in-person in the HKS Library Commons.

We welcome recommendations for additions to the DIB Collection.

Featured Titles

We Are Bridges: A Memoir
Lane, Cassandra. We Are Bridges: A Memoir. New York: Feminist Press, 2021. View eBook (Harvard Key required)Abstract
When Cassandra Lane finds herself pregnant at thirty-five, the knowledge sends her on a poignant exploration of memory to prepare for her entry into motherhood. She moves between the twentieth-century rural South and present-day Los Angeles, reimagining the intimate life of her great-grandparents Mary Magdelene Magee and Burt Bridges, and Burt's lynching at the hands of vengeful white men in his southern town. We Are Bridges turns to creative nonfiction to reclaim a family history from violent erasure so that a mother can gift her child with an ancestral blueprint for their future. Haunting and poetic, this debut traces the strange fruit borne from the roots of personal loss in one Black family—and considers how to take back one's American story. (Publisher's description)
How to Be an Antiracist
Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. New York: One World, 2019. View the eBook (Harvard Key required)Abstract

"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." -- Provided by publisher.

FInd the Print Book in HOLLIS

Heavy
Laymon, Kiese. Heavy. New York: Scribner, 2018. View the eBook-Harvard Key RequiredAbstract

Kiese Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed Black son to a complicated and brilliant Black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

Find the Print Book in HOLLIS

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
DiAngelo, Robin J. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively." -- Publisher's description.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015. View the Ebook- Harvard Key requiredAbstract

"From one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time comes an unforgettable true story about the redeeming potential of mercy. Bryan Stevenson was a gifted young attorney when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those trapped in the furthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man sentenced to die for a notorious murder he didn't commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship - and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever."--Back cover.

Find the Print Book in HOLLIS. (Record #1 and Record #2)

Between the World and Me
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract

"In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men–bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son–and readers–the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward."–Publisher's description.

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge, 2002. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"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, Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African-American women outside academe. She provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. The result is a superbly crafted book that provides the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought."
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