With election season right around the corner, I've found myself, as of late, seeing lots of misinformation floating around my Facebook feed. Whether it be my aunts and uncles or family friends--one thing is true; their feeds don't seem to reflect the truth. There are difficult conversations that need to be had and sometimes, with information coming at you 24/7 it can feel extremely hard to know where to start to educate yourself on issues pertaining to the presidential election. With that being said, these are the five books I think would benefit people to read before the election, especially if you're interested in political activism.
1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Alexander's research examines the prison industrial complex and how it disproportionately impacts Black people in the American criminal justice system. While also shedding light on the realities of the War on Drugs, Alexander's book is a must-read.
2. Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization by Cia Verschelden
Bandwidth Recovery provides a closer look into the intersectionality between students and how facing discrimination affects their mental state. It provides ways for educators and counselors to help these students and looks at several different facets that contribute to this, such as economic status, race, and sexual orientation.
3. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
Klein's This Changes Everything focuses on climate change while also examining it from a macro-economic standpoint. The book is a call-to-action for all of us to rally behind the earth because there is no planet B.
4. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
This book delves into real-life accounts of everyday people, poverty, and landlords. Desmond's Evicted has shed light on one of the biggest issues that Americans still face in the twenty-first century.
5. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The essay is 48 pages, originally from her TED Talk which can be found here. Though not directly talking about America, Adichie provides insights into feminism and what that means on the global level.