#BlackLivesMatter: A Bibliography for the Revolution

Revolutionary Reading…

Black Lives Matter Nashville


We, at Black Lives Matter Nashville, believe we are in the midst of a revolutionary movement for black lives. We believe we are at war with systems in this country and world that demean and undermine the humanity of black people–namely, white supremacy, patriarchy, transphobia, homophobia, capitalism, and imperialism. Thus, we believe in arming ourselves for the war. And we believe there’s no better way to arm ourselves than with books.

We’ve compiled a rolling bibliography of books that have been helpful for us while we conceptualize and navigate this movement. It’s rolling because there’s always more to add. Please submit more books, documentaries, links, and resources that have shaped and impacted you to blacklivesmatternashville@gmail.com.

Mass Incarceration

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture by Angela Davis

Slavery By…

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Albert Cleage: The Same Black Revolution


My research is about Albert Cleage and the church he formed, The Shrine of the Black Madonna. My argument is simple: The Shrine is an example of a church adopting black power and incorporating it as a theology that would drive its black power programs. But what is most interesting about my research is how it connects with how #BlackLivesMatter folks in Nashville think about the current movement. Because Nashville is a city where many sit-ins and demonstrations took place, we see our struggle as connected. Cleage also interpreted the struggle for black power in Detroit as an extension of the earlier parts of the movement. Instead of viewing black power as a distinct, new struggle, Cleage interpreted it as the movement growing up. But it was the same black revolution. 

“A march which began almost fifteen (sixty) years ago in Montgomery, Alabama, has now reached Newark, New Jersey, Detroit, Michigan, (Nashville, TN), and almost a hundred other cities from coast to coast. This is the same black revolution that started when Rosa Parks refused to move to Montgomery, Alabama. The same one. The same black revolution that drew black college students to the South for freedom rides and demonstrations. The same black revolution. The same moment, the same freedom struggle. It is the same thing going on now, today, in New Jersey and Detroit (and Nashville) and a hundred other cities. The same thing. But people are reacting differently because a movement grows up. A moment comes of age, a movement one day begins to come to grips with reality.”¹-Rev. Albert Cleage

¹Alber Cleage, The Black Messiah ( Reprint: New Jersey: Africa World Press, Inc., 1989), 130.

Little Known Black History Fact: James Forman’s Black Manifesto

PLAY AUDIO https://ioneblackamericaweb.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/052715lkbhf.mp3   The late James Forman, a former leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, introduced his “Black Manifesto” document in April 1969 at a conference in Detroit. The manifesto demanded $500 million in reparations from white church organizations to make up for the crimes and injustices suffered by Black Americans. The Black…


Cleveland Agrees to Strict New Policing Rules After Federal Probe


The Cleveland Police Department agreed Tuesday to strict, legally binding new regulations, after a Justice Department probe found it had regularly used unnecessarily excessive force.

The department agreed to close oversight from an independent monitor, pledged to overhaul its use of force regulations, and said it would develop a recruitment policy to attract a more diverse force. The city will also create a Community Police Commission, made up of representatives from across the community as well as police representatives.

The new agreement with the DoJ, which will be enforceable in court, is the response to the Justice Department investigation begun in 2013, which concluded in December that the Cleveland Police Department regularly engaged in a pattern of excessive force.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that every American benefits from a police force that protects and serves all members of the community,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch…

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#SayHerName Puts Female Victims Of Police Brutality At Center Of #BlackLivesMatter Movement

The Michigan Chronicle

SayHerName Protests Source: April Martin / April Martin

They gathered in darkness. At around 5:00 am on a foggy, cool San Francisco morning, the women came to paint their bodies, and to participate in a grounding exercise before they began.

As the sun rose they took the BART and ventured to Market and Beale. In the 7 o’clock hour, the women stood in formation, brown bodies of all builds, adorned in head wraps and shirtless, their upper halves streaked in white, blue, pink, red, and orange. Pretty like make-up. Or fierce like war paint.

They held the street for more than two hours. The words on their faces, necklines, breasts, torsos and stomachs were writ large for, by, and about black women. Some read: “I do this 4 mothers;” or “I fight for my girls to love their bodies;” or “4 the murdered, missing, silenced, abused, exploited or unseen.”

?I am my sisters?…

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Old copies of Pittsburgh Courier a trove of black history

PITTSBURGH COURIER CHICAGO OFFICE PITTSBURGH (AP) _ One photograph shows a young Fidel Castro with boxer Joe Louis, standing next to men in shorts and beach shirts. Another shows six Tuskegee Airmen huddled outside a plane as they pore over a map sprawled on the ground. Young Black men and women dance the Twist in…