Black Lives Matter Goodreads Library Update and Featured Library Resource

For each “Off the Shelf & On Display” Book Display that we create, there will be a corresponding shelf in our Goodreads Library. Visitors may have seen our “Best Books of 2016” shelf, which enabled the UCI Libraries’ Department of Education and Outreach to highlight some of the best books published last year. Of course, with our new display on the theme of Black Lives Matter, we created a Goodreads Bookshelf, which lists just some of the titles that you will find in our new display.

Jacob Lawrence‘s The Libraries Are Appreciated suggests that libraries facilitate community building, bringing people together to create knowledge. The clear, bright colors of this painting also contrast more common renderings of libraries as architectural fortresses that secretly guard, rather than openly share, information.

Libraries Appreciated

Therefore, every Monday, the Department of Education and Outreach will feature a research resource that is related to the theme of the current display.

This week’s featured research resource for the Black Lives Matter display is:


The NAACP Papers collection consists of 6 modules […]With a timeline that runs from 1909 to 1972, the NAACP Papers document the realities of segregation in the early 20th century to the triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and beyond.

UCI Libraries provides access to Modules 4 & 5.

NAACP Papers (Module 4) Includes:

pt. 22. Legal department administrative files, 1956-1965

pt. 23. Legal Department case files, 1956-1965

NAACP Papers (Module 5) Includes:

pt. 11. Special subject files, 1912-1939

pt. 18. Special subjects, 1940-1955

pt. 24. Special subjects, 1956-1965

pt. 28. Special subject files, 1965-1970

pt.30. General office files, 1966-1972

For more information about the NAACP Papers, please consult Becky Imamoto, Acting Head, Collection Strategies Department and Research Librarian for History and African American Studies.

Want to see even more? Visit Becky Imamoto’s African American Studies Research Guide.


Black Lives Matter Book Display Featured Text

The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young

The Gray Album

As underscored in the Black Lives Matter Book Display’s Curatorial Statement, we decided to address the importance of Black lives by attending to the actual matter—e.g. art, film, literature, music, painting, and poetry—created by Black lives. It is with this in mind that we feature Kevin Young’s The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness. The Grey Album takes its title from Danger Mouse’s pioneering mashup of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and the Beatles’ The White Album, and combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical choruses to illustrate the African American tradition of lying—storytelling, telling tales, fibbing, improvising, “jazzing” (Greywolf Press).

Kevin YoungI admit it: I found Kevin Young’s work too late. Young served as Curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and as Curator of Literary Collections at Emory’s Rose Library while I  worked as a Humanities Librarian at Emory’s Woodruff Library.  During this time, Young established himself as a leading poetic voice and visionary curator. He is currently the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


While I researched titles to include in the UCI Libraries’ Black Lives Matter Book Display, I immediately thought of Young’s The Grey Album, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award. The text was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. And as I read and re-read it, I found myself asking questions that could have transformed past inconsequential exchanges with Young into meaningful dialogue or conversation.

Kevin Young : “Dark Matter” in the American Cosmos

While the Black Lives Matter Book Display features a variety of material achievements made by Black lives,  The Grey Album reminds us of what cannot be displayed, of what remains in the shadows:

Lately, I have been thinking about the idea of a shadow book—a book we don’t have, but know of, a book that may haunt the very book we have in our hands. […] The last shadow book is the lost. These shadow books are at once the rarest and most common—written and now gone. Rather than those never written, these books were lost because their authors’ lives were cut too short; and because the oral book of black culture is at times not passed down, at others simply passed over. […] In some crucial ways, the lost shadow book is the book that blackness writes every day. The book that memory, time, accident, and the more active forms of oppression prevent from being read (11, 13-14).

The conditions that produce this final category of the shadow book are also of great interest to us. So we ask: do the accomplishments included in the Black Lives Matter Display enable you to confront the conditions that presently deprive Black lives of their material significance? And how might we address the fact that we ourselves are haunted by books, and even lives, that live as shadows?

For more information:

Follow Kevin Young on Twitter @Deardarkness, Instagram @thehungryear, or his Official Website.

Follow the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Twitter @SchomburgCenter or visit their Official Website.

Follow Graywolf Press on Twitter @GraywolfPress or visit their Official Website.


Works Cited

Young, Kevin, and Robert Polito. The Grey Album: On the Blackness of    Blackness. Graywolf, 2012.

Black Lives Matter Book Display: Inspirations and Featured Resources

As we put together this display, we were inspired by some excellent reading lists, blogs, and social medial campaigns related to #Black Lives Matter, racism, and other similar topics. Here’s a roundup of some resources for those who want to read more — or for anyone who is not able to make it over to the Langson Library  to check out the Black Lives Matter Display.


5 Reading Lists

Left Bank Books: Black Lives Matter – A Reading List

Longreads: Black Lives Matter – A Reading List

The #BlackLivesMatters Syllabus

The Lemonade Syllabus

Syllabus for White People To Educate Themselves


5 Blogs

New South Negress Writing, diversity, & research consulting services with an emphasis on race, gender, culture, cities, and social justice for individuals and organizations.

RacismReview RacismReview is intended to provide a credible and reliable source of information for journalists, students and members of the general public who are seeking solid evidence-based research and analysis of “race,” racism, ethnicity, and immigration issues.

Black Girl Dangerous Mia McKenzie, creator of the enormously popular website Black Girl Dangerous, writes about race, queerness, class and gender in a concise, compelling voice filled at different times with humor, grief, rage, and joy.

Authors of Color A place to find literature and writing by authors of color.

This is Everyday Racism This blog is a safe space by and for people of color where they can share their experiences with everyday, subtle racism, or racial microaggressions. Our main goal is to help people of color feel supported and validated in dealing with this insidious, and often far more damaging, form of racism.


5 Additional Social Media Campaigns

#blacklivesmatter Black Lives Matter is an affirmation & embrace of the resistance & resilience of Black people. Founded by

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown illustrates the pejorative selection of images used in news stories about black victims of police shootings.

#blackgirlmagic celebrates the beauty, power and resilience of black women.

#ACLU defends and preserves the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

#LibrariesResist  Building a curated list of resources for libraries and library workers in the resistance.