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Racial Justice

A guide to resources provided by the Law Library, as well as external information, to support our community in considering racial justice and reconciliation.

HeinOnline Civil Rights and Social Justice Database

HeinOnline’s Civil Rights and Social Justice database brings together a diverse offering of publications covering civil rights in the United States as their legal protections and definitions are expanded to cover more and more Americans. Containing hearings and committee prints, legislative histories on the landmark legislation, CRS and GAO reports, briefs from major Supreme Court cases, and publications from the Commission on Civil Rights, this database allows users to educate themselves on the ways our civil rights have been strengthened and expanded over time, as well as how these legal protections can go further still. A varied collection of books on many civil rights topics and a list of prominent civil rights organizations help take the research beyond HeinOnline.

Interdisciplinary Databases

Alternative media archives, including perspectives on social change issues.

America: History and Life with Full Text
Search for articles on all aspects of the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Articles from national, state and local historical journals are covered, as well as historical articles in major humanities and social science journals. Also includes citations to reviews, books, and dissertations. 

American History in Video
This is an online collection of documentaries and newsreel footage of key historical events in the United States from sources such as PBS, A&E, and The History Channel.

Black Studies Center
Black Studies Center has full-text scholarly essays, recent periodicals, and historical newspaper articles.

Chicano Database
Materials discussing issues facing Chicano and Mexican-American communities, including racial and ethnic discrimination.

Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
This resource includes bibliographic records and full text of journals related to criminal justice and criminology. Subjects covered include: corrections, prisons, criminal investigations, forensic sciences, investigation, substance abuse, addiction, probation, and parole.

De Gruyter: IBZ Online
Academic journal articles discussing social justice issues from around the globe.

Elsevier eBook Complete Collections
A searchable database of full-text ebooks on topics including law and social change.

Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
A range of opinions on various social issues, such as feminism, racism, LGBTQ equality, poverty, and police brutality.

Google Scholar  
Allows searching of multidisciplinary scholarly literature including articles, papers, books, abstracts, and technical reports from a wide variety of resources.

HeinOnline - Criminal Justice Law Reviews and Journals (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
HeinOnline provides full-text, image-based PDF access to 78 law reviews and journals that publish content specific to criminal justice.

HeinOnline: Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
Brings together all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. Includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. More than a thousand pamphlets and books on slavery from the 19th century are also included as well as modern histories of slavery. Searchable access to all congressional debates from the Continental Congress to 1880 is included as well as general keyword, document type and topic searches.

Indigenous Peoples: North America
Information on the cultural and historical heritage of indigenous people.

International Index to Black Periodicals
IIBP Full Text draws its current content from more than 150 international scholarly and popular periodicals in Black studies and contains full-text coverage of 40 core Black studies periodicals. It covers a wide array of humanities-related disciplines including art, cultural criticism, economics, education, health, history, language and literature, law, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology among others.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service   
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource offering reports, journals, statistics, and other information on subjects relating to criminology, criminal justice, substance abuse, corrections, policy, crime victims, and program development worldwide.

Polling the Nations
Statistical research includes nationwide snapshots of viewpoints on social justice issues.

Race Relations Abstracts
Published quarterly, SAGE Race Relations Abstracts offers summaries of the best and most recent journal articles, books and conference papers from around the world. It assesses more than 300 publications providing you with the latest information and research findings in the area of race relations. Issues covered include discrimination, education, employment, health, politics, law and legislation. SAGE Race Relations Abstracts provides unique resources for scholars, activists and students.

SAGE Knowledge Social Sciences
Congressional proceedings, historical documents, encyclopedias, and reference guides related to issues arising under the social justice umbrella.

Social Explorer: Explore Maps
Visually presented research findings on a variety of legal and social issues in the United States, including economic, crime, population, and religion data.

SocIndex with Full Text
English and foreign-language academic materials regarding social justice from around the world.

Sociological Abstracts
Overviews of scholarly research regarding social justice issues.

Social Services Abstracts
Academic research on efforts to diminish the impact of racism, sexism, and discrimination in law and society.

Books and Treatises

There are a number of treatises in the Law Library collection related to race and the law. You can search for relevant books in the library catalog by using subject headings such as Civil RightsRace Relations, and Racism.

Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten US Court Opinions on Race and the Law (Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R. A. Lenhardt, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, editors 2022)
A collection of key decisions in U.S. law rewritten by feminist legal scholars. The essays in this volume re-write US Supreme Court opinions (and a few lower court opinions) that implicate critical dimensions of racial justice, demonstrating how Critical Race Theory can concretely inform the task of judging.

Critical Race Theory: A Primer (Khiara M. Bridges, 2019) (available on West Academic on campus or with password)
Discussing the development and application of critical race theory in the legal context, with focus on privilege, implicit bias, and intersections with sexuality, religion, disability. Modern issues explored in depth include criminal justice, education, and healthcare.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander, 2020)
Arguing that the criminal justice system in effect imposes a familiar caste system of racial oppression in America.

A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law (Sherrilyn A. Ifill, Loretta Lynch, Bryan Stevenson, Anthony C. Thompson, 2018)
This book is basically a transcript of a symposium on racial injustice and law in the U.S. after the 2016 presidential election, convened in celebration of the establishment of NYU Law School’s Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law. The book contains a varied debate, which discusses inequality, indifference, inherent racism, and the consequences of capitalism, almost entirely in regard to the USA.

Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (Erwin Chemerinsky, 2021)
Argues that the Court has eroded individual rights regarding self-incrimination and search and seizure, promoting a racist criminal justice system, and that legal doctrines have evolved to shield the police from accountability for misconduct.

Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court (Matthew K. Clair, 2020)
Through interviews and courtroom visits, observes that disadvantages linked to race and class combine to create disparities in outcome in plea deals and trials.

Promises to Keep (Donald G. Nieman, 2020)
Examines the growth of equality principles that Black Americans helped enact from the early days of the Constitution, which did not originally equally protect Black Americans, through the Civil War and Jim Crow and into the modern day civil rights movements.

Race and Justice: Wrongful Convictions of African American Men (Marvin D. Free, Jr., & Mitch Ruesink, 2012)
This academic ebook presents a statistical analysis of wrongful convictions of Black men for crimes including murder and drug offenses. It discusses the reasons behind faulty convictions, including flaws in policing and the court system.

Race and Racialization: Essential Readings (Tania Das Gupta et. al, eds., 2018)
Examining racial theory, Colonialism, and modern problems with racism in society and its institutions, and exploring the impact of privileged identity categories.

Race as Phenomena: Between Phenomenology and Philosophy of Race (Emily S. Lee, ed., 2019)
Taking account of the unique characteristics and perspectives of individual authors to more fully explore contemporary social issues regarding race, from interactions with law enforcement, psychology, politics, and intersectionality.

Racial Ecologies (LeiLani Nishime & Kim D. Hester Williams eds., 2018)
An anthology of scholarly work within frameworks such as indigenous people and critical race theory examining the outsize impact of environmental degradation on communities of color.

Suspect Race: Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling (Jack Glaser, 2015)
Examining the causes of racial profiling such as stereotypes and implicit bias, and suggesting that mere efforts to ban profiling practices are inadequate to address a problem that may worsen crime and the mass incarceration problem.

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement (Wesley Lowery, 2016)
Examining recent flashpoints in calls for racial justice, such as the demonstrations against deadly police actions.

Law Reviews and Journals

HeinOnline collections: featuring journals devoted to legal issues involving:

  • Civil Rights: dozens of journals dedicated to matters including racial justice, largely in the U.S.
  • Human Rights: journals dedicated to social justice issues worldwide, including foreign and international periodicals
  • Indigenous People: journals dedicated to legal issues involving Native North Americans

Crime, Law and Social Change
Highlighting the intersections and tensions between social justice and the criminal justice system in the U.S. and worldwide, including examinations of punishment strategies and disparate treatment of particular people.

Harvard Journals and Publications on Law and Social Change
A variety of publications examining social justice issues such as civil liberties, human rights, gender, race, and ethnicity.

Law Journal for Social Justice
Arizona State journal discussing social problems and suggesting reforms on topics including incarceration, sexual abuse, and discrimination.

N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change
Exploring legal and ethical concerns about topics such as immigration, criminal justice, and child welfare governance.

Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Critiquing the legal system’s effects on social justice in areas such as immigration, race, and policing.

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change
Examining social justice issues such as access to justice, community planning, and the criminal justice system.

ProQuest's Black Freedom Struggle in The United States

Proquest's Black Freedom Struggle in the United States website features select primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history.

The website contains approximately 1,600 documents focused on six different phases of Black Freedom.

  1. Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
  2. The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
  3. Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
  4. The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
  5. The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
  6. The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)

News and Analysis

ABA Journal news
News and analysis on topics such as access to justice and diversity.

Bloomberg Law News (Bloomberg password required)
News and analysis including social justice topics, from sexual harassment to racial discrimination. 

Law 360: Access to Justice (available on campus or through ASURITE)
Exploring issues related to the criminal justice system, including immigration, policing, criminal law, incarceration, and disparate impacts on racial, ethnic, and other minority groups. News
This website aimed at legal professionals features news and analysis arranged by topics including diversity and civil rights.

Westlaw News (Westlaw password required)
Searchable database of news and analysis, highlighting topics such as immigration and criminal justice.