We believe in the power of history to help us understand the crises unfolding around us. Every week, we recommend a book selected by a member of the UCLA history department.

This week’s book is Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-racist (2019), recommended by William Marotti.

Professor Marrotti recommends this book because it provides clear and well-defined definitions, consistently applied, and woven together with personal and social history. The conceptual rigor gets past any number of rhetorical snares and problems. Absolutely essential reading!

Previous weekly selections:

Brenda Stevenson, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots, selected by Katherine Marino. Here is why Professor Marino recommends this book:

“Latasha Harlins was a 15-year-old African American girl who was murdered in LA in March 1991, two weeks after the police beating of Rodney King. She was fatally shot by a Korean storeowner who thought she was stealing orange juice. Although often overlooked, her death was a catalyst of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising. Stevenson recovers her story in this vital history that reminds us to think intersectionally about anti-black violence and miscarriages of justice. It reminds us to honor Latasha Harlins, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, and the many other black cis- and trans-women who have been killed by police brutality and anti-black violence, and to #SayHerName.”