Reading List

The following is an ongoing compilation of books on various topics from Do Good Roseville programs.  We are always looking for new books!  If you have additional suggestions, please contact Kathy at


As part of the film series “Race: The Power of an Illusion”, the Roseville Library provided this reading list from the Huffington Post entitled “16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read”. For more details on each book, click on the article name above.

  • The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, by Jeff Hobbs
    • This moving biography recounts the life of Robert Peace, a young man who escaped the streets of Newark, New Jersey, to attend Yale University — only to lose his life after graduating.
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
    • This moving biography recounts the life of Robert Peace, a young man who escaped the streets of Newark, New Jersey, to attend Yale University — only to lose his life after graduating.
  • The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin
    • One of James Baldwin’s most important book of essays, The Fire Next Time explores themes of race, religion and identity.xt Time, by James Baldwin
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • Toni Morrison has described this debut book from Ta-Nehisi Coates as a “required reading.” In the form of a letter to his teenaged son, Coates distills what it means to be black in America today.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    • Published in 1960, this novel about a white lawyer defending a black boy falsely accused of raping a white woman takes on a whole new meaning in the wake of the release of Harper Lee’s follow up, Go Set A Watchman.
  • Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, by Bell Hooks
    • For the reader who wants to learn more about black feminism, Ain’t I A Woman is considered one of the most important and comprehensive works on how sexism and misogyny specifically affects women of color.
  • Citizen, by Claudia Rankine
    • Poet Claudia Rankine meditates on police brutality, racial fatigue, depression and the denigration of black bodies.
  • Negroland: A Memoir, by Margo Jefferson
    • Margo Jefferson shares a bold and thought-provoking memoir on her upbringing as the daughter of black socialites in 1960s Chicago.
  • Welcome to Braggsville, by T. Geronimo Johnson
    • This darkly comic debut novel is about four University of California, Berkeley students from different backgrounds who decide to protest a Civil War reenactment.
  • The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    • Toni Morrison’s first novel perfectly captures the effects of racism and colorism, telling the story of an 11-year-old black girl with low self-esteem who prays desperately for her eyes to become blue.
  • Race Matters, by Cornel West
    • Still considered one of activist Cornel West’s most important books, Race Matters bluntly takes on everything from affirmative action, to black crime, to religion within the black community — and what solutions, if any, there are.
  • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
    • In this seminal 1952 novel, an unnamed narrator recounts his epic life-story, from his coming-of-age in a rural Southern town, to his migration to the violent streets of Harlem.
  • The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
    • Beatty infuses comic humor and biting political commentary into this racial satire about a modern-day slave owner.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
    • This is the true story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman whose cells from cervical cancer have been used by scientists for developing advances in everything from cloning, gene mapping, cancer treatment and polio vaccines.
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”, by Beverly Daniel Tatum
    • Through research and case studies psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum confronts the subtle ways in which racism dictates the ways both white and non-white people navigate the world.
  • Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas A. Blackmon
    • Writer Douglas A. Blackmon exposes the horrific aftermath of the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery, when thousands of black people were unfairly arrested and then illegally “sold” into forced labor as punishment.


  • This Much I Can Tell You:  Stories of Courage and Hope from Refugees in Minnesota, edited by Minnesota Council of Churches
    • In the pages of “This Much I Can Tell You”, the voices of eighteen new Minnesotans, refugees and asylees from nine different countries, share stories of fear, courage, sorrow, and hope for enriched futures in the United States.
  • When Home Won’t Let You Stay, Photos and narratives by James Bowey
    • This is a series is presented in a distributed storytelling approach using a variety of media channels, one of which is a book. Each channel presents a different aspect of the story to build an integrated and sustained engagement with the experience of refugees in our communities.  For more details, refer to
  • Green Card Voices, Narratives written by 30 Wellstone International High School Students
    • This is a unique collection of thirty personal essays written by students from Wellstone International High School. Coming from thirteen different countries, these young people share stories of family, school, change, and dreams. The broad range of experiences and the honesty with which they tell their stories are captured here with inspiring clarity. Although their reasons for immigrating are vast, a common thread unites them; despite tremendous tribulation, these young people continue to work toward the futures of which they dream.

Indigenous People in MN – History

This list was provided by the Ramsey County Historical Society

  • They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State’s Ethnic Groups. Edited by June Drenning Holmquist. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1981.
    • Chapter one is on the Dakota and Ojibway by Mitchell Rubinstein and Alan R. Woolworth, pp. 17-35.    (overview of Native American history As a starter…….also check anything written by Woolworth…..he spent a career at the Minnesota Historical Society researching and writing about Native Americans
  • Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1650-1962.  Anderson, Clayton Gary
    • MnHS Press (first published in 1984…updated in 1997)
  • The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota as They Were in 1834 by Samuel W Pond 
    • MnHS Press, 1986.
  • History of the Dakota or Sioux Indians by Doane Robinson
    • South Dakota Department of History, 1904  (reprinted by Ross & Haines, Inc. of Minneapolis in 1956)
  • History of the Ojibway Nation by William W. Warren.
    • Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, Inc., 1957  (reprinted in 1974).
  • Where the Waters Gather and the Rivers Meet: An Atlas of the Eastern Sioux by Paul Durand
    • Faribault, Mn.  1994  (published by the author,   Dakota dictionary)
  • Indians in Minnesota by Elizabeth Ebbott
    • Edited by Judith Rosenblatt. U of Mn Press, 1971 & 1985.  (after 1950)