I am the Marketing & Publicity Manager here at Left Bank. Coming from the nonprofit and racial justice world, I read a ton of nonfiction about race--justice, intergroup relations, implicit bias, race and social issues, etc. In nonfiction, I also get interested in women's issues and religion/theology. My original loves were in literary fiction, though: Southern literature, African American literature, Caribbean, Irish, Native American, Austrian.... all sorts connected to cultures around the globe. Favorite authors: William Faulkner, Jeanette Winterson, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Rainer Maria Rilke. Favorite animal: my cat, Celia. 

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Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984881922
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Penguin Life - December 28th, 2021

LIke your best friend telling it to you straight, because she knows there is better living for you out there. Jones is honest, funny, loving, and challenging, because she wants the best for you and for the world.

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The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541619586
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Basic Books - July 6th, 2021

Well-researched, eye-opening, excellent. I recommend "The Broken Heart of America" especially to St. Louisans, but really to anyone who wants to better understand the history of racism and colonialism in the United States. Johnson's deep-dive is essentially a "people's history" of the United States using St. Louis as a (very poignant) case study.

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620971932
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: New Press - January 7th, 2020

A MUST READ! "The New Jim Crow" is essential reading for US History, racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, and any real understanding of our country. Learn the critical history of how slavery morphed into segregation, which morphed into mass incarceration. If we have any hope of building racial equity in the US, we must face the reality Michelle Alexander reveals in this text.

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A People's History of the United States (Modern Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060838652
Availability: Special Order
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Harper Perennial - August 2nd, 2005

Most people in the US, especially White folks, were not taught the dark truths about racism and structural inequality in our society, country, or world. Part of doing our work to unlearn racism is learning the truth. "A People's History of the United States" is a good place to start. It was admittedly emotionally hard to read, but the truth is important to acknowledge and know. I recommend fighting your way through the hard parts. Howard Zinn, for example, doesn't tell the story of Columbus as a hero who "discovered America"--no, there were humans here before him, and Columbus was actually the perpetrator of genocide and many atrocities that our history books failed to teach us. Learn the truth!

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Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520282391
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University of California Press - August 1st, 2015

Andrea Boyles does a deep ethnographic study of Meacham Park and Kirkwood, neighborhoods just outside the city of St. Louis. She looks at the history of Meacham Park, an historically Black neighborhood, and how it was annexed into Kirkwood, a mostly White suburb. The annexation took place after some shady dealings and led to half of Meacham Park being demolished and replaced with a shopping center, among other tragedies. There's been a lot of research on urban policing in Black communities, but Boyles was interested in what policing of Black communities looks like in a suburban context. Really insightful and interesting.

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A People's History of the United States Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062397348
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - November 17th, 2015

Heartbreaking, beautiful, relevant, and true. Toni Morrison is a must.

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The Souls of Black Folk: With
By W. E. B. Du Bois, Ibram X. Kendi (Introduction by), Monica E. Elbert (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780140189988
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Published: Penguin Classics - April 1st, 1996

Foundational philosophical work around race in America. Read it.

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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography Cover Image
ISBN: 9780895941220
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Crossing Press - January 1st, 1982

A queer, feminist, Black woman's experience growing up in America in mostly urban settings in the mid-20th century. Beautiful, honest writing, as only Audre Lorde can do. Important reading.

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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062684318
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Published: Ecco - January 14th, 2020

Damon Young began writing as a pop-culture blogger, but this memoir shares his experience growing up Black in Pittsburgh. He illustrates how living as a Black man in America can create neurosis, because one never knows if someone is interacting with you a certain way because you are Black or just because they're having a bad day. An amazing, deep, funny, contemporary account of what Black experience can be like in the United States.

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Broken (in the best possible way) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250077035
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - April 6th, 2021

Jenny Lawson is so good at being vulnerable, funny, profound, and totally weird all at the same time. In "Broken," she shares her tumultuous journey with mental illness in a way that is relatable and heart-warming, spattered with hilarious tangents that show how joy intersects even the most difficult times.