Suggestions for Minority-repression Books for OccupyEducated Primer List

Thanks for speaking out!

In true Occupy fashion, there has a been a united push in the comment section for a “person of color” to be added to the primer list. We are grateful for the two main points of the feedback.

1. The primer list does not cover what many occupiers feel is an important issue: institutional racism.
2. The primer list does not include an author who has been recognized by commentators as a person of color.

Regarding Issue #1
The consensus by the creators of OccupyEducated is that Occupy is about the demand for systemic justice in a broken system. Most of this frustration is focused on economic injustice, but, as you have provoked to our attention, many occupiers are more frustrated with other systemic issues — racial injustice, sexism, endless imperial war, LGBT civil rights, among many other vital issues.

We discussed this, and recognize that this issue of racism and minority repression is systemic and often discussed at occupations.  Thus, we are adding one book to the primer list, to round it out at six.

And you will decide what that book should be.
Here are a few on our consideration list, just to jump start the conversation about what should go into the virtual library.
Democracy Matters, by Cornell West (an avid supporter of #ows)
Uprooting Racism, by Paul Kivel
Unpacking The Invisible, edited by Karen Weekes
Colorblind, by Tim Wise

As we understand Occupy to be a matter of addressing systemic injustices, we ask you to find a book that focuses on systemic issues. We hope to be able to choose which book we’ll add by having a swell of comments that support one particular book – online consensus. If not possible… we’ll wing it.

Regarding Issue #2
There are many factors to consider when selecting books. We have chosen content of the books to be above all else, for this particular list — the primer list. We respectfully decline to change that policy for the primer list, and will leave our end of the conversation there.

The rest of the lists will be crowd sourced, so it will be the users who choose whatever criteria they wish, to decide which books OccupyEducated will highly-recommend to occupiers. We’re not sure how that will work, yet, but we are committed to have this site reflect the true voice of the Occupy movement.

Thanks so much for your feedback; it was heard, and changes were made. Please engage and encourage your friends to join in the discussion!

Know Any Great Books, Films, Videos, or Resources You Think Should Be Promoted?

Please post them in The Recommended Books & Films section of The Discussion Forums.

We are currently cataloging all recommendations posted in The Discussion Forums and in a few weeks we will present them all on the site so The Public can vote on, discuss, sort, and view by topic to easily find the highest ranked educational resources available! We will also be synthesizing these resources and working with various authors to create definitive, original, free educational material in the form of Articles, Videos, and Online Classes. See you in The Forums!

About OccupyEducated


  1. michele says:

    A request to consider Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” for the list.

  2. growl says:

    okay, a little condescending (no one talks about “minority repression” and in the United States both race and class are intimately interwoven), but…

    American Apartheid, Massey and Denton
    but I also agree with Michelle Alexander and Race Matters

  3. “Most of this frustration is focused on economic injustice, but, as you have provoked to our attention, many occupiers are more frustrated with other systemic issues — racial injustice, sexism, endless imperial war, LGBT civil rights, among many other vital issues.”

    It is a bit disheartening that you do not deem the analysis or perspective of marginalized communities as part of “practical change”. The statement we highlight above communicates to us that you do not see how economic injustices are directly linked or a direct result of “other systemic issues.”

    We think you also missed the point that inherent within a “person of color”/ “LGBTQ”/ “Women’s” perspective will be an authority on economic or structural inequities — authorities that are overlooked, dismissed and further marginalized by those who do have the privilege of only NOW (these last 5 years) being affected by a systemic problem that has affected people who do not have the privilege of being white, a man, heterosexual, able-bodied and/or christian.

    As a suggestion, instead of or in addition to linking books on the primer list to bookstores link to where people can find it at a local library.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for feedback, and thanks for the tip! What a fantastic resource. We quick-added a link to the post, and will likely adjust the rest shortly.

  4. Enrico says:

    please consider the book:
    Lies My Teacher Told Me…
    by James W. Loewen

    He discusses history and how the oppression of our entire Nation extends to misinformation in high school.

    • Steve Bass says:

      An excellent book, “winner of the Before Columbus Foundation/american Book Award and the Oliver C. Cox Anti-Racism Award of the American Sociological Association.” Highly recommended, (by me), for its treatment of history that casts our very Western notions of property rights and resource ownership, and the way we deal with them in a new and revealing light. Very much simpatico with the global Occupy movement.

  5. Shredder says:

    A Peoples’ History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

  6. Tom Pearce says:

    If you haven’t listed it already, “The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for everyone” by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, and “Prosperity Without Growth – Economics for a Finite Planet” by Tim Jackson. And of course “The End of Growth” by Richard Heinberg. Keep up the good work, guys. This is the first time in my 62 years that I have seen a chink of light at the end of a very long tunnel. Yes, perhaps it is a freight train coming the other way, but you have to hope and believe that a more sane approach to economics will rise from the ashes of the present way of doing finance. It has to! Best wishes from remote and rural Scotland.

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