These works, a partial selection of the many important accounts of how Black women are overpoliced and underprotected, provide a structural analysis of race, gender, and punitive policing. These books, articles, podcasts, and poems are a starting point for those wishing to learn more about how the sometimes lethal intersection of patriarchy and white supremacy leaves Black women and girls vulnerable to both public and private violence.
Morgan Bassichis, Alexander Lee and Dean Spade, “Building an Abolitionist Trans and Queer Movement with Everything We’ve Got,” in Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, Oakland: AK Press, 2011.
An essay documenting transformative approaches that are informed by gender and trans studies.
Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?, Steven Stories Press, 2003.
A foundational work for the modern abolitionist movement, tracing social movements across history and calling for “decarceration.”
John Duda and Mariame Kaba, “Towards the horizon of abolition: A conversation with Mariame Kaba,”The Next System Project.
A conversation between John Duda and Mariam Kaba, a prison abolitionist, about what it means to work towards prison abolition in the age of Trump, the difference between security and safety, and what the work of abolition looks like.
“Ruth Wilson Gilmore on COVID-19, Decarceration, and Abolition,” Haymarket Books, 2020.
A video discussion where Ruth Wilson Gilmore discusses the relationship between public health, jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, University of California Press, 2007.
Gilmore provides a history of how California created one of the biggest prison booms in the world. This text is foundational for the idea of “carceral geography.”
Crystal Feimster, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, Harvard University Press, 2011.
A book that focuses on two women journalists — Ida B. Wells, who campaigned against lynching, and Rebecca Latimer Felton, who urged white men to prove their manhood by lynching Black men accused of raping white women.
Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes, “A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation.” Truthout, 2018.
An essay tracing the relationship between mental health and prison, pushing forward a call for abolition and transformation.
Talitha LeFlouria, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South, University of North Carolina Press, 2016.
This revealing history redefines the social context of Black women’s lives and labor in the New South and allows their stories to be told for the first time.
Monique Morris, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, The New Press, 2016.
By critically interrogating the ways that the prison industrial complex has infiltrated our schools, Morris gives us insight into the complexity of our racialized -- and crucially, gendered -- systems of punishment.
Beth Richie, Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation, NYU Press, 2012.
Building out from horrific stories and gut-wrenching statistics, Beth Richie provides insight into the particular vulnerabilities of Black women in an intersectionality oppressive society.
Beth Richie, Compelled to Crime, Routledge, 1995.
Deploying the legal notion of “gender entrapment,” Beth Richie digs deep into the structural production of intersectional oppression as it pertains to Black women in the “criminal justice” system.
Andrea Ritchie, "Say Her Name: What it means to center Black women's experiences of police violence,” Truthout, 2015.