AGF’s #WorldBookDay Reading List

In case you haven’t heard, it’s #WorldBookDay! This day was first reserved in 1995 by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. Today, we’re celebrating by sharing our favorite books related to voting and civil rights. Let us know what you’re reading this #WorldBookDay!

Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

Why We Love It: Give Us The Ballot provides a thorough account of the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and goes on to explain how this history has influenced where our nation is today. NPR, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and more are all in agreement: this book is noteworthy due to Berman’s unique lens on arguably the most pivotal civil and voting rights issue of the past century.


My Mantelpiece by Carolyn Goodman

Why We Love It: My Mantelpiece is an account of the life of Carolyn Goodman, mother of Civil Rights activist Andrew Goodman, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. This piece explores Carolyn’s experiences as she transformed tragedy into survival and social impact. The reader experiences Carolyn’s emotions right alongside her on her journey of survival.


The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

Why We Love It: First published in 1964, this classic brings the readers along for Malcolm X’s journey, from childhood through the Black Muslim movement and Civil Rights activism. Coined as one of TIME’s most Important nonfictions books of the twentieth century, his book is unparalleled in how captures the journey of self exploration alongside the evolution of a movement.



Becoming by Michelle Obama

Why We Love It: While Michelle Obama was an amazing First Lady, Becoming demonstrates what an error it is to reduce her accomplishments to that. After receiving her degree at Harvard, Michelle returned to Chicago and launched her career. She’s gone on to become an icon for women across age and race, and a champion self-love, respect, and growth.



One Person, One Vote by Carol Anderson

Why We Love It: In One Person, No Vote, Anderson is exploring the consequences of the 2013 Shelby ruling, which has in effect made it easier for state official to suppress the voting rights of communities of color. Anderson explains how this system suppression functions and explores the activists that are fighting to dismantle this system today.




The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Why We Love It: Many have pointed to the election of Barack Obama as the end of racism in America. Michelle Alexander’s revered piece challenges this idea head on, posing that while the systematic racism that plagues America looks and feels different, it’s still very much present and relevant. Alexander examines America’s incarceration of black men through the War on Drugs, calling these policies the new Jim Crow.





About the Author

Mariah Ross is the Digital Marketing Manager at the Andrew Goodman Foundation. She earned a Bachelor of Science magna cum laude in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University, with minors in Economics and French. Prior to joining our team, Mariah worked at Charity Navigator as a Program Analyst, where she was responsible for the evaluation of America’s largest nonprofits, and as Sector Communications Coordinator, where she conceptualized and executed various communications campaigns. Mariah is passionate about utilizing data to inform marketing strategy and impact measurement.