Black History Month 2021 at The New School: Recommended Reading, Watching, Listening, and More

In recognition of Black History Month 2021, the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice at The New School has been collecting media recommendations from the entire New School community. We hope you find the list below helpful as you consider spending extra time not just this month but throughout this entire year to honor Black artists, writers, activists, and scholars.

The list below is ever growing. Have a recommendation you’d like us to add? Let us know by filling out this form.


by Nikki Giovanni
by Nikki Giovanni
by Toni Morrison
by Toni Morrison
by Derrick Bell
by Derrick Bell
by Zora Neale Hurston
by Zora Neale Hurston
by bell hooks
by bell hooks
by Angela Davis
by Angela Y. Davis
by Isabel Wilkerson
by Isabel Wilkerson
edited by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith
by James Baldwin
by Michelle Alexander
by Sonia Sanchez
by Ntozake Shange
by Octavia Butler


I Am Not Your Negro
The Murder of Fred Hampton
Sylvie’s Love
The Autobiography of Jane Pittman


NPR Code Switch
Jemele Hill is Unbothered
Questlove Supreme


Small Axe, a collection of five films by Steve McQueen

Recommendations from Dr. Sharon D Johnson, MA Media Studies ’88
Find her book, , here. Her essay “Conscious Daughters” can be found in the book


by Danny Lyons


The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution by Stanley Nelson


Writing the Future — Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, on view at the Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston through May 16


edited by Whitney Battle-Baptiste and Britt Rusert


by Legacy Russell


I Am Somebody by Madeline Anderson (1970)
Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden (1983) & “The Still-Burning Fire of Born in Flames” by Yasmina Price


“Through His Eyes: Sam Pollard’s Historical Lens” Screening, 2021 Spring Hirshon Artist-in-Residence
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 5:00PM to 7:00PM (EST)
Join the School of Media Studies for a screening and discussion with Sam Pollard, the 2021 Spring Hirshon Artist-in-Residence. Pollard, an accomplished film and TV editor and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years, will feature his work, engage in a discussion with Michelle Materre, Director of the Media Management Program & Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film, and engage with the online audience through a Q+A.

The Alumni Relations office is pleased to celebrate the vast talent of Black alumni in the arts as part of Black History Month. Here are just a few of our favorite actors, performers, artists, and authors making waves:


by Leila Taylor, MA Liberal Studies ’18
by Kacen Callender, MFA Creative Writing ’14
by Dante Micheaux, BA Liberal Arts ’02
by Keisha Bush, MFA Creative Writing ’15
by Kalisha Buckhanon, MFA Creative Writing ’03
by Renée Watson, BA Liberal Arts ’09


Orange Is the New Black featuring Adrienne Moore, MFA Acting ’09
produced and directed by Crystal Emery, MA Media Studies ’13


Jillian Hervey of Lion Babe, BA The Arts ’11
James Francies, BFA Jazz & Contemporary Music ’17
Marcus Baylor, BFA Jazz & Contemporary Music ’99
Lakecia Benjamin, BFA Jazz and Contemporary Music ‘05
Robert Glasper, BFA Performance ’01
Tyga Paw (Dion McKenzie), Liberal Arts ‘06
Jazzmeia Horn, BFA Jazz and Contemporary Music ’14


Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, BA Culture and Media ’06
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her profile, “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof”

Andre Singleton, BA The Arts ’11
Co-Founder of The Very Black Project

Amy Sall, BA Culture and Media ’12
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of


by Roseanne A. Brown
series by Justina Ireland


Halls of Anger directed by Paul Bogart (1970)
Belle directed by Amma Asante (2013)
Colombiana directed by Olivier Megaton (2011)


Forest 404, Environmental sci-fi thriller by BBC Radio
Love and Liberation album by New School Alumni Jazzmeia Horn, Jazzmeia Horn, BFA Jazz and Contemporary Music ’14

Recommendations from faculty member and alumni Warren Bradley, Liberal Arts ’05


by Ibram X. Kandi
by Alex Haley
by Isabel Wilkerson
by Robin DiAngelo


Lovecraft Country, an HBO series
Black Art: In the Absence of Light, an HBO/YouTube series
Underground, an OWN network series
Selma directed by Ava DuVernay
Hidden Figures directed by T. Melfi
Lady Sings the Blues directed by S. Furie/B.Gordy
Eve’s Bayou written and directed by K. Lemmon


Lovecraft Country podcast
Anything by Nina Simone, but particularly “Young Gifted & Black,” “Mississippi Goddamn,” “Sinner Man,” “Four Women,” “I loves You Porgy,” and “Wild is the Wind”
Anything Motown
Anything by Aretha Franklin

Recommendations from Jade Brown, MS Media Management ‘23


Zami by Audre Lorde
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


Belle directed by Amma Asante


Sibling Rivalry, podcast by Monét X Change of RuPaul’s Drag Race
Dear Jessamyn podcast by Jessamyn Stanley and Ashe Danger Phoenix
Arlo Parks
Todrick Hall
Victoria Monet

Recommendations from Social Media:

@jillcsmith: , an autobiography first published in 1861 by Harriet Jacobs.

@ssarahhohn: by Ta-Nehisi Coates!

@profsue123: Great new books by New School alumni @harlemportland & @keishabush: and by Renee Watson (BA Liberal Arts ’09), by Keisha Bush (MFA Creative Writing ’15)

@esk.kay: by Dorothy Roberts by Andre M. Ashford

@kamacneil: by Zadie Smith

@momhend95: The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor



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The New School

A university in New York City for scholarly activists, fearless artists, and convention-defying designers established in 1919. #100YearsNew