University of Michigan Library

Resources to challenge, motivate, and educate

Books for Social Justice

Demonstration outside US Capitol, October 2020 (Ted Eytan, CC-BY-SA)

The University of Michigan Press publishes books in the humanities and social sciences that seek to make sense of society and culture. As part of this work, UMP is fostering a more inclusive academic publishing program, one that supports the University's core value of diversity in support of our shared goal of equity, justice, and inclusion.

The titles and resources featured below exemplify our work so far, but we recognize that combatting exclusion is a continual work in progress. As part of the University of Michigan Library, the Press is an integral part of the Diversity Strategic Plan, which sets out the practical steps we are taking to advance this equity, justice, and inclusion mission. As a proud member of the Association of University Presses, we also support and advance its work.


In order to create true equality of opportunity, equity is needed to make sure that everyone has the same chance of getting there. These books explore structural inequalities in core areas such as education and healthcare that make some people less able to succeed than others.

Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity

Ann Arnett Ferguson

black color with title and subtitle typed in white and red in bottom right corner

Rather than link the demise of urban schools to the troubles of inner-city minority youth, the book turns this issue on its head by highlighting how urban school practices can have a devastating impact on African-American children.

- Ann Arnett Ferguson, Author
Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity

Becoming Politically Engaged

Carolyn Barnes, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University and author of State of Empowerment: Low Income Families and the New Welfare State, recently spoke on the Ways & Means podcast about how government-funded programs can help parents become politically engaged.

Listen to the Podcast »

Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education

Jay Timothy Dolmage

Cover of Academic Ableism. Title in bold white and red fonts on a black background

Disability is central to higher education, and building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.

- Jay Dolmage
Author of Academic Ableism


Justice is the concept of fairness and social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. These books explore movements for social justice, including the battle for civil rights. They explore what they have accomplished and what is left still to do.

Clarence Lang

Clarence Lang is Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts and Professor of African American Studies at Penn State University. His research agenda broadly explores African American urban history and social movements in the Midwest and Border South.

Black America in the Shadow of the Sixties

Clarence Lang

Book cover for "Black America in the Shadow of the Sixties: Notes on the Civil Rights Movement, Neoliberalism, and Politics" by Clarence Lang. The design is composed of six differently sized boxes, alternating between white and shades of muted green, and in the bottom right box is a photo of former president Barack Obama seated alone inside a bus as he looks out the window, away from the camera.

A reassessment of the Sixties and its legacies is necessary to make better sense of black community, leadership, politics, and the prospects for social change today.

- Clarence Lang, Author
Black America in the Shadow of the Sixties

Conquering Heroines: How Women Fought Sex Bias at Michigan and Paved the Way for Title IX

Sara Fitzgerald

Title in bold yellow font on a background of newspaper clippings

University of Michigan is a leader in promoting campus diversity and supporting affirmative action in admissions all the way to the Supreme Court. But it wasn’t always so. And for the sake of the women who had inspired me, I wrote this book to make sure that the world would remember them, too.

- Sara Fitzgerald
Author, Conquering Heroines


Inclusion requires a sense of belonging. These books describe strategies for achieving that sense; in the classroom, in the community, and in wider society.

Everybody In, Nobody Out

Ken Fischer

Picture of orchestra on stage.

Everybody in, nobody out has become a mantra in trying to ensure that whatever I do is inclusive, accessible, and not reserved for the happy few.

- Maria Hansen
International Arts Leader

Intellectual Empathy: Critical Thinking for Social Justice

Maureen Linker

Two abstract human heads with a variety of colorful graphics emerging from the tops of their heads

Linker’s book stands on its own as a practical and scholarly guide to reasoning that addresses the difficult—and sometimes seemingly impossible—problem of reasoning together when people have very different viewpoints and social status.

- Catherine Hundleby
Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Windsor

University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection

Interested in reading more social justice titles? There are many more titles included in the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection (UMP EBC), a comprehensive collection of the University of Michigan Press’s scholarly ebooks for sale to libraries.

Learn More »