The Columbia University African American and African Diaspora Studies Department and Institute for Research in African American Studies understands the university as a site of critical engagement toward social transformation. Manning Marable, the founding director of IRAAS, argued that Black Studies scholarship and the Black intellectual tradition from which it emerges is characterized by work that is “descriptive,” “corrective” of a white supremacist record, and “prescriptive” toward human dignity and equity. We are a department and institute rooted in a rich Black intellectual tradition, which has always engaged the world’s most pressing moral and political issues. And we have done so with a moral and scholarly commitment to affirm and defend the dignity, safety, and equality of every human life.
In that spirit, we offer the following bibliography to help our students and members of our diverse intersecting communities better understand the broader context in which the recent events in Israel and Palestine emerged; and to interpret this ongoing crisis within the long tradition of Black intellectual thought and praxis. The best of the Black freedom struggle has always stood in solidarity with the most vulnerable and found common cause with people across space and time: from Jewish and Palestinian activists during the long civil rights movement, to Palestinian and Jewish freedom fighters within the current movement for Black lives. Our aim as scholars representing a broad spectrum of intellectual interests is to create space for critical thinking and thoughtful action rooted in the values of love, freedom, and justice for all.