Books for changing the world

Books Are For Everyone: A Banned Books Week Reading List

Banned Books Week—October 1st to 7th—is an annual celebration of the freedom to read, and the aspiration that books should be accessible to all. For Banned Books Week 2023, Haymarket is highlighting the unjust censorshop of political books which impacts countless incarcerated readers each year. 

We've put together a Books Are For Everyone reading list: ten books that reflect the spectrum of urgent writing often targeted for censorship by prisons across the country.

As part of our Books Not Bars program, this Banned Books week Haymarket will donate one book to someone who is incarcerated for every book purchased from this reading list.

Books are for everyone! Abolish prisons!

Powered by courageous hope and imagination, Abolition for the People provides a blueprint and vision for creating an abolitionist future where communities can be safe, valued, and truly free. “Another world is possible,” Kaepernick writes, “a world grounded in love, justice, and accountability, a world grounded in safety and good health, a world grounded in meeting the needs of the people.”

#SayHerName provides an analytical framework for understanding Black women's susceptibility to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, and it explains how—through black feminist storytelling and ritual—we can effectively mobilize various communities and empower them to advocate for racial justice.

What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing? Let This Radicalize You is a practical and imaginative resource for activists and organizers building power in an era of destabilization and catastrophe.

This beautiful new edition of Angela Davis’s classic Autobiography features an expansive new introduction by the author.

"The centuries-long attack on Black history represents a strike against our very worth, brilliance, and value. We’re ready to fight back. And when we fight, we win." —Colin Kaepernick

This groundbreaking anthology engages the theme of abolition feminisms, a political tradition grounded in radical anti-violence organizing, Black feminist and feminist of color rebellion, survivor knowledge production, strategies devised inside and across prison walls, and a full, fierce refusal of race-gender pathology and punitive control.

In this expansive companion to Abolition Feminisms Vol. I, contributors confront multiple paradigms of punitivity—the foundational logics of family, borders, heterosexuality, colonial violence, and more—to disengage us from root systems of carcerality. 

In this unforgettable memoir, Emerald Garner recounts her father’s cruel and unjust murder, the immense pain that followed, the pressures of an exploitative media, and her difficult yet determined journey as an activist against police violence.

A reflection on prison industrial complex abolition and a vision for collective liberation from organizer and educator Mariame Kaba.

“This is one of the best books on writing that I've ever read. I couldn't put it down.”
—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow 

Haymarket's Books Not Bars program connects people who are incarcerated with radical books and opportunities for political education. Find out more about our Books Not Bars program, make a donation, and/or request books for loved ones inside here.