DEIA Resources on Voting Rights: Spring 2022 Edition

Voting Rights Resources

As part of TIE‘s plan to curate and publish quarterly resource lists, we are developing more thematically focused reading lists to join our existing library of DEIA resources. For Spring 2022, we turn to look at the contentious issue of voting rights. The following books and essays explore who has the right to vote freely, for whom this right is restricted, the myriad ways in which certain politicians and their donors are working to limit this right further, and the responses by many Americans to fight back and preserve our democracy. As always, we owe many thanks to our contributors for these recommendations. Download the PDF.

Fighting to Protect Democracy

  1. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006) by Barack Obama
  2. Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy (2013) by Gary May
  3. Democracy in One Book or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn’t, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think (2021) by David Litt
  4. Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism (2004) by Cornel West
  5. Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America (2022) by John Della Volpe
  6. The Fight to Vote (2016) by Michael Waldman
  7. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (2015) by Ari Berman
  8. “The Great Moving Right Show 1979” in Selected Political Writings: The Great Moving Right Show and Other Essays (2017) by Stuart Hall, edited by Sally Davison, David Featherstone, Michael Rustin, and Bill Schwarz
  9. Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (2020) by Stacey Abrams
  10. Ripped Apart: How Democrats Can Fight Polarization and Win (2020) by Steven Soft
  11. The Strange Career of Voting Rights in Texas” (2021) by Derek Charles Catsam
  12. Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy (2020) by David Daley
  13. Why Americans Still Don’t Vote: And Why Politicians Want It That Way (2000) by Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward

Race and Politics

  1. Appeal to Congress for Impartial Suffrage” (1867) by Frederick Douglass
  2. Amelia Boynton Robinson – A Biography: Matriarch of the Voting Rights Movement (2020) by Ronnie Barnes
  3. American Civilization (1993) by C. L. R. James, ed. by Anna Grimshaw and Keith Hart
  4. The Ballot or the Bullet” (1964) by Malcolm X
  5. Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority (2018) by Steve Phillips
  6. Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South (1968) by Anne Moody
  7. Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box (2020) by Evette Dionne
  8. Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (2019) by Ian Haney López
  9. Minority Report: Evaluating Political Equality in America (2008) by John D. Griffin and Brian Newman
  10. On Account of Race: The Supreme Court, White Supremacy, and the Ravaging of African American Voting Rights (2020) by Lawrence Goldstone
  11. A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story (1993) by Elaine Brown
  12. The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Ongoing Struggle for Justice (2016) By Gloria J. Browne-Marshall
  13. Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America (2021) by Keisha N. Blaine
  14. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (2010, orig. published 1967) by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  15. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (2016) by Carol Anderson

Voter Suppression

  1. Ballot Blocked: The Political Erosion of the Voting Rights Act (2017) by Jesse H. Rhodes
  2. The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy (2016) by Zachary Roth
  3. The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics (2019) by Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields
  4. Much Sound and Fury, or the New Jim Crow? (2022) edited by Michael A. Smith
  5. One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (2018) by Carol Anderson
  6. The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans’ Right to Vote (2012) by Tova Andrea Wang
  7. Thank You for Voting: The Maddening, Enlightening, Inspiring Truth About Voting in America (2020) by Erin Geiger Smith
  8. The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America (2018) by Bernard L. Fraga
  9. Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America (2020) by Gilda R. Daniels
  10. Unequal and Unrepresented: Political Inequality and the People’s Voice in the New Gilded Age (2018) by Kay Lehman Schlozman, Henry E. Brady, and Sidney Verba


Given that almost all US states restrict voting rights specifically for people who are incarcerated, and in some cases even for those who are on parole or probation, incarceration serves as a very particular form of voter suppression. The following books explore this issue in depth:

  1. Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (2005) by Angela Davis
  2. Counter-Colonial Criminology: A Critique of Imperialist Reason (2003) by Biko Agozino
  3. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing (2007) by Ruth Wilson Gilmore
  4. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th anniversary ed. (2020) by Michelle Alexander

TIE is grateful to the following Choice reviewers and their colleagues who graciously contributed specialized recommendations to the list above:

Dr. Biko Agozino's headshot

Dr. Biko Agozino

Professor, Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech
Twitter: @BikoZino

Dr. Kevin Anderson

Dr. Kevin Anderson

Professor, Political Science, Eastern Illinois University

Dr. Derek Catsam

Dr. Derek Catsam

Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the Humanities, History, The University of Texas, Permian Basin
Twitter: @dcatafrica

Dr. Joe Feagin

Dr. Joe Feagin

Ella C. McFadden Professor and Distinguished Professor, Sociology, Texas A&M University
Twitter: @JoeFeagin

Dr. Alexander Hernandez

Dr. Alexander A. Hernandez

Instructional Associate Professor, Sociology; Co-Director, Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, Texas A&M University

Dr. Teresa Marchant-Shapiro

Dr. Theresa Marchant-Shapiro

Professor, Political Science, Southern Connecticut State University

Dr. Leslie Taylor Grover

Dr. Leslie Taylor Grover

Associate Professor, Public Administration, Southern University and A&M College; President-Founder, Assisi House, Inc.
Twitter: @ltg_is_me

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