Resources for Understanding the Constitution from a DEIA Perspective: Fall 2022 Edition

Diverse perspectives on the Constitution

The Toward Inclusive Excellence editorial team is excited to share a frequently requested resource guide on the United States Constitution. Assembled by eight outstanding experts in the field, readers have first-time access to a wealth of knowledge exploring a wide range of Constitutionally centered topics from a DEIA perspective. Many thanks to our contributors for developing this powerful and essential resource for our community. Download the PDF.

Understanding the Roots of the Constitution

  1. Allow Me To Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution (2022) by Elie Mystal
  2. The Case Against the Supreme Court (2014) by Erwin Chemerinsky
  3. A Citizen’s Guide to the Constitution and the Supreme Court: Constitutional Conflict in American Politics (2014) by Morgan Marietta
  4. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017) by Richard Rothstein
  5. Dark Bargain: Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution (2005) by Lawrence Goldstone
  6. Fracturing the Founding: How the Alt-Right Corrupts the Constitution (2019) by John E. Finn
  7. How to Read the Constitution and Why (2019) by Kim Wehle
  8. Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court (2021) Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner
  9. A People’ History of the Supreme Court: The Men and Women Whose Cases and Decision Have Shaped Our Constitution (1999) by Peter Irons
  10. Race, Racism, and American Law, 6th ed. (2008) by Derrick Bell
  11. The Savage Constitution” (2014) by Gregory Ablavsky*
  12. Slavery, Federalism, and the Structure of the Constitution” (1992) by Earl Maltz
  13. Slavery, Race and the American Revolution (1974) by Duncan J. MacLeod
  14. Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (2016) edited by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman
  15. Teaching Engaged Citizenship” series, written by Talia Brenner and edited by Katie McCarthy for the National Park Service
  16. The World the Slaveholders Made: Two Essays in Interpretation, 2nd revised ed. (1988) by Eugene D. Genovese

Protecting Minority Rights

  1. 13th (2016) film directed by Ava DuVernay
  2. 19th Amendment and Women’s Access to the Vote Across America” series (2019) edited by Tamara Gaskell for the National Park Service
  3. The Antiracist Constitution” (2022) by Brandon Hasbrouck
  4. The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation (2001) by Doris Fleischer and Frieda Zames
  5. Disabled Rights: American Disability Policy and the Fight for Equality (2003) by Jacqueline Vaughn
  6. Embodied Injustice: Race, Disability, and Health (2022) by Mary Crossley
  7. From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2004) by Michael J. Klarman
  8. Gender as a Core Value in Teaching Constitutional Law” (2011) by Cheryl Hanna*
  9. Integrating Doctrine and Diversity: Inclusion and Equity in the Law School Classroom (2021) edited by Nicole P. Dyszlewski, Raquel J. Gabriel, Suzanne Harrington-Steppen, Anna Russell, Genevieve B. Tung
  10. Minority Rights and the Electoral College: What Minority, Whose Rights?” (2021) by David Schultz
  11. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th anniversary ed. (2020) by Michelle Alexander
  12. Promises to Keep: African Americans and the Constitutional Order, 1776 to the Present, 2nd ed. (2020) by Donald Nieman
  13. Rights of Inclusion: Law and Identity in the Life Stories of Americans with Disabilities (2003) by David M. Engel and Frank M. Munger
  14. The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (2021) by Carol Anderson
  15. Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008) by Douglas A. Blackmon
  16. The Survival of Racism Under the Constitution” (1992) by Juan Williams
  17. This Land (2019-) podcast hosted by Rebecca Nagle
    • Exploring “how a string of custody battles over Native children became a federal lawsuit that threatens everything from tribal sovereignty to civil rights.”
  18. Transgender Tropes & Constitutional Review” (2019) by Jennifer L. Levi and Kevin M. Barry
  19. Where Is Your Body?: And Other Essays on Race, Gender, and the Law (1997) by Mari J. Matsuda
  20. Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, And The First Amendment (1993) by Mari J Matsuda, Charles R. Lawrence III, Richard Delgado, and Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw

Nuanced Legal Specifics for More Advanced Explorations

  1. Amending a Racist Constitution” (2021) by William J. Aceves
  2. The Anticanon” (2011) by Jamal Greene
  3. Constitutional Law — Do Black Lives Matter to the Constitution?” (2018) by Bruce K. Miller
  4. An Equal Rights Amendment for the Twenty-First Century: Bringing Global Constitutionalism Home” (2017) by Julie C. Suk
  5. Constitutional Literacy: A Core Curriculum for a Mulitcultural Nation (1993) by Toni Marie Massaro
  6. Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law (2022) edited by Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R. A. Lenhardt, and Angela Onwuachi-Willig
  7. Enslaved by Words: Legalities & Limitations of ‘Post-Racial’ Language” (2011) by SpearIt*
  8. How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights Is Tearing America Apart (2021) by Jamal Greene
  9. Originalism’s Race Problem” (2011) by Jamal Greene
  10. Profiling Originalism” (2011) by Jamal Greene, Stephen Ansolabehere, and Nathaniel Persily
  11. Race, Federalism, and Voting Rights” (2015) by Guy-Uriel E. Charles and Luis E. Fuentes-Rohwer*
  12. Reconstituting the Future: An Equality Amendment” (2019) by Catharine A. MacKinnon and Kimberlé W. Crenshaw
  13. Reimagining the Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives” (2020) by SpearIt*
  14. SCOTUS 2021: Major Decisions and Developments of the US Supreme Court (2022) edited by Morgan Marietta
  15. SCOTUS 2022: Major Decisions and Developments of the US Supreme Court (forthcoming in 2023) edited by Morgan Marietta
  16. Thirteenth Amendment Optimism” (2012) by Jamal Greene
  17. The U.S. Constitution: Reimagining ‘We the People’ as an Inclusive Construct” (2021) by Joan RM Bullock, Constance Fain, L. Darnell Weeden, and SpearIt
    • Transcript of a panel discussing policing practices in the US
  18. What’s Love Got To Do With It? Interest-Convergence as a Lens to View State Ratification of Post Emancipation Slave Marriages” (2014) by Danne Johnson*
  19. The White Supremacist Constitution” (2022) by Ruth Colker

*Titles added as of November 8, 2022

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

Mathilde Cohen headshot

Mathilde Cohen

George Williamson Crawford Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law

Candid photo of Robert Cottrell in an interview

Dr. Robert C. Cottrell

Professor Emeritus, History and American Studies, California State University, Chico

John Finn headshot

Dr. John E. Finn

Professor Emeritus, Government, Wesleyan University

Carolyn Grose headshot

Carolyn Grose

Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

headshot of Barbara Little

Dr. Barbara Little

Program Manager, Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation and Education; Project Director, NPS Mellon Humanities Fellows Program, National Park Service
Follow the National Park Service on Twitter @NatlParkService

Morgan Marietta headshot

Dr. Morgan Marietta

Professor, Political Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell

David Schultz headshot

Dr. David Schultz

Distinguished University Professor, Political Science and Legal Studies, Hamline University

SpearIt headshot


Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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Header image is a detail of This is Harlem by Jacob Lawrence. Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. © 2021 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. For more information, click here.