The racial justice movement has more than its share of book nerds. Across a multitude of genres, authors are making important contributions to the national conversation about race and racial justice by sharing stories, both real and imagined. 

So it makes sense that Race Forward will be launching it’s first-ever book fair at the biennial Facing Race conference in Detroit later this week. “Racial Justice Reads” will feature six prominent authors from a variety of corners of the movement, reading from and signing their books for conference goers. 

Books like “Stir It Up,” “Emergent Strategies,” “Decolonizing Wealth,” and “Reclaiming the American Dream” all draw on the real-life experiences of the authors working towards social justice. 

The below gallery features a serendipitous collection of the authors who happen to be at Facing Race. Authors who represent a wider literary world that is woven throughout the movements for racial justice. Come by the Riverside West in the Exhibition Hall of Cobo Center to see for yourself. 

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    Photograph: Courtesy of Tananarive Due

    Tananarive Due is the author of over 20 books, including the four-part African Immortals series.

    More unlikely but innovative places to find instruction, inspiration, and affirmation come from the classic Black Horror and Afro-futurist author, Tananarive Due. Best known for her long beloved African Immortals series, Due is also the child --literally-- of the Civil Rights Movement. 

    Due and her mother wrote a memoir about the work and sacrifice of her mother and community in the struggle for Black liberation in 1960s Florida and throughout the South. Due’s horror and haunting short stories reflect and delve into the very human grief and the terrifying loss of Black trauma in American life, and in particular, the loss Black mothers face in books like “My Soul to Keep” and “The Good House.”

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    Photograph: Courtesy of Edgar Villanueva

    Edgar Villanueva is the author of "Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance"

    Villanueva considers his recently released “Decolonizing Wealth” (yes, it is, in part, a memoir): “I just remember what it was like on the plane after the (2016) election on the way to Facing Race… But it is also an invitation and a question…How are we as progressives going to find a bridge to bring people in?”

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    Photograph: Courtesy of adrienne maree brown

    adrienne maree brown is the author of "Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds"

    “Emergent Strategy” has made a splash especially among facilitators, trainers, and organizational transformation leaders of movement spaces of all sizes, inspiring book clubs and study groups across the country. adrienne maree brown looks forward to the ongoing conversations: "It's so crucial that we read together, wrestle with ideas and get clear on what we believe and what we want to practice. I'm honored to be in the first author squad of Racial Justice Reads; I believe visionary fiction and emergent strategy are useful tools for everyone in this work."

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    Photograph: Courtesy of Ben Hecht

    Ben Hecht is the author of "Reclaiming the American Dream"

    Hecht, who is leader of the non-profit Living Cities, recognizes the need to reframe some of the most fundamental ideals in US culture: “The solutions for reclaiming the American Dream are already known, and just waiting to be more widely adopted. What we’re in desperate need of now is not just any one program or initiative but rather a “new normal.” From education and transit to homeownership and civic participation, this means fundamentally altering the system that have been failing us all—and most abysmally failing communities of color—for decades…”

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    Photograph: Courtesy of Rinku Sen

    Rinku Sen is the author of "Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing" and "The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization"

    Sen, former Executive Director of Race Forward, shares about the motivation behind her books: “It can be hard to find stories about organizing that are really detailed and show you the ugly parts and all of the things that happen *before* the win. These books do that…‘Stir It Up’ is designed for people who are starting out, [and] tells the stories of organizing start-ups.”

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    Photograph: Courtesy of Jeff Chang

    Jeff Chang is the author of "Can't Stop Won't Stop," "Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop," "Who We Be: The Colonization of America" and "We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation"

    Not to be left behind, our own Jeff Chang, founding staff member of Colorlines, Vice President of Narrative Arts and Culture at Race Forward, and longtime hip-hop historian, will be sharing from his works the classic “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” and his most recent release, “We Gon’ Be Alright”. Jeff’s books have been affirming tomes for those of us raised in hip-hop culture who see the through line between cultural production of our communities of color and our grassroots struggles for liberation.