Making Black Lives Matter

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Higher education instructors: If you’d like to use Making Black Lives Matter in your courses, please fill out our adoption form. Our team can set up a free download specifically for your course and students and also help you incorporate the text into your curriculum. 

Making Black Lives Matter is a book that is meant to be shared! Cognella’s goal in publishing this book is to amplify the voices of those who need to be heard and to provide readers free access to critical scholarship on topics that affect our everyday lives. We’re proud to provide free digital copies of the book to anyone who wants to read it. So, we encourage you to spread the word and share the book with everyone you know.

If you post about the book on social media, please use the hashtags #MakingBlackLivesMatter and #Cognella to join in on conversation! 

If you’d like a print copy of Making Black Lives Matter, you can purchase one at cost via Amazon or Pricing is set by the distributors and is intended to only cover printing and shipping costs. If Cognella receives any proceeds from the sale of print copies, the full amount will be donated to a nonprofit organization benefitting the Black community, to be determined by editor Kevin Cokley.

About the Book

At the heart of racist attitudes and behaviors is anti-Black racism, which simply put, is the disregard and disdain of Black life. Anti-Black racism negatively impacts every aspect of the lives of Black people.

Edited by renowned scholar and psychologist Kevin Cokley, Making Black Lives Matter: Confronting Anti-Black Racism explores the history and contemporary circumstances of anti-Black racism, offers powerful personal anecdotes, and provides recommendations and solutions to challenging anti-Black racism in its various expressions.

The book features chapters written by scholars, practitioners, activists, and students. The chapters reflect diverse perspectives from the Black community and writing styles that range from scholarly text supported by cited research to personal narratives that highlight the lived experiences of the contributors. The book focuses on the ways that anti-Black racism manifests and has been confronted across various domains of Black life using research, activism, social media, and therapy.

In the words of Cokley: “It is my hope that the book will provide a blueprint for readers that will empower them to actively confront anti-Blackness wherever it exists, because this is the only way we will progress toward making Black lives matter.”

Topics, Chapters, and Contributors Include:

Chapters and contributors include:

Introduction – Kevin Cokley, Ph.D.

Part I – Activism

Chapter 1: “Historical Overview of the Black Struggle: Factors Affecting African American Activism” – Benson G. Cooke, Edwin J. Nichols, Schuyler C. Webb, Steven J. Jones, and Nia N. Williams

Chapter 2: “Facilitating Black Survival and Wellness through Scholar-Activism” – Della V. Mosley, Pearis Bellamy, Garrett Ross, Jeannette Mejia, LaNya Lee, Carla Prieto, and Sunshine Adam

Chapter 3: “Confronting Anti-Black Racism and Promoting Social Justice: Applications through Social Media” – Erlanger A. Turner, Maryam Jernigan-Noesi, and Isha Metzger

Chapter 4: “#Say Her Name: The Impact of Gendered Racism and Misogynoir on the Lives of Black Women” – Jioni A. Lewis

Part II – Public Policy

Chapter 5: “A Tale of Three Cities: Segregation and Anti-Black Education Policy in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin” – Annika Olson

Chapter 6: “Policing the Black Diaspora: Colonial Histories and Global Inequities in Policing and Carceral Punishment” – Ricardo Henrique Lowe, Jr.

Chapter 7: “Building Health Equity among Black Young People with Lived Experience of Homelessness” – Norweeta G. Milburn and Dawn T. Bounds

Chapter 8: “Anti-Blackness and Housing Inequality in the United States: A History of Housing Discrimination in Major Metropolitan Cities” – Tracie A. Lowe

Part III – Community Voices

Chapter 9: “Values-Driven, Community-Led Justice in Austin: A Project” – Sukyi McMahon and Chas Moore

Chapter 10: “Leveraging the Power of Education to Confront Anti-Black Racism” – David W. Nowlin, Robert Muhammad, and Llyas Salahud-din

Chapter 11: “Let the Òrìṣà Speak: Traditional Healing for Contemporary Times” – Ifetayo I. Ojelade

Chapter 12: “The Victorious Mind: Addressing the Black Male in a Time of Turmoil” – Rico Mosby

Part IV – Student Voices

Chapter 13: “Unsung, Underpaid, and Unafraid: Black Graduate Students’ Response To Academic and Social Anti-Blackness” – Marlon Bailey, Shaina Hall, Carly Coleman, and Nolan Krueger

Chapter 14: “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” – Marlie Harris, Mercedes Holmes, Kuukuwa Koomson, and Brianna McBride

Chapter 15: “From Segregation and Disinclusion: The Anti-Black Experience of Graduate School” – Keoshia Harris and TaShara Williams

The Press Box

Watch the video from Making Black Lives Matter editor Kevin Cokley, Ph.D.

Press Release – Cognella Academic Publishing Releases Free Book, Making Black Lives Matter: Confronting Anti-Black Racism Edited by Kevin Cokley, Ph.D.:

Making Black Lives Matter: Confronting Anti-Black Racism received a 2021 Graphic Design USE American Inhouse Design Award. Read the press release:

Press Release – Cognella Announces Forthcoming Book Making Black Lives Matter: Confronting Anti-Black Racism Edited by Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. –

What Readers are Saying about Making Black Lives Matter:

“Dr. Cokley has done a tremendous job with this book. It is comprehensive in its scope, relevant to a broad range of communities and contexts, and addresses areas that are too often neglected all together, or minimally discussed. What I appreciate most about this book is that it is a like a one-stop shop that pulls together the multitude of lived experiences of Black communities in the United States. […] I was particularly pleased to see the expansion of the perspectives included in this book, including the inclusion of community members and students. Too often books such as this one only include academic, scholarly, work and perspectives, which can be limited and inaccessible. This book contains rich information that is accessible and relatable to a wide-range of audiences. […] I appreciated the diversity of voices and content in the book, which does a nice job of finding a rhythm between the challenges, while also lifting the voices and ancestral wisdoms of resilience, creativity, and thriving in spite of living in historical and currently in systems of oppression. The Black community has led the way for many other BIPOC communities in terms of our understanding our own sources of oppression, resilience, and creativity and this book captures those tenets well.”
Miguel Gallardo, Professor of Psychology, Program Director of Aliento, Pepperdine University
Director of Research and Evaluation, Multiethnic Collaborative of Community Agencies

“I greatly appreciate the premise of this book—to make available at this historical moment—a comprehensive text with multiple perspectives on anti-Black racism. I especially appreciate scholarship that covers such a complex topic from many different angles, including the history of racial trauma and inequities (e.g., enslavement, segregation, brutality, incarceration) and the persistent activism and critical analysis that characterizes African American communities and their allies. As I work on my own writing projects, I find myself consulting and citing the chapters in this text for their inclusion of so many intersectional insights and informative content about ‘making Black lives matter and confronting anti-black racism.’ Thank you for sharing this text with everyone!”
Katherine R. Allen, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Human Development and Family Studies, Virginia Tech
Editor Elect: Journal of Family Theory & Review

A Letter from the Publisher

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to share with you Making Black Lives Matter: Confronting Anti-Black Racism.

This book is extremely important to all of us at Cognella. The idea for it was borne in the summer of 2020 in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. As a company and as individuals, we were enraged and heartbroken by the senseless violence, the lives lost, and the horrific reminders that systemic racism is alive and well in our communities and our institutions.

While it has always been important for us as a publisher to give a voice to historically underrepresented authors in academia, we knew we could do even more. We wanted to leverage what we do best—publishing—and also make a difference in a meaningful way. We decided we could make a significant impact by publishing a free ebook that highlights the contemporary battle for equity and the lived experiences of those in the Black community.

We asked renowned scholar and psychologist Kevin Cokley, Ph.D., if he’d be interested in editing the book. We were elated when he said yes, and his vision and partnership have been invaluable. Making Black Lives Matter has transformed from a kernel of an idea into a timely and essential book that features chapters written by Black scholars, practitioners, activists, and students. It explores the history and contemporary circumstances of anti-Black racism, offers powerful personal anecdotes, and provides recommendations and solutions to challenge anti-Black racism in its various manifestations. In short, it’s the book we all need, here and now. 

Making Black Lives Matter is a book that is meant to be shared. Our goals in publishing this book were to amplify the voices of those who need to be heard and to provide readers free access to critical scholarship on a topic that affects their everyday lives. We’re proud to provide free digital copies of the book to anyone who wants to read it.

In the spirit of sharing knowledge, send Making Black Lives Matter to your friends, family, and colleagues. Discuss it in your next book club. Read the book to deepen your personal understanding of anti-Black racism in America and to cultivate or nurture your own anti-racist practices.

If you’re an educator, use this material in your courses. There’s no permission needed; start using it today if you’re so inclined. Share copies with peers at your institution. Leverage the material to support your institution’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

The only restrictions imposed upon this content are as follows: 1) no person or entity has the right to sell this book, or any portion of it; and 2) if you are a professor and using the book in your courses, the chapters are intended to be used in full. Please refrain from cutting and pasting or excerpting to ensure the integrity of the material is maintained.

We can’t express enough gratitude to Kevin Cokley and the phenomenal contributors who were willing to share their experiences, expertise, and unique viewpoints to bring this book to life. Additionally, this project has been fueled and championed by the passion of the Cognella team, who have worked hard to publish a project that we hope will support the greater good. A special thank you to Emely Villavicencio for designing a gorgeous, award-winning cover and Kassie Graves for her editorial leadership.

And while this book is an exceptional achievement for all involved, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about its potential impact on educators, institutions, individuals, and champions for change, we know that the work is not done. The fight for true equity is a marathon, not a sprint, and we will continue to do our part to promote justice and change for all underrepresented and marginalized groups, today and every day.

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Bassim Hamadeh
Cognella Founder and CEO