Duke Reads

Discover your next read, connect with fellow Blue Devil book enthusiasts, stay in the know about Duke faculty and alumni publications, or enjoy our playlist of author interviews. Duke Reads is your one-stop shop for alumni book lovers, events, and resources.

Lifelong Learning Summer Reading List

Need something new on your nightstand? We've got you covered. We asked some of Duke's most admired faculty members to contribute to our popular Lifelong Learning summer reading list.

Book Events

icon of book with blue pages open Join alumni, and the Duke community, for engaging books and discussions.

Author Interviews

youtube channel Hear from Blue Devil authors as they share writing influences, introduce their work, and provide insights into your next new read. 

Student Summer Reads

blue globeParticipate in thought-provoking reads designed to introduce incoming freshmen to Duke’s academic climate and encourage intellectual dialogue. This year’s selection is “The Measure” by Nikki Erlick.

Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter is an essential guide to understanding how racism works and how racial inequality shapes American lives, ultimately offering a road-map for resistance for racial justice advocates and antiracists. Despite moments of “racial reckoning,” many of our political, social, and economic institutions are still embedded with racist policies and practices that devalue Black lives. Stay Woke directly addresses these stark injustices and builds on the lessons of racial inequality and intersectionality the contemporary movement for Black lives has challenged its fellow citizens to learn.

In this essential primer, Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith inspire readers to address the pressing issues of racial inequality, and provide a basic toolkit that will equip readers to become knowledgeable participants in public debate, activism, and politics.

This book offers a clear vision of a racially just society, and shows just how far we still need to go to achieve this reality. From activists to students to the average citizen, Stay Woke empowers all readers to work toward a better future for black Americans.


Candis Watts Smith is Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University, where she also received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. Professor Smith's expertise highlights the role race, racism, and structural inequality play in shaping the American political landscape. Smith is the author of dozens of articles as well as three books--Black Mosaic: The Politics of Black Pan-Ethnic Identity (2014); Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making Black Lives Matter (2019); and Racial Stasis: The Millennial Generation and the Stagnation of Racial Attitudes in American Politics (2020). Smith has translated her research for wider audiences, such as writing for the Washington Post, recording an Audible Original on the History of Politics & Race in American, and presenting a TED talk on three myths about racism that has been viewed over 2 million times. She is the Faculty in Residence in Southgate and the Faculty Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, a program designed to diversify the pipeline in humanities and social sciences graduate programs.