Our Eyes Were Opened, Inc.

Annotated Bibliography for Recommended Reading

Berreby, David, Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2005.

Berreby shows how science tackles questions of group identity. The effects run deep, shaping lives and opportunities.


Clark, Ron, The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules for Discovering The Successful Student in Every Child, Hyperion, New York, 2003.

Clark fires up educating all children with passion. He breaks the norms to prove that all children can succeed in education.


Clark, Ron, The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck, 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2011.

A great resource that proves schools can have high poverty AND high performance.


Collins, Chuck and Felice Yeskel, Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity, New Press: New York, 2005.

“Filled with charts, graphs, and political cartoons, this book is an action-oriented, movement-building guide to closing the gap between the rich and everyone else in this country.”


Corbett, Steve and Brian Fikkert, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself, Moody Publishers: Chicago, 2009.

“This book reveals the painful truth about poverty. But it does more than tell you what not to do. The book moves from foundational concepts about poverty (Who are the poor?), to principles (Should we do relief, rehabilitation, or development?), to strategies (How can we help the poor domestically? Internationally?)”


DeParle, Jason, American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare, Viking Press, 2004.

Deparle looks at the history of welfare including the 1990s efforts “to end welfare as we know it.” He mixes analysis along with narratives about the lives and experiences of three women in Milwaukee.


Day, Dorothy, The Long Loneliness, Harper San Francisco, 1952

This is the autobiography of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.


Dorrell, Jimmy, Trolls and Truth, 14 Realities about Today’s Church That We Don’t Want to See, New Hope Publishers, Birmingham AL, 2006.

Dorrell, minister to the Church Under the Bridge in Waco, TX, begins each chapter with a story about one of the people who worships under the bridge and then tells Biblical truths which he learned from that person which traditional churches need to hear.


Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting By in America, Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, NY, 2001.


Ehrenreich is a reporter who lived for a year working for minimum wage. She shares her experiences and insights as a waitress, housemaid, and WalMart stocker.


Fischer, Louis, editor, The Essential Gandhi, An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas, Vintage Books, a division of Random House, New York, 1962.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable…We may ignore him at our own risk.”


Friere, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, The Continuing Publishing Company, New York, 1970, 1997.

Freire was exiled from Brazil. “In his work in the third world, he evolved a theory for the education of people who are illiterate, especially adults, based on the conviction that every human being, no matter how ‘ignorant’ or submerged in the ‘culture of silence,’ is capable of looking critically at the world in a dialogical encounter with others.”


Friend, Howard, Jr., Gifts of an Uncommon Life: The Practice of Contemplative Activism, The Alban Institute: Herndon ,VA., 2008.

This book of essays explores the gifts of integrity, presence, paradox, solitude and silence, patience, empowering, letting go, hope, outrage, and partnership.


Galbraith, John Kenneth, The Good Society, The Humane Agenda, Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, 1996.

“In defining the characteristics of a good society and creating the blueprint for a workable agenda, Galbraith allows for human weakness without compromising a humane culture, and recognizes barriers that hinder but do not defeat a responsible, stable, and compassionate future.”


Gladwell, Malcolm, Outliers: The Story of Success, Back Bay Books, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2008

“In understanding successful people, we have come to focus far too much on their intelligence and ambition and personality traits. Instead,…Gladwell argues…we should look at the world that surrounds the successful—their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.”


Haley, Alex, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Ballantine Books, New York, 1965.

“If there was any one man who articulated the anger, the struggle, and the beliefs of African Americans in the 1960s, that man was Malcolm X….[This] book expresses like none other the crucial truth about race and racism in our times.”


Hall, Ron and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent, Same Kind of Different as Me, Thomas Nelson, 2006.

            “This true story of a modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who brought them together beautifully and forcefully describes the changes each experienced through their relationships together.”


Karelis, Charles, The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can’t Help the Poor, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2007.

Karelis argues forcefully that the law of diminishing marginality is ineffective for understanding and reducing poverty. He uses a process of setting up current ways of understanding poverty and then argues why they do not work. He believes that transfers of money for the extremely poor and programs which make work pay are the combination for reducing poverty.


King, Martin Luther, Jr. Strength to Love, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1963.

This book best explains the central element of MLK’s philosophy of nonviolence.


Kozol, Jonathan, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, Perennial, an imprint of Harper Collins, NY, 1995.

Kozol spent a year interviewing and building relationships with people who live in South Bronx. His stories inspire with the glimmers of hope nurtured by people he came to know as well as give insights into the abject world of deprivation.


Lupton, Robert, Return Flight: Community Development Through Reneighboring Our Cities, FCS Urban Ministries, Atlanta, 1992, 1997

Lupton shows that “reneighboring” (professionals of all ages moving into blighted urban areas) is a legitimate technique for urban development and holds promising opportunities for the rebirth of our cities.


Lupton, Robert, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It), Harper One: New York, 2011.

Lupton says “Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people.”


Moore, Wes, The Other Wes Moore, One Name, Two Fates, Speigel and Grau Trade Paperbacks, New York, 2011.

Two kids, both named Wes Moore, were born blocks apart but one grew up to become a Rhodes Scholar and the other ended up serving a life sentence in prison. What happened?


O’Connor, Elizabeth, Journey Inward, Journey Outward, Harper and Row, New York, 1968.

“The author writes of the church’s vital balance of engagement with self, God, and others (the ‘journey inward’), and of how it proceeds from this solid base to involvement with the needs of the greater community (the ‘journey outward’).


Payne, Ruby, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, aha! Process, Inc., Highlands, TX, 2005 (fourth revised edition).

Payne breaks the population into three distinct socioeconomic groups and explores the differences between them. She offers insights into the realities of people who are poor.


Richardson-Moore, Deb, The Weight of Mercy: A Novice Pastor on the City Streets, Lion Hudson: Oxford England, 2012.

Richardson-Moore tells a powerful story of assuming—as her first pastorate—pastoral leadership in an urban church in the midst of homelessness, poverty, and challenge.


Sachs, Jeffrey D., The End of Poverty, Penguin Press, 2006

Sachs looks at extreme poverty in the world and considers why the poverty is there and what can be done. The problems are complex and fall within a combination of eight reasons for failure to achieve economic growth.


Shipler, David K., The Working Poor: Invisible in America, Random House, 2004

Shipler makes clear in this powerful, humane study, that the invisible poor are engaged in the activity most respected in American ideology—hard, honest work. But their version of the American Dream is a nightmare: low-paying, dead-end jobs; the profound failure of government to improve upon decaying housing, health care, and education; failure of families to break patterns of child abuse and substance abuse. Shipler exposes interlocking problems by taking the reader into the lives of the poor.


Templeton, Beth Lindsay, A Coat Named Mr. Spot, Avenida Books: Minneapolis, 2012

This children’s book helps parents and grandparents develop empathy in their children for classmates who may live in poverty.


Templeton, Beth Lindsay, Angelika’s Journal: What You Can Do About Poverty and Homelessness, Avenida Books, 2014.

This is a resource for those who want to understand the impact of poverty on children. Each chapter starts with a journal entry from Angelika. At the end of each chapter, a study guide and questions dig deeper into the issues that confront Angelika.


Templeton, Beth Lindsay, Loving Our Neighbor: A Thoughtful Approach to Helping People in Poverty, iUniverse, IN, 2008.

            Templeton shares insights and lessons gleaned from her 25 years of working with people in poverty and with congregations. She gives step by step approaches for reaching out with wisdom and compassion to people who are in need.


Templeton, Beth Lindsay, Understanding Poverty in the Classroom: Changing Perceptions for Student Success, Rowman and Littlefield Education, New York, 2011.

“People who live in poverty view the world differently than those who have adequate basic resources. Many educators tend to see the world through a middle-class worldview and therefore misinterpret behavior and ascribe negative connotations to their students’ actions. Although most teachers have a passion for education, their own life experiences can limit how they relate to the challenges come of their students face daily. This book provides interactive exercises to increase learning and specific tools to improve the educational process for teachers, students, and parents.”


Walls, Jeannette, The Glass Castle, Scribner, NY, 2005.

Walls tells the story of her growing up in a dysfunctional, yet intact family, and their experiences  with homelessness.


Wilkinson, Richard and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, Bloomsbury Press, New York, 2009.

This book “shows that one common factor links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their members. Not wealth, not resources, not culture, not climate, diet, nor form of government. Further, more unequal societies are bad for everyone within them—the rich and middle class as well as the poor.”


Volf, Miroslav, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, Abingdon Press: Nashville, 1996.

Volf writes of his struggles as a Croatian during the war: “I, a citizen of a world at war and a follower of Jesus Christ, could not hang up my commitments, desires, rebellions, resignations, and uncertainties like a coat on a coat rack before entering my study, to be taken up and put on when the work of the day was over. My people were being brutalized, and I needed to think through the response appropriate for me, a follower of the crucified Messiah.”


Woodson, Jacqueline, Brown Girl Dreaming, Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, 2014.

“In vivid free verse, [this] award-winning author…shares what is was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.” Part of her childhood was spent in the Nicholtown community in Greenville, SC.




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