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Race & Justice Resources
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The work toward racial justice and the advancement of equity for all can start with a book, an article, a film, or an idea. Therefore, we have curated the following list of resources available to you through our catalog and beyond as your exploration and action around racial injustice moves forward.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Told through the author's own evolving understanding of the subject over the course of his life comes a bold and personal investigation into America's racial history and its contemporary echoes.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl in an America whose love for blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.
Library on the Go -- E-Book
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith
Smith's unflinching poetry addresses race, class, sexuality, faith, social justice, mortality, and the challenges of living HIV positive at the intersection of black and queer identity.
Hoopla -- E-Audiobook
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
When a pregnant Tish's boyfriend Fonny, a sculptor, is wrongfully jailed for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman, their families unite to prove the charge false
Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book tackles the sensitive, hyper-charged racial landscape in current America, discussing the issues of privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
An epic history covering the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s chronicles the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi
Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.
Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presents a journey through America's past and our nation's attempts at renewal in this look at the Civil War's conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation.
cloudLibrary -- E-Audiobook
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Gilly Segal
Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one black, one white, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States For Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Told from the point of view of Native Americans, challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how the policies against the indigenous peoples was genocidal and imperialist.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
Stamped--Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of this country, and the first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America's racist past and present.
Turning 15 on the road to freedom: my story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
Shares the story of the youngest person to complete the Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in Civil Rights events.
Looking for additional books? Click here to access the Young Adult Race and Justice Book archive.
Kid Activists by Robin Stevenson (Ages 9-12)
Across history, activists have worked, marched, and spoken out for equality and justice--and many had moving, relatable childhood stories. Martin Luther King Jr. argued with his dad about whether dancing was a sin. Harvey Milk had a passion for opera. Dolores Huerta was wrongly accused of plagiarizing. Kid activists tell these stories and more through engaging biographies and full-color illustrations on nearly every page.
Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up To Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz (Ages 6-10)
Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.
Todos Iguales by Christy Hale (Ages 9-12)
This nonfiction bilingual picture book, written in both English and Spanish, tells the empowering story of The Lemon Grove Incident--a major victory in the battle against school segregation, and a testament to the tenacity of an immigrant community and its fight for equal rights.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold (ages Pre-K-7)
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.
Blended by Sharon Draper (Ages 8-12)
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Library on the Go -- E-Audiobook
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (ages 4-7)
The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes (Ages 5 - 8)
Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee (Ages 8-12)
After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.
King of the Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes (ages Pre-K - 5)
A confident little boy takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, encouraging new students with a reassuring message about this exciting milestone.
Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson (Ages 6-8)
Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
Little leaders : bold women in black history by Vashti Harrison (Ages 8-12)
Based on her popular Instagram posts, author/illustrator Vashti Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African American women who shaped history.
New Kid by Jerry Craft (Ages 8-12)
Graphic Novel - Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Ages 8-12)
Spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, Candice discovers the letter that sent her grandmother on a treasure hunt, and with her new friend Brandon, sets off to expose the injustice once committed against a local African American family.