In light of recent (and past) events, below is a selection of books that call attention to systemic racism, antiracism, racial inequality, and civil rights. The library’s mission is to be a welcoming destination for ALL. Black Lives Matter.
March: Book One by John Lewis
This graphic novel is a first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
A 50th-anniversary tribute shares the story of the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in historic Civil Rights events
Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi
A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism—and antiracism—in America. This is NOT a history book. This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Cole
When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on him. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day Tyler is missing. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels, mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean
I am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
The ghost of fifteen-year-old Alfonso Jones travels in a New York subway car full of the living and the dead, watching his family and friends fight for justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer while buying a suit in a Midtown department store.
How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon
When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
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.
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.
All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor
Cassie Logan, is searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration. She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change.
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.
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods. She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference
Black Enough : Stories of Being Young and Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi
A collection of short stories explore what it is like to be young and black, centering on the experiences of black teenagers and emphasizing that one person’s experiences, reality, and personal identity are different than someone else.