This week’s booklist features historical fiction and nonfiction.*
Los Angeles, 1992. It’s the end of senior year and Ashley Bennett and her friends are spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. When four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death, violent protests engulf LA and the city burns. Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal; her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. The model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents built starts to crumble. Her friends are spreading a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson. Ashley is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
Emma has taken care of the Butler children since Sarah and Frances’s mother, Fanny, left. Emma wants to raise the girls to have good hearts, as a rift over slavery has ripped the Butler household apart. Now, to pay off debts, Pierce Butler wants to cash in his slave “assets”, possibly including Emma.
While in Charlestown Prison in the 1940s, young Malcolm Little reads all the books in the library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam, and emerges as Malcolm X.
Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, 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.
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. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.
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.
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. This book takes you on that journey, showing how racist ideas started and were spread, and how they can be discredited.
*Book Blurbs from Wheaton Public Library Catalog