Diversity Related Resources

Books about Race

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Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Pushout The Criminalization of Blakc Girls in Schoolsby Monique Morris

The author chronicles the experiences of Black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

An African American and Latinx History of the United Statesby Paul Ortiz

Drawing on rich narratives and primary source documents, Ortiz links racial segregation in the Southwest and the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, known as International Workers’ Day, when migrant laborers—Chicana/os, Afrocubanos, and immigrants from every continent on earth—united in resistance on the first “Day Without Immigrants.” As African American civil rights activists fought Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizers warred against the suffocating grip of capitalism, Black and Spanish-language newspapers, abolitionists, and Latin American revolutionaries coalesced around movements built between people from the United States and people from Central America and the Caribbean. In stark contrast to the resurgence of “America First” rhetoric, Black and Latinx intellectuals and organizers today have historically urged the United States to build bridges of solidarity with the nations of the Americas.

Incisive and timely, this bottom-up history, told from the interconnected vantage points of Latinx and African Americans, reveals the radically different ways that people of the diaspora have addressed issues still plaguing the United States today, and it offers a way forward in the continued struggle for universal civil rights.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

The Color of Law A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated Americaby Richard Rothstein

The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods.

White Rage

White Rageby Carol Anderson

Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America’s first black President, led to the expression of white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal.

Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

Stamped From the Beginning

Stamped From the Beginningby Ibram X. Kendi

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America–it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

When They Call You a Terrorist A Black Lives Matter Memoirby Patrisse Kahn-Cullors

Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin.

Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country―and the world―that Black Lives Matter.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

I’m Still Here Black Dignity in a World Madeby Austin Channing Brown

Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.

In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteriaby Beverly Daniel Tatum

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Raceby Reni Eddo-Lodge

Award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge examines everything from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, from whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge, and counter racism. Including a new afterword by the author, this is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of color in Britain today, and an essential handbook for anyone looking to understand how structural racism works.

So You Want to Talk About Race

So You Want to Talk About Raceby Ljeoma Oluo

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy–from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans–has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair–and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

How to be an Antiracist

How to be an Antiracistby Ibram X. Kendi

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Carolina Skeletons

Carolina Skeletonsby David Stout

As a fourteen-year-old black boy living in 1940s South Carolina, Linus Bragg should know better than to follow the two bicycling white girls. But something about Sue Ellen and Cindy Lou compels him. Maybe it’s the way Cindy Lou speaks to him, or how Sue Ellen sits on her bike. Whatever the reason, he follows the girls into the woods. It’s the worst mistake he ever makes. When he comes into the clearing, both girls are dead and young Linus is the natural suspect. Forty years later, a nephew of Linus’s returns to South Carolina, curious about this dark moment in his family’s past. To find the fourth person who visited the clearing that day means reopening a sinister chapter of the small town’s history, which certain evil men had thought closed forever.

Carolina Skeletons is based on the 1944 case of George Stinney Jr., who, at the age of fourteen, became the youngest person executed in the United States during the twentieth century. After a hastily scheduled hearing only a few hours long, the jury quickly charged him with a double murder. He was put to death three months later. A haunting journey into America’s shameful past, Carolina Skeletons deftly explores how history’s skeletons rarely stay hidden forever.

White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

White Fragility Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racismby Robin DiAngelo

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

Me and White Supremacy Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestorby Layla Saad

This book helps you take the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources, giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases, whether you are using the book on your own, with a book club, or looking to start family activism in your own home.
This book will walk you step-by-step through the work of examining:

  • Examining your own white privilege
  • What allyship really means
  • Anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, and cultural appropriation
  • Changing the way that you view and respond to race
  • How to continue the work to create social change

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

by Michelle Alexander

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Just Mercy A Story of Justice and Redemptionby Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder.

Check Your Privilege: Live into the Work

Check Your Privilege Live into the Workby Myisha T. Hill, Brandy Varnado and Jennifer Kinney

In a society that promotes perfectionism, anti-racism work is made tougher, paralyzing those of us who want to do better with worry that we might make a mistake. This is the byproduct of patriarchal, white supremest cultures that value the work of the individual above all else; in contrast, Check Your Privilege values the collective, knowing that this vulnerable work requires us to lean into interdependence and imperfection. Check Your Privilege requires all of us to pause, making time for self-reflection and connection through relationships in order to move forward. In this book, five social activists offer a window into their journeys of Living Into the Work. Learning from their relationships with anti-blackness, white supremacy, privilege, and discrimination, we feel empowered to brave the next step on our Check Your Privilege journeys

James Baldwin: A Biography

James Baldwin A Biographyby David Leeming

A gay, African American writer who was born in Harlem, he found the freedom to express himself living in exile in Paris. When he returned to America to cover the Civil Rights movement, he became an activist and controversial spokesman for the movement, writing books that became bestsellers and made him a celebrity, landing him on the cover of Time.

In this biography, David Leeming creates an intimate portrait of a complex, troubled, driven, and brilliant man. He plumbs every aspect of Baldwin’s life: his relationships with the unknown and the famous, including painter Beauford Delaney, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, and childhood friend Richard Avedon; his expatriate years in France and Turkey; his gift for compassion and love; the public pressures that overwhelmed his quest for happiness, and his passionate battle for black identity, racial justice, and to “end the racial nightmare and achieve our country.”

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race

Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Raceby Derald Wing Sue

If you believe that talking about race is impolite, or that “colorblindness” is the preferred approach, you must read this book. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence debunks the most pervasive myths using evidence, easy-to-understand examples, and practical tools.

This significant work answers all your questions about discussing race by covering:

  • Characteristics of typical, unproductive conversations on race
  • Tacit and explicit social rules related to talking about racial issues
  • Race-specific difficulties and misconceptions regarding race talk
  • Concrete advice for educators and parents on approaching race in a new way

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Raceby Debby Irving

For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn’t understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one “aha ” moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.

Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History (Feminist Classics)

Beyond the Pale White Women, Racism, and History (Feminist Classics)by Vron Ware

How have ideas about white women figured in the history of racism? Vron Ware argues that they have been central, and that feminism has, in many ways, developed as a political movement within racist societies. Dissecting the different meanings of femininity and womanhood, Beyond the Pale examines the political connections between black and white women, both within contemporary racism and feminism, as well as in historical examples like the anti-slavery movement and the British campaign against lynching in the United States. Beyond the Pale is a major contribution to anti-racist work, confronting the historical meanings of whiteness as a way of overcoming the moralism that so often infuses anti-racist movements.

Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Killing Rage Ending Racismby bell hooks

One of our country’s premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race.

Killing Rage speaks to this imbalance. These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. They address a spectrum of topics having to do with race and racism in the United States: psychological trauma among African Americans; friendship between black women and white women; anti-Semitism and racism; and internalized racism in movies and the media. And in the title essay, hooks writes about the “killing rage”―the fierce anger of black people stung by repeated instances of everyday racism―finding in that rage a healing source of love and strength and a catalyst for positive change.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

White Like Me Reflections on Race from a Privileged Sonby Time Wise

This deeply personal polemic reveals how racial privilege shapes the daily lives of white Americans in every realm: employment, education, housing, criminal justice, and elsewhere.

Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise examines what it really means to be white in a nation created to benefit people who are “white like him.” This inherent racism is not only real, but disproportionately burdens people of color and makes progressive social change less likely to occur. Explaining in clear and convincing language why it is in everyone’s best interest to fight racial inequality, Wise offers ways in which white people can challenge these unjust privileges, resist white supremacy and racism, and ultimately help to ensure the country’s personal and collective well-being.

Latinos Facing Racism: Discrimination, Resistance, and Endurance

Latinos Facing Racism Discrimination, Resistance, and Enduranceby Joe R. Feagin and Jose A. Cobas

Feagin and Cobas provide the first in-depth examination of the everyday racism faced by middle-class Latinos. Based on a national survey, we learn how a diverse group of talented Latinos Mexican Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, Cuban Americans, and others respond to and cope with the commonplace white racial framing and discriminatory practices. Drawing on extensive interviewing, the authors address the recurring discrimination of ordinary whites directed against Spanish speakers and individuals with presumed Latino phenotypes. These incidents occur in everyday encounters, such as when male and female Latinos travel or shop. The book also chronicles the mistreatment that Latinos face from immigration officials when they cross US borders and from the police when they are racially profiled outside Latino areas. Critical and conforming Latino responses to recurring white discrimination are also extensively examined, as well as the diverse Latino reactions to remedial programs like affirmative action and to the ideal of assimilation into the proverbial US melting pot. “

American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear

American Islamophobia Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fearby Khaled A. Beydoun

The term “Islamophobia” may be fairly new, but irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims is anything but. Though many speak of Islamophobia’s roots in racism, have we considered how anti-Muslim rhetoric is rooted in our legal system?

Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now.

Citizens But Not Americans: Race and Belonging Among Latino Millennials

Citizens But Not Americans Race and Belonging Among Latino Millennialsby Nilda Flores-González

Latino millennials constitute the second largest segment of the millennial population. By sheer numbers they will inevitably have a significant social, economic, and political impact on U.S. society. Beyond basic demographics, however, not much is known about how they make sense of themselves as Americans. In Citizens but Not Americans, Nilda Flores-González examines how Latino millennials understand race, experience race, and develop notions of belonging. Based on nearly one hundred interviews, Flores-González argues that though these young Latina/os are U.S. citizens by birth, they do not feel they are part of the “American project,” and are forever at the margins looking in. The book provides an inside look at how characteristics such as ancestry, skin color, social class, gender, language and culture converge and shape these youths’ feelings of belonging as they navigate everyday racialization.

The voices of Latino millennials reveal their understanding of racialization along three dimensions―as an ethno-race, as a racial middle and as ‘real’ Americans. Using familiar tropes, these youths contest the othering that negates their Americanness while constructing notions of belonging that allow them to locate themselves as authentic members of the American national community. Challenging current thinking about race and national belonging, Citizens but Not Americans significantly contributes to our understanding of the Latino millennial generation and makes a powerful argument about the nature of race and belonging in the U.S.

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

by C. Riley Snorton

In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials—early sexological texts, fugitive slave narratives, Afro-modernist literature, sensationalist journalism, Hollywood films—Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In tracing the twinned genealogies of blackness and transness, Snorton follows multiple trajectories, from the medical experiments conducted on enslaved black women by J. Marion Sims, the “father of American gynecology,” to the negation of blackness that makes transnormativity possible.

Finding a Way Home: Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equality by Larry Dane Brimner

Finding a Way Home Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equalityby Larry Dane Brimner

Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Jeter Loving wanted to live out their married life near family in Virginia. However, the state refused to let them–because Richard was white and Mildred was black. After being arrested and charged with a crime, the Lovings were forced to leave their home–until they turned to the legal system. In one of the country’s most prominent legal battles, Loving v. Virginia, the Lovings secured their future when the court struck down all state laws prohibiting mixed marriage.

Any Means Necessary: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

Any Means Necessary The Life and Legacy of Malcolm Xby Charles Rivers Editors

What everyone can agree on, however, is that Malcolm X was one of the most influential black leaders of the 20th century. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, while much of the nation’s attention was given to peaceful protests, boycotts, and figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., a young man named Malcolm Little was rising through the ranks to become one of the leaders and public faces of the Nation of Islam. As Malcolm X, he would come to be one of the most controversial figures in 20th century America, hailed as a bold human rights activist by some and reviled as a violent racist by others. Any Means Necessary: The Life and Legacy of Malcolm X looks at the turbulent life and legacy of the famous leader, while humanizing the man and discussing lesser known facts about him, including how he chose the name Malcolm X, and whether he was advocating more peaceful protest at the end of his life.

Dare to Dream: The True Story of a Civil Rights Icon

Dare to Dream The True Story of a Civil Rights Iconby Anna Revell

Not only was Martin Luther King responsible for some of the most dramatic political opposition to segregation and racism, he is the reason that civil disobedience was the main tool of the Civil Rights Movement. King was a pacifist and urged his followers to follow suit. He was able to gather the courage to do this by studying the ways of the indomitable Mahatma Gandhi and the incredible victories achievable by using only peaceful techniques. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. This book is his story.

The Colored Waiting Room: Empowering the Original and the New Civil Rights Movements; Conversations Between an MLK Jr. Confidant and a Modern-Day Activist

The Colored Waiting Room Empowering the Original and the New Civil Rights Movements Conversations Between an MLK Jr. Confidant and a Modern-Day Activistby Kevin Shird and Nelson Malden

In 1966, Nelson Malden ran for public office in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the first African American to do so. Campaigning for him was his friend Martin Luther King Jr., who had organized protests and had written the speeches that would help criminalize racial segregation and discrimination from his seat in the Malden Brothers Barbershop.

In The Colored Waiting Room, modern-day activist Kevin Shird heads from his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland to Montgomery to meet eighty-four-year-old Nelson Malden and contextualize the significance of the killings of Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin as well as the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Ferguson, Baltimore, and around the country. The result is a groundbreaking understanding of today’s burgeoning second-wave civil rights movement and the urgent actions necessary for racial equality and change. Shird raises the profound question of whether blacks are still in a colored waiting room, biding their time and waiting for racial equality to be the norm. He also shares compelling personal realizations on the lost connection between African American youth and their ancestors’ fight against slavery and Jim Crow laws, asking throughout this pivotal volume, how far can we go without knowing where we’ve come from?

Understanding Racism in America: The Unspoken Truth About a Persistent Divide in Black and White

Understanding Racism in America The Unspoken Truth About a Persistent Divide in Black and Whiteby Robin Pace

Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America—it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as the author Robin Pace argues, racist ideas have a long history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving book, Pace chronicles the highlights of the story of anti-black racist ideas and their astounding power over the course of American history.

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother

The Color of Water A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Motherby James McBride

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother’s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. “God is the color of water,” Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life’s blessings and life’s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth’s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University. Interspersed throughout his mother’s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

Native Son

Native Sonby Richard Wright

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

Mexican White Boy

Mexican White Boyby Matt de la Peña

Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound, he loses it.

But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny is brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. But to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see–the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.

All American Boys

All American Boysby Jason Reynolds

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Mixed Feelings: Poems and Stories

Mixed Feelings Poems and Storiesby Avan Jogia

Mixed Feelings is an exploration of what it means to be a mixed-race person in today’s world. Drawing on the author’s own life story as well as interviews he’s conducted with friends and strangers, explores his complicated emotions around race, identity, religion, and family through poetry and imagery.  Mixed Feelings is a raw and moving investigation into identity.

Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural

Half and Half Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Biculturalby Claudine Chiawei O’Hearn (Editor)

As we approach the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common. Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one’s identity or origin. Simple questions like What are you? and Where are you from? aren’t answered—they are discussed. These eighteen essays, joined by a shared sense of duality, address the difficulties of not fitting into and the benefits of being part of two worlds.  Through the lens of personal experience, they offer a broader spectrum of meaning for race and culture. And in the process, they map a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division.

Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity

Black, White, Other Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identityby Lise Funderburg

The groundbreaking oral history, Black, White, Other, made its mark by being the first book to ask black/white biracial people to speak for themselves on matters of race and identity. In the book, journalist Lise Funderburg presents the lives and views of forty-six adult children of black-white unions. Topics include love and marriage, racism in the workplace, religion, community, and bringing up children in a racially divided world.

Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide

by Sarah Ratliff and Bryony Sutherland

Good, bad, ugly and illuminating—everyone has an opinion on race. As biracial people continue trending, the discussion is no longer about a singular topic, but is more like playing a game of multi-level chess. The anthology, Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide, cites the experiences of twenty-four mixed-race authors and parents of multiracial children of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world. It blends positivity, negativity, humor, pathos and realism in an enlightening exploration of what it means to be more than one ethnicity.

How to be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide

How to be Less Stupid About Race On Racism White Supremacy and the Racial Divideby Crystal Marie Fleming

How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance—and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change.

Why Race Still Matters

by Alana Lentin

This powerful refutation is a call to notice not just when and how race still matters but when, how and why it is said not to matter. Race critical scholar Alana Lentin argues that society is in urgent need of developing the skills of racial literacy, by jettisoning the idea that race is something and unveiling what race does as a key technology of modern rule, hidden in plain sight. Weaving together international examples, she eviscerates misconceptions such as reverse racism and the newfound acceptability of ‘race realism’, bursts the ‘I’m not racist, but’ justification, complicates the common criticisms of identity politics and warns against using concerns about antisemitism as a proxy for antiracism. Dominant voices in society suggest we are talking too much about race. Lentin shows why we actually need to talk about it more and how in doing so we can act to make it matter less.

Books about Race for Kids

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Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy

Chocolate Milk, Por Favor Celebrating Diversity with EmpathyBy Maria Dismondy

It’s Gabe’s first day of school in America, and he doesn’t speak English. Chocolate milk (Gabe’s favorite drink) is a recurring symbol in this heartwarming story about the importance of making friendships and helping others, and the power of kindness when working to overcome the language barrier. This story shows how a simple act of kindness is worth more than a thousand words. Kindness really is a universal language.

Ages 4 – 8

When We Were Alone

When We Were Aloneby David A. Robertson

A young girl learns about family and heritage in this gentle picture book about the legacy of Native American boarding schools. Working in the garden with her grandmother, a pigtailed girl asks why her “Nókom” wears colorful clothing and her hair in a long braid. Her grandmother explains that as a child, she was sent far away from her family to a school where she was forced to wear plain clothing and chop off her hair. “They wanted us to be like everyone else,” she explains. But when they were alone, the children would cover themselves in the fall leaves and braid grasses into their hair in order to recapture the identities they left behind. As her grandmother speaks Cree to a passing bird and sits laughing with her brother, she shares how it feels to be forbidden to speak the only language you know and how stolen moments with a sibling can feel like a lifeline to home.

Ages 4-8

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg The Man Who Built a LibraryBy Carole Boston Weatherford

Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro-Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and to bring to light the achievements of people of African descent throughout the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big that it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Ages 4 – 8

Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story

Lailah’s Lunchbox A Ramadan Storyby Reem Faruqi

Lailah recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Peachtree City, GA, and while she misses her friends back in the Middle East, she is very excited to be old enough to fast during Ramadan. However, being new is one thing, but being different is another. What if her class doesn’t know what Ramadan is? What if she is the only one fasting? Lailah falters when it is time to give Mrs. Penworth a note asking that she be excused from lunch, and she has to endure the tempting smells of food and kind offers of her classmates to share lunch. After escaping to the foodless library, the school librarian encourages Lailah to write down her feelings and share them with her teacher. After all, who knows what could come of sharing her culture? The large, often full-page watercolor illustrations provide gentle details that add depth to the text. A note and glossary round out the story, giving context from the author’s life and information about Islamic culture.

Ages 5 – 8

The Other Side

The Other Sideby Jacqueline Woodson

Clover, the young African-American narrator, lives beside a fence that segregates her town. Her mother instructs her never to climb over to the other side because it isn’t safe. But one summer morning, Clover notices a girl on the other side. Both children are curious about one another, and as the summer stretches on, Clover and Annie work up the nerve to introduce themselves. They dodge the injunction against crossing the fence by sitting on top of it together, and Clover pretends not to care when her friends react strangely at the sight of her sitting side by side with a white girl. Eventually, it’s the fence that’s out of place, not the friendship.

Ages 5 – 8

When I was Eight

When I was Eightby Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Gabrielle Grimard

An eight-year-old Inuit child from Banks Island in far northern Canada desperately wanted to learn to read English like her older sister, but her father refused to let her attend the Indian Residential School. However, her persistent pleading wore away his resistance, and he consented. They made the five-day trek to the Catholic-run school where Olemaun was stripped of her Native identity-her hair, her clothes, even her name. She was allowed to keep only her beloved copy of Alice in Wonderland. Renamed Margaret, she clung to her desire to learn to read, enduring humiliation and harsh treatment from cruel nuns and unkind classmates. She instinctively knew that literacy was powerful, and she used it to give her courage and “to carry [her] far away from the laughter.”

Ages 6 – 7

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

by Paula Yoo and Lin Wang

Shining Star The Anna May Wong StoryAlthough Wong’s days were filled with backbreaking work as she helped in her family’s San Francisco Chinese laundry, her daydreams were replete with visions of life as a film star. Anna saw every movie she could, and eventually, despite her parents’ opposition, she became a movie extra. As a young woman in the 1920s, beautiful and unusually tall, she was given supporting roles, but, distressed by the stereotypical characters Chinese actors were forced to portray, she decided to pursue her career in Europe. When she returned to Hollywood in 1935, she discovered that nothing had changed.

After a visit to China, Wong returned to the U.S. with a renewed determination to eliminate the old Asian stereotypes that had become film standards. Her efforts yielded her some wonderful roles and helped open doors for other Asian-American actors.

Ages 6 – 9

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family Fight for Desegregation

Separate is Never Equal Sylvia Mendez & Her Family Fight for Desegregationby Duncan Tonatium

An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Ages 6-9

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement

If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movementby Gwendolyn Hooks

Joyce Jenkins has recently moved to a new town with her family, and she will soon be attending a segregated school for the first time. Meanwhile, Connie Underwood is trying to figure out what her twin brothers are planning in secret. Readers will follow along with the two girls as they find themselves in the middle of a civil rights demonstration, and find out how the

fight for equality changed the country forever.

Ages 7-9

Civil Rights Then and Now: A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in America

Civil Rights Then and Now A Timeline of the Fight for Equality in Americaby Kristina Brooke Daniele

This civil rights book for kids is simultaneously a guide for parents and educators who worry about broaching the topics of racism, discrimination, and prejudice. The book presents the reader with facts, biographies, and landmark Supreme Court cases in an easily digestible manner and within a historical context. The minor editorializing helps to guide readers to understand the events that have shaped the United States and then challenges them to become advocates for change. This information-packed social justice book and the civil rights timeline introduces readers to a selection of many critical civil rights movement events in black history. From the embarrassing origins of Slavery to the modern struggle against systemic and overt oppression, this book will spark conversations about subjects that we can no longer afford to ignore.

Ages 9 and up

My Family Divided

My Family Dividedby Diane Guerrero

Diane Guerrero was a young girl living in Boston. One day, while Guerrero was at school, her undocumented immigrant parents were taken from their home, detained, and deported. Guerrero’s life, which had been full of the support of a loving family, was turned upside down.

Reflective of the experiences of millions of undocumented immigrant families in the United States, Guerrero’s story in My Family Divided, written with Erica Moroz, is at once heartbreaking and hopeful.

Ages 10-14

Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice

Claudette Colvin Twice Towards Justiceby Phillip Hoose

“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.'” – Claudette Colvin 

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

Ages 12 – 16

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

I’m Not Dying With You Tonightby Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

Ages 12 – 17

Shades of People

Shades of Peopleby Shelley Rotner and Shella Kelly

A celebration of the diversity of everyday life, this exploration of one of our most noticeable physical traits pairs simple text with vibrant photographs. At school, at the beach, and in the city, diverse groups of children invite young readers both to take notice and to look beyond the obvious. For even younger readers, this title has also been adapted as a board book, All Kinds of People.

Ages 2 – 4

What’s the Difference?

What’s the Differenceby Doyin Richards

This book introduces children to diversity by teaching them that seeing and accepting our differences — instead of ignoring them or pretending they don’t exist.

Ages 3-5

Skin Like Mine

Skin Like Mineby LaTashia M. Perry

Skin Like Mine is a fun, easy-to- read for beginners as well as advanced readers. An entertaining yet creative way to address and celebrate diversity among young children.

Ages 3-6

Black is a Rainbow Color

Black is a Rainbow Colorby Angela Joy

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall’s back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.

Ages 4-8

The Skin You Live In

The Skin You Live Inby Michael Tyler

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self- esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose. Vivid illustrations of children’s activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake.

Ages 4-8

Teach Your Dragon About Diversity

Teach Your Dragon About Diversityby Steve Herman

Truly a cute story that’s appropriate for young kids. The story makes them aware of the differences in all beings and the need to accept and respect others, regardless of diversity. Mr.

Herman does so with the help of the story’s protagonist, Drew’s pet dragon name Diggory Doo, who is saddened when he realizes that he is different from everyone else. But when Drew points out how all kids are actually different from one another in a multitude of ways, the dragon learns that diversity is a   good thing. An important book for kids to read.

Ages 4 – 8 Years

All Are Welcome

All Are Welcomeby Alexandra Penfold

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.

Ages 4-7


Rosaby Nikki Giovanni

In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The events of that day are stirringly rendered in this evocative picture book, making it an excellent way to teach young ones about this incredible moment in history.

Ages 5–8

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History

Frederick Douglass The Lion Who Wrote Historyby Walter Dean Myers

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery. Despite the odds, he fought for his education and eventually escaped enslavement. He became a powerful leader in the abolitionist movement, a prolific writer, and a social reformer.

Ages 5–8

The Day You Begin

The Day You Beginby Jacqueline Woodson

There are many ways kids can feel like outsiders — and it takes courage for them to start sharing their stories. This book illuminates ways we may feel different… and the beauty in having a conversation about it.

Ages 5–8

A Kids Book About Racism

A Kids Book About Racismby Jelani Memory

Yes, this really is a kids book about racism. Inside, you’ll find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens.

This is one conversation that’s never too early to start, and this book was written to be an introduction for kids on the topic.

Ages 5-9

Something Happened in Our Town

Something Happened in Our Townby Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard

A Black man has been shot by a white policeman, and two children — one Black, one white — are trying to understand. This necessary story seeks to open a discussion on racism and racial profiling. Parents can find a thorough note near the  end, child-friendly definitions, sample dialogues, and tips for conversation.

Ages 6-8

We March

We Marchby Shane W. Evans

On August, 28, 1963, the world saw more than 250,000 people gather at the nation’s capital to march. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and the day he shared it with the world was a day of a remarkable protest. This book is an engaging introduction to the power and importance of protesting injustice.

Ages 6–8

The Story of Ruby Bridges

The Story of Ruby Bridgesby Robert Coles

In 1960, Ruby, a young African-American girl, entered a whites- only school in New Orleans. Even though she had to pass  through crowds of angry protesters, Ruby bravely walked into   the school. Every day for months, Ruby persevered. White parents pulled their children out of the school, and Ruby and her teacher were alone in the classroom. Still, Ruby and her family would not give in.

Ages 6-8

Can I Touch Your Hair?

Can I Touch Your Hairby Irene Latham and Charles Waters

Irene and Charles have been assigned to work together on a fifth- grade poetry project, but they don’t know each other — and they’re not sure if they’ll get along. Cowritten by Charles Waters, who is Black, and Irene Latham, who is white, this picture book is designed to foster dialogue about race.

Ages 8–12

A Good Kind of Trouble

A Good Kind of Troubleby Lisa Moore Ramée

Shayla doesn’t want any trouble. But when she wears an armband for Black Lives Matter to school, she finds herself in the middle of a student-wide conflict. Lines are drawn, and Shayla must decide: Can she break the rules to do what’s right?

Reviewers recommend this as a powerful alternative for young readers who are not quite old enough for The Hate U Give.

Ages 8–12

Ghost Boys

Ghost Boysby Jewell Parker Rhodes

After being killed by a white police officer, Jerome becomes a ghost. He soon crosses paths with Emmett Till — another Black boy from a different era who has a similar story. As Jerome witnesses the turmoil in his community, he discovers one living person can see him: the daughter of the white officer who shot him.

Ages 8-12

Clean Getaway

Clean Getawayby Nic Stone

Scoob’s spring break just got canceled, and now his grandma is hauling him off on a roadtrip across the United States. Along the way, he’ll discover that the world isn’t always accepting of people who look like him — and not everyone is what they seem, including his grandma. Clean Getaway is good introduction to the history of segregation in the American South.

Ages 8-12

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness

Not My Idea A Book About WhitenessBy Anastasia Higginbotham

A white child wrestles with the way her family responds to learning a white police officer killed a Black man in their town. The protagonist takes the opportunity to learn about white supremacy at her local library, coming to understand the active role white people must play in ridding America of racism.

Ages 8-12

For Black Girls Like Me

For Black Girls Like Meby Mariama J. Lockington

Makeda is a Black girl adopted into a white family. Some days, she feels like a question mark. When a move across the country separates her from her only friend, she finds that question mark getting bigger and bigger. Through music, dreaming, and secret messages, she discovers ways to carve out her own space and claim her identity.

Ages 9-11


Ghostby Jason Reynolds

When Ghost is chosen to join his elite middle school track team, it could mean a chance at the Junior Olympics. But he and his teammates couldn’t be more different, and they can’t stop clashing on and off the track. Worse, even though Ghost is incredibly talented, he’s not running to win — he’s running to escape.

Ages 10-13

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

The Stars Beneath Our Feetby David Barclay Moore

After his brother is killed in gang violence, Lolly is just trying to survive. But a gift of Legos and an offer to build something in the community center may open up a different future — and soon Lolly stands at a crossroads that will shape his life.

Ages 10 and up

This Book is Anti-Racist

This Book is Anti-Racist

Where does racism come from? What does it look like? And how can we step in when we see it? In 20 unique lessons that span the scope of history and current events, This Book Is Anti-Racist challenges readers to confront their own biases and gives them the tools they need to make positive change. Brimming with true stories of courage and compassion and complemented by activities to help you bring  the lessons into your own life.

Ages 10 and up

Dear Martin

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Book 1 of 2 in the Dear Martin Series.

Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up  anymore? He  starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Ages 15 and up

Black Boy White School

Black Boy White Schoolby Brian F. Walker

Anthony has never been outside his rough neighborhood when he receives a scholarship to Belton Academy, an elite prep school in Maine. But at Belton things are far from perfect. Everyone calls him “Tony,” assumes he’s from Brooklyn, expects him to play basketball, and yet acts shocked when he fights back.

As Anthony tries to adapt to a world that will never fully accept him, he’s in for a rude awakening: Home is becoming a place where he no longer belongs.

Ages 15 and up

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Ages 15 and up


1619 – New York Times 

Code Switch: A Decade of Watching People Die – Shereen Marisol Meraji & Gene Demby 22 min. 

Code Switch: A Tale of Two School Districts – Shereen Marisol Meraji & Gene Demby 30 min. 

Code Switch: Can We Talk About Whiteness? – Shereen Marisol Meraji & Gene Demby 37 min. 

Opinion: My Father Stood for the Anthem for the Same Reason that Colin Kaepernick Sits – 4 min 

Seeing White – Scene on Radio  

The Power of Martin Luther King Jr’s Anger – 5 min.  

Your Body Being Used – 6 min. 

We Live Here: At the Table & Dismissed – St. Louis Public Radio & PRX 28 min. 

When Calling the Po-Po is a No-No – 4 min. 

When Civility is Used as a Cudgel Against People of Color – 6 min. 

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28 Common Racists Attitudes & Behaviors by Debra Leigh 

103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack 

After 2016 Election, Campus Hate Crimes Seemed to Jump.  Here’s What the Data Tells Us by Dan Bauman 

Confronting the Racial-Colonial Foundations of US Higher Education by Sharon Stein 

How to be Wrong by Ijeoma Oluo 

How the Karen Meme Confronts History of White Womanhood by Cady Lang 

It’s Time to Confront the ‘Karen’ in All of Us: Unpacking White Privilege by Nathalie Olah 

Language of Appeasement by D-L Stewart 

Restoring to Wholeness: Racial Healing for Ourselves, Our relationships and Our Communities by W.K. Kellogg Foundation  

The Complexity of Identity by Beverly Daniel Tatum 

Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research-Based Perspective by Jeffrey F. Milem, Mitchell J. Chang, and Anthony Lising Antonio 

The 1619 Project by Jake Silverstein 

The Case for Reparations – by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

The Costs of Racial Color Blindness by M.I. Norton & E.P. Apfelbaum 

The Intersectionality Wars – by Jane Coaston  

The Plight of the Black Academic by A.H. Wingfield 

The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility by A. Kegler 

White Academia: Do Better by Jasmine Roberts 

White People: I Don’t Want You to Understand Me Better, I Want You to Understand Yourselves by Ijeoma Oluo 

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh 

White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun 

Who Gets to be Afraid in America by Ibram X. Kendi 

Why Staff Diversity Matters in Higher Education by Josh Young 

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13th – Ava DuVerney  

A Conversation on Race: A Series of Short Films About Identity in America – New York Times 

How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion – TED Talk  

How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Towards Them – TED Talk 

How We’re Priming Some Kids for College and Others for Prison – TED Talk  

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson  

Let’s Get to the Root of Racial Injustice – TED Talk  

TEDx Talk – Public Safety is Antiblack – Desmond Cole 

The Costs of Racial Color Blindness (M.I. Norton & E.P. Apfelbaum) 

Time: The Kalief Browder Story  Netflix / Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason & Nick Sandow) 

Understanding My Privilege – Sue Borrego / TEDxPasadenaWomen 

When They See Us – Netflix / Ava DuVerney  

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