Resources for Understanding Racial Issues

In response to the violent and senseless death of George Floyd, the protests for racial equality, and a desire for unity, the staff of the New Milford Public Library has compiled the following resources about racial issues. We hope this information will be helpful in understanding social justice. More content will be added soon.

Black Lives Matter: From Hashtag to Movement https://www.adl.org/education/educator-resources/lesson-plans/black-lives-matter-from-hashtag-to-movement

The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-Being of the Nation
https://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/webinars/racism-and-health

Let’s Fight Racism
https://www.un.org/en/letsfightracism/

Simmons University : Anti-Racism
https://simmons.libguides.com/anti-oppression/anti-racism

Civil Rights Martyrs
https://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/civil-rights-memorial/civil-rights-martyrs

Social Justice: Fifteen titles to address inequity, equality, and organizing for young readers
https://www.slj.com?detailStory=great-books-social-justice-middle-grade

National Museum of African American History and Culture “Talking About Race” Web Portal
https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

Talking to kids about race

Live Stream : “The Hate U Give” is available for free to stream on all digital platforms. The 2018 film, based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas, tells the story of Starr Carter, who lives in two worlds: the poor, black neighborhood where she resides and the mostly white prep school she attends. This uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a policeman. Facing pressures from all sides, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. At the time of this post, all viewers have to do to stream the movie for free is to search for it on Google Play, Amazon, FandangoNow, the Microsoft store, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube, and RedBox.

READING LISTS

A Deeper Look at Racism

The following fiction titles are from the BCCLS catalog

  • “The Help” by Kathryn StocketAfter a white woman graduates from college in the 1960s, she returns to her home in Jackson, Mississippi and begins her writing career by interviewing the African-American servants in her neighborhood and sharing their stories with the public.
  • “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher StoweUncle Tom’s Cabin tells the story of Uncle Tom, depicted as a saintly, dignified slave. While being transported by boat to auction in New Orleans, Tom saves the life of Little Eva, whose grateful father then purchases Tom.
  • “The Bluest Eye” by Toni MorrisonSet in Morrison’s hometown of Lorain, Ohio, in 1940-41, the novel tells the tragic story of Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl from an abusive home. Eleven-year old Pecola equates beauty and social acceptance with whiteness; she therefore longs to have “the bluest eye”.
  • “The Sellout” by Paul BeattyThe Sellout, by Paul Beatty, is an African-American novel of satire on race relations in the United States. The book revolves around the unnamed, black narrator who is coming before the Supreme Court on charges of slave holding and re-instituting segregation.
  • “Simisola” by Ruth RendellSimisola is a 1994 novel by British crime writer Ruth Rendell. It features her recurring detective Inspector Wexford, and is the 16th in the series. Though a murder mystery, the book also touches on the themes of racism and welfare dependency.
  • The Underground Railroad” by Colson WhiteheadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a piece of speculative fiction about Cora, a third-generation slave who lives on the plantation where she was born. Her mother ran away, and as far as Cora knows, is living in freedom in the north, uncaring about her child.
  • “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip HooseTwice Toward Justice presents the life of the Alabama teenager who played an integral role in the Montgomery bus strike, once by refusing to give up a bus seat, and again, by becoming a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case against the bus company.
  • “The Color Purple” by Alice WalkerAn epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie’s abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing “Mister” Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa.
  • The Hate U Give” by Angie ThomasStarr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.
  • “Small Great Things” by Jodi PicoultJodi Picoult’s new novel “Small Great Things” tells the story of an African American labor and delivery nurse and the racism surrounding her care of a white supremacist couple’s newborn son.

The following non-fiction titles are from the BCCLS catalog and are owned by NMPL:

  • The awkward thoughts of W. Kamau Bell : tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, heterosexual, cisgender, left-leaning, asthmatic, Black and proud blerd, mama’s boy, dad, and stand-up comedian | Bell, W. Kamau, author.
  • My brother Moochie : regaining dignity in the face of crime, poverty, and racism in the American South | Bailey, Issac J., author.
  • The soul of America : the battle for our better angels | Meacham, Jon, author.
    Stony the road : Reconstruction, white supremacy, and the rise of Jim Crow | Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., author.
  • What truth sounds like : Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and our unfinished conversation about race in America | Dyson, Michael Eric, author.
  • White fragility : why it’s so hard to talk to white people about racism | DiAngelo, Robin J., author.

Anti-Racism Essential Reading for Young Adults

Non-Fiction ~ NMPL Owns:

  • We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson & Tonya Bolden [age 12 to 18]
  • In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis [grade 7 to 10; age 10 to 14]
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jean Mendoza & Debbie Reese [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield [grade 7 to 12; age 12 and up]
  • Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers [grade 7; age 12 and up]
  • Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (YA edition) by Bryan Stevenson [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]

On Order:

  • Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism & You by Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds [grade 7 and up]
  • The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color by Virgie Tovar [grade 7 to 12; age 12 to 17]
  • One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally by Carol Anderson & Tonya Bolden [ages 12 to 14]
  • Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall, ill. A. D’Amico

Fiction ~ NMPL Owns:

  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • A Phoenix First Must Burn ed. Patrice Caldwell [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • Pet by Akwaeke Emezi [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann [grade 8 and up; age 13 to 18]
  • Light It Up by Kekla Magoon [age 14 to 18]
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone [grade 9 to 12; age 14 to 17]
  • All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas [grade 8 and up; age 14 and up]
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, ill. Gene Luen Yang [grade 7 and up; age 12 to 18]
  • Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, ed. [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]

On Order:

  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert [grade 7 and up]
  • When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal & Kimberly Jones [grade 7 to 12; age 12 to 17]

Memoir ~ NMPL Owns:

  • March: Book One by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, ill. Nate Powell [grade 8 to 11; age 13 to 16]
  • March: Book Two by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, ill. Nate Powell [grade 8 to 11; age 13 to 16]
  • March: Book Three by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, ill. Nate Powell [grade 8 to 11; age 13 to 16]
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock & Susan Buckley, ill. PJ Loughran [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]

On Order:

  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson [age 14 to 18]

Celebrating Black Voices in YA

Fiction ~ NMPL Owns:

  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi [grade 9 and up; age 14 to 18]
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi [grade 9 and up; age 14 to 18]
  • Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown [age 14 to 18]
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton [grade 7 and up; age 14 to 17]
  • I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest [age 12 to 18]
  • A Blade So Black (The Nightmare-Verse Book 1) by L.L. McKinney [age 14 to 18]
  • A Dream So Dark (The Nightmare-Verse Book 2) by L.L. McKinney [age 14 to 18]
  • Who Put This Song On? By Morgan Parker [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • Girls Like Us by Randi Pink [age 13 to 18]
  • Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • Calling My Name by Liara Tamani [grade 9 and up; Age 14 and up]
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]

On Order:

  • The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum [age 14 to 18]
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta [grade 9 and up; age 14 and up]
  • The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert [grade 7 and up]
  • Fresh Ink: An Anthology ed. Lamar Giles [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles [grade 8 and up; Age 13 and up]
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson [grade 7 to 12; age 12 to 18]
  • Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams [grade 7 and up]
  • Slay – Brittney Morris [grade 7 and up; age 12 and up]
  • A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow [age 13 to 18]
  • Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani [grade 8 and up; age 13 and up]
  • Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan [age 13 and up]