Talking About Racial Equity

This list is to help parents and teachers discuss racial equity with children and young adults, as well as books for adults on racial equity.

Nonfiction

book cover for ISBN9781681198521
Nonfiction
The Promise Of Change : One Girl's Story In The Fight For School Equality
Author: Jo Ann Allen Boyce

Child Nonfiction:

In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock Nine into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780766042353
Nonfiction
The Story of the Little Rock Nine and School Desegregation in Photographs
Author: David Aretha

Child Nonfiction:

"Discusses the desegregation of Little RockCentral High School, including the nine African-American students that successfully integrated the Arkansas school and the controversy and crisis surrounding the event"--publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781950665075
Nonfiction
Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines
Author: Jenna Arnold

Adult Nonfiction:

"Raising Our Hands is the reckoning cry for white women. It asks us to step up and join the new frontlines of the fight against complacency—in our homes, in our behaviors, and in our own minds."-- Amazon.com

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780618440337
Nonfiction
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
Author: Susan Bartoletti

Adult Nonfiction:

They called themselves the Ku Klux Klan was written for young adults and adults to describe the history of race relations, racism and hate groups in America.  

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781328882127
Nonfiction
March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine
Author: Melba Beals

Child Nonfiction:

Civil Rights heroine Melba Patillo Beals puts readers right in her saddle oxfords as she struggles to understand and fight back against the laws that told her she was less just because of the color of her skin.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781250173720
Nonfiction
Black Girl Magic: A Poem
Author: Mahogany Browne

Child Nonfiction:

"Much of what twenty-first century culture tells Black girls is not pretty: ...Don't have an opinion; don't dream big. And most of all, don't love yourself. In response to such destructive ideas, internationally recognized poet Mahogany Browne challenges the conditioning of society by crafting an anthem of strength and magic undeniable in its bloom for all beautiful Black girls".--publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781481480963
Nonfiction
You Should Meet: Jesse Owens
Author: Laurie Calkhoven

Child Nonfiction:

An introduction to the life and achievements of the star African-American track and field athlete describes how he took a stand against racism and made history by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780812993547
Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Adult Nonfiction:

"For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings -- moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here"-- publisher.  Also available in Large Print.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781467726047
Nonfiction
Game Changer: John Mclendon and the Secret Game
Author: John Coy

Child Nonfiction:

"Discover the true story of how in 1944, Coach John McLendon orchestrated a secret game between the best players from a white college and his team from the North Carolina College of Negroes. At a time of widespread segregation and rampant racism, this illegal gathering changed the sport of basketball forever."--publisher. 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781368045247
Nonfiction
Say Her Name
Author: Zetta Elliott

Adult Nonfiction:

Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls. This collection features forty-nine powerful poems, four of which are tribute poems inspired by the works of Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, and Phillis Wheatley.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781515845423
Nonfiction
Racism
Author: Anita Ganeri

Child Nonfiction: 

"The effects of racism last a lifetime, and it cannot be tolerated. Using child-friendly text and encouraging child participation and interaction, this picture book from the Questions and Feelings About ... series teaches this valuable lesson in a memorable way. It includes a helpful section with advice, practical tips, and activities for caregivers and teachers."--Amazon.com

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780805071061
Nonfiction
Rosa
Author: Nikki Giovanni

Child Nonfiction:

This picture book version of Rosa Parks shows her peaceful act of civil disobedience in the work for Civil Rights.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781467751230
Nonfiction
Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song
Author: Gary Golio

Child Nonfiction:

Tells the story of how Billie Holiday and songwriter Abel Meeropol combined their talents to create, "Strange Fruit," the iconic protest song that brought attention to lynching and racism in America.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781481463713
Nonfiction
The Distance Between Us
Author: Reyna Grande

Chlld Nonfiction:

"At the age of 8, Reyna Grande made the dangerous and illegal trek across the border from Mexico to the United States, and discovered that the American Dream is much more complicated that it seemed."--publisher.

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780892394272
Nonfiction
Todos iguales: Un Corrido de Lemon Grove = All Equal: A Ballad of Lemon Grov
Author: Christy Hale

Child Spanish Language Nonfiction:  for ages 8 and up 

"The story of the 1931 Lemon Grove incident, in which Mexican families in southern California won the first school desegregation case in United States history. Told in Spanish and English. Includes a corrido (ballad), and information about the people involved and events leading up to and after the court case ruling"-- publisher."

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781532117756
Nonfiction
Scottsboro Boys
Author: Duchess Harris

Child Nonfiction:  Young Adult

"In 1931, nine black teenagers were arrested in Alabama. The young men were accused of crimes they did not commit, including rape. This unjust arrest led to years of imprisonment and trials for the young men, who were known as the Scottsboro Boys. The Scottsboro Boys examines their legacy and how their trials shaped the criminal justice system" -- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780763669034
Nonfiction
Who We Are!: All About Being the Same and Being Different
Author: Robie Harris

Child Nonfiction:

Teaches children about the many ways that people are the same as one another, as well as the many ways that they are different, and why it is important to treat people right, regardless of whether they are different or not.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781948340007
Nonfiction
Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness
Author: Anastasia Higginbotham

Child Nonfiction:

A white child sees a TV news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a black man. "In our family, we don't see color," his mother says, but he sees the colors plain enough. An afternoon in the library's history stacks uncover the truth of white supremacy in America. Racism was not his idea, and he refuses to defend it.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780525580430
Nonfiction
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
Author: Wade Hudson

Child Nonfiction:

Presents fifty diverse creators that lend voice to young activists. 

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780399550171
Nonfiction
That Is My Dream!: A Picture Book of Langston Hughes's "Dream Variation"
Author: Langston Hughes

Child Nonfiction:

"Dream Variation," one of Langston Hughes's most celebrated poems, about the dream of a world free of discrimination and racial prejudice, is now a picture book stunningly illustrated by Daniel Miyares...An African-American boy faces the harsh reality of segregation and racial prejudice, but he dreams of a different life--one full of freedom, hope, and wild possibility, where he can fling his arms wide in the face of the sun"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781620970140
Nonfiction
We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future
Author: Deepa Iyer

Adult Nonfiction:

"Many of us can recall the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11. We may be less aware, however, of the ongoing racism directed against these groups in the past decade and a half. In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flashpoints, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan. Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance."--publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780711245211
Nonfiction
This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Author: Tiffany Jewell

Child Nonfiction:

 This book was written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces and will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781554512478
Nonfiction
Fatty Legs: A True Story
Author: Christy Jordan-Fenton

Child Nonfiction:

This book chronicles the unbreakable spirit of an Inuit girl while attending an Arctic residential school.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781554514915
Nonfiction
When I Was Eight
Author: Christy Jordan-Fenton

Child Nonfiction:

This memoir is the picture book version of Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton, the story of the Inquit girl placed at a residential school.

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780525509288
Nonfiction
How to be an Antiracist
Author: Ibram Kendi

Adult Nonfiction:

 In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." -- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN0316453692
Nonfiction
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Author: Ibram Kendi

Adult Nonfiction for Ages 12 and Up:

"A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning"-- publisher.

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780061792281
Nonfiction
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
Author: Gilbert King

Adult Nonfiction:

In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming with cheap Jim Crow labor. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, vicious Sheriff McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who dared to envision a future for themselves. Then the Ku Klux Klan rolled into town, burning homes and chasing hundreds of blacks into the swamps. So began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as "Mr. Civil Rights," into the fray. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the "Florida Terror" at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement, but the lawyer would not shrink from the fight--not after the Klan had murdered one of Marshall's NAACP associates and Marshall had endured threats that he would be next. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI's unredacted Groveland case files, as well as the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund files, King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader against a heroic backdrop.--publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781926886510
Nonfiction
Inconvenient Skin = Nyêhtâwan Wasakay
Author: Shane Koyczan

Adult Nonfiction:

Poems from 21st Century Canada in English followed by Cree translation.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781328780966
Nonfiction
Undefeated
Author: Alexander Kwame

Child Nonfiction:

2020 Caldecott Medal Winner: Kwame Alexander pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from Kadir Nelson.-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781603093002
Nonfiction
March. Book One
Author: John Lewis

Adult Nonfiction: 

Autobiographical graphic memoir involving Civil Rights by John Lewis with Adult and Young Adult interest.

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781565848870
Nonfiction
Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism
Author: James Loewen

Appleton Reference:

Loewen (Emeritus, Professor of Sociology, U. of Vermont) exposes the history and persistence of "sundown towns," so-named for the signs often found at their corporate limits warning African Americans and other minorities not to be found in the town after dusk. He historically situates the rise of the sundown town movement in the years following the Civil War; describes the mechanisms of violence, threats, law, and policy that were used to force minorities out of Northern and Western towns into the big cities; and charts the continued existence of such communities.  (Includes Appleton, WI)

 

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781338299502
Nonfiction
We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands = Tenemos el Mundo Entero en las Manos
Author: Rafael López

Child Spanish Language Nonfiction:

"Join in a multicultural celebration of unity and diversity friendships all around the world as we read and sing along with joy, love, and peace!" -- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780399548345
Nonfiction
Strong Inside: The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball's Color Line
Author: Andrew Maraniss

Child Nonfiction:  Young Adult 

Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. History. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee's first racially-integrated state tournament.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN0060293640
Nonfiction
We All Sing With the Same Voice
Author: Philip Miller

Child Nonfiction:

This joyful Sesame Street song embraces the notion that no matter where children live, what they look like, or what they do, they're all the same where it counts--in their hearts.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781572842120
Nonfiction
My Brown Baby: On the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children
Author: Denene Millner

Adult Nonfiction:

"Full of essays that readers of all backgrounds will find provocative, My Brown Baby acknowledges that there absolutely are issues that African American parents must deal with that white parents never have to confront if they're not raising brown children. This book chronicles these differences with open arms, a lot of love, and the deep belief that though we may come from separate places and have different backgrounds, all parents want the same things for our families, and especially for our children"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781641600101
Nonfiction
Martin and Bobby: A Journey Toward Justice
Author: Claire Murphy

Child Nonfiction: Age 10 and up

"Martin and Bobby follows the lives and final days of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, showing how and where their work intersected and how their initially wary relationship evolved from challenging and testing one another to finally "arriving in the same place" as allies fighting poverty and racism"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781524763138
Nonfiction
Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama

Adult Nonfiction:

In her memoir Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. She describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780778732655
Nonfiction
Equality and Diversity
Author: Charlie Ogden

Child Nonfiction:

Equality is having the same rights, opportunities, and status as everyone else. Diversity is about recognizing the importance of different cultures in society, while still protecting their equality.  This timely book discusses why the acceptance of diversity is important in society to prevent discrimination based on race, religion, and sex. Case studies of real-world events help readers understand the consequences of inequality.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781580056779
Nonfiction
So You Want to Talk about Race
Author: Ijeoma Oluo

Adult Nonfiction:

"A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans. Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity." --publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781555976903
Nonfiction
Citizen: An American Lyric
Author: Claudia Rankine

Adult Nonfiction:

"Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV--everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship." --publisher.

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