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 ISBN767685157237
Nonfiction
Two Friends: Two Friends [videorecording]: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass and Other Trailblazing Tales
Author: Dean Robbins

Child Nonfiction:

Read along on screen with biographical stories of those fighting for rights brought vividly to life.  illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selina Alico ; narrated by Dion Graham -- Coretta Scott / written by Ntozake Shange ; illustrations by Kadir Nelson ; narrated by Phylicia Rashad -- Rosa / written and narrated by Nikki Giovanni ; illustrations by Bryan Collier -- I could do that! Esther Morris get women the vote / written by Linda Arms White ; illustrations by Nancy Carpenter ; narrated by Joan Allen.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780823436460
Nonfiction
Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice
Author: Susan Rubin

Child Nonfiction: for ages 10 and up:

Traces the stories of advocates and activists who risked danger and hardship to uphold the 1954 desegregation ruling by the Supreme Court, sharing additional information on how the NAACP strategized its responses to period racism.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781438050225
Nonfiction
Racism and Intolerance
Author: Louise Spilsbury

Child Nonfiction:

In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: "What does it mean to be a racist--or intolerant?" and "How can I help?" Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780593177044
Nonfiction
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Author: Bryan Stevenson

Adult Nonfiction:

Details the author's personal experience, challenges, and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate to find justice for America's most marginalized people.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780593177044
Nonfiction
Just Mercy: Adapted for Young Adults: A True Story of the Fight fight for Justice
Author: Bryan Stevenson

Adult Nonfiction: Young Adult:

Details the author's personal experience, challenges, and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate to find justice for America's most marginalized people.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781603094504
Nonfiction
They Called Us Enemy
Author: George Takei

Adult Nonfiction:

"A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do?" --publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781419710544
Nonfiction
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & her Family's Fight for Desegregation
Author: Duncan Tonatiuh

Child Nonfiction:

"Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780399252518
Nonfiction
Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Child Nonfiction:

In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781566894784
Nonfiction
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
Author: Kao Kalia Yang

Adult Nonfiction:

Yang, cofounder of the immigrant-services company Words Wanted, was born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand in 1980. Her grandmother had wanted to stay in the camp, to make it easier for her spirit to find its way back to her birthplace when she died, but people knew it would soon be liquidated. America looked promising, so Yang and her family, along with scores of other Hmong, left the jungles of Thailand to fly to California, then settle in St. Paul, Minn. In many ways, these hardworking refugees followed the classic immigrant arc, with the adults working double jobs so the children could get an education and be a credit to the community. But the Hmong immigrants were also unique—coming from a non-Christian, rain forest culture, with no homeland to imagine returning to, with hardly anyone in America knowing anything about them. As Yang wryly notes, they studied the Vietnam War at school, without their lessons ever mentioning that the Hmong had been fighting for the Americans. Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture. By the end of this moving, unforgettable book, when Yang describes the death of her beloved grandmother, readers will delight at how intimately they have become part of this formerly strange culture. --Publishers Weekly

Where to Find:

Audiobooks

book cover for ISBN9781595586438
Audiobooks
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Author: Michelle Alexander

Adult Nonfiction:

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781572842243
Audiobooks
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Author: Derrick Barnes

Child Picture Book:

Celebrates the magnificent feeling that comes from walking out of a barber shop with newly-cut hair.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781328882127
Audiobooks
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 ISBN9780062667120
Audiobooks
I Am Enough
Author: Grace Byers

Child Picture Book:

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe i

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780062691200
Audiobooks
New Kid
Author: Jerry Craft

Child Graphic Novel:  Newbery Medal 2020

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781250047199
Audiobooks
Mixed Me!
Author: Taye Diggs

Child Picture Book:

Told in rhyming text, racially mixed Mike is a boy of color, completely comfortable with his identity and his parents--and his wild, curly hair.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781442494978
Audiobooks
Stella by Starlight
Author: Sharon Draper

Child Fiction:

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781328460837
Audiobooks
The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
Author: Lamar Giles

Child Fiction:

When adventurous cousins Otto and Sheed Alston accidentally extend the last day of summer by freezing time, they find the secrets between the unmoving seconds are not as much fun as they expected.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780545946179
Audiobooks
The Parker Inheritance
Author: Varian Johnson

Child Fiction:

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780525509288
Audiobooks
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 ISBN9781565848870
Audiobooks
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 ISBN9781524763138
Audiobooks
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 ISBN9781580056779
Audiobooks
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 ISBN9780593177044
Audiobooks
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Author: Bryan Stevenson

Adult Nonfiction:

Details the author's personal experience, challenges, and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate to find justice for America's most marginalized people.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781419710544
Audiobooks
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & her Family's Fight for Desegregation
Author: Duncan Tonatiuh

Child Nonfiction:

"Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780060760885
Audiobooks
One Crazy Summer
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia

Child Fiction:

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn from Grandmother and Father's home to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is too busy for them and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.  Grandmother's view of the world and her mother's view of the world couldn't be more different, and Delphine is challenged to decide what she thinks for herself.

Where to Find:

eBooks

book cover for ISBN9781512404425
eBooks
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship
Author: Irene Latham

Child Nonfiction:

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, present paired poems about topics including family dinners, sports, recess, and much more. This relatable collection explores different experiences of race in America.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781595586438
eBooks
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Author: Michelle Alexander

Adult Nonfiction:

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781338317244
eBooks
The Forgotten Girl
Author: India Brown

Child Fiction:

This ghost story includes elements of overcoming racism as well as shedding light on African-American graveyards that were left untended after the Great Migration of African-Americans north after the Civil War.  When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned segregated cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface--only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780440417996
eBooks
The Name Jar
Author: Yangsook Choi

Child Picture Book:

When Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her grandmother gives her a special stamp with her beautiful name on it.  When her new American classmates want to know her name, Unhei isn't sure that she should use her true Korean name and a jar is used to collect names to help her decide what her name should be.  This gentle story reflects the immigrant's need for identity and friendship.  

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780812993547
eBooks
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 ISBN9780062691200
eBooks
New Kid
Author: Jerry Craft

Child Graphic Novel:  Newbery Medal 2020

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781442494978
eBooks
Stella by Starlight
Author: Sharon Draper

Child Fiction:

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781947378124
eBooks
Colorblind: A Story of Racism
Author: Johnathan Harris

Child Nonfiction:

In this autobiographical graphic novel, "Johnathan Harris is fifteen, and lives in Long Beach, California, where he loves playing soccer with his friends, and listening to their favorite rapper, Snoop Dogg, a Long Beach native. His mom, dad, and three brothers are tight, but one of the most influential family members for Johnathan is his Uncle Russell, a convict in prison, serving fifteen years to life . . . Uncle Russell taught Johnathan from a very young age to see people from the perspective of their cultures, and not just their skin color. He imbued a pride of his ancestry and cautioned against letting hatred into his heart. But when Johnathan was just eight years old, something happened that filled him with fear and the very hatred that Uncle Russell had warned him about. What happened to Johnathan made him see that a dream of a colorless world was just that. A dream. That event shook him to his core. Anger grew inside him like a hot coal. Uncle Russell had told him to "throw it away or you will get burned," but Johnathan was young and frightened. He was having a hard time forgiving, much less forgetting. Colorblind is Johnathan's story of confronting his own racism and overcoming it. It is a story of hope and optimism that all, young and old, should heed."

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780545946179
eBooks
The Parker Inheritance
Author: Varian Johnson

Child Fiction:

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780525509288
eBooks
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
eBooks
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
eBooks
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 ISBN9781426310874
eBooks
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Author: Jazynka Kitson

Child Nonfiction:

Introduces the life and legacy of civil rights leader the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781328780966
eBooks
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 ISBN9781524718527
eBooks
Double Bass Blues
Author: Andrea Loney

Child Picture Book:

After school orchestra practice, young Nic carries his big double bass through rough neighborhoods to his grandfather's home, where he and Grandaddy Nic play jazz music with friends, delighting the neighbors.

Where to Find: