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.

eBooks

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eBooks
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family /
Author: Ibtihaj Muhammad

Child Picturebook:

Faizah relates how she feels on the first day her sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
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:
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eBooks
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:
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eBooks
All Are Welcome
Author: Alexandra Penfold

Child Picture Book:

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
Hey Black Child
Author: Useni Perkins

Child Nonfiction:

This picture book is "a lyrical, empowering poem that celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young ones to dream big and achieve their goals"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
A Different Pond
Author: Bao Phi

Child Picture Book:

This picture book by Minneapolis poet Bao Phi was a 2018 Caldecott Honor Book. "As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam"-- publisher.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9781555976903
eBooks
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.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds

Young Adult Fiction:

As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
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 ISBN9781603094504
eBooks
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:
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eBooks
The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas

Young Adult Fiction:

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Where to Find:
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eBooks
Piecing Me Together
Author: Renée Watson

Young Adult Fiction:

Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Where to Find:
book cover for ISBN9780060760885
eBooks
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:
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eBooks
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:
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eBooks
The Day You Begin
Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Child Picture Book:

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.  Also available in Spanish: El día en que descubres quién eres / Jacqueline Woodson

Where to Find:
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eBooks
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

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Movies

book cover for ISBN767685157237
Movies
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 ISBN9781419710544
Movies
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.

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