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#LibrariesRespond: A Black Lives Matter Reading List

Recommended reads for understanding and fighting racism
Post Date:06/02/2020 9:45 AM

by Sarah

If there is one thing we should have learned as a country in the past few days, it is that all of us have a lot of work to do. Education is one of the most powerful tools that we have to combat racism in our country. In the words of scholar and activist Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” Below we have listed some resources available to you through our digital platforms that deal with the many aspects of systemic racism and oppression in our country. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a start.

The Mandel Public Library stands firmly with the Urban Libraries Council in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the dismantling of systemic racism in our society. As stated in the Urban Libraries Council’s Statement on the Role of Libraries in Dismantling Systemic Racism, “Systemic racism undermines our society and putting an end to it will require all citizens to work together — with the active support of dedicated community and government leaders. As highly trusted institutions and essential foundations of civic infrastructure, public libraries have a unique and vital role to play in advancing equity and addressing racial divides.”

BLM books 1

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

"A Seattle-based writer, editor and speaker tackles the sensitive, hyper-charged racial landscape in current America, discussing the issues of privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

"From the National Book Award–winning author comes a bracingly original approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

"A comprehensive history of anti-black racism focuses on the lives of five major players in American history, including Cotton Mather and Thomas Jefferson, and highlights the debates that took place between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

"Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lord

"The leader of contemporary feminist theory discusses such issues as racism, self-acceptance, and mother- and woman-hood." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

BLM books 2

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Told through the author's own evolving understanding of the subject over the course of his life comes a bold and personal investigation into America's racial history and its contemporary echoes." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

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

"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." -NoveList

Available online: e-book from hoopla digital

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

"In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America." -NoveList

Available online: e-book from cloudLibrary

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton

"How did the land of the free become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: not the War on Drugs of the Reagan administration but the War on Crime that began during Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

"A behind-the-scenes account of the story of the #blacklivesmatter movement shares insights into the young men and women behind it, citing the racially charged controversies that have motivated members and the economic, political and personal histories that inform its purpose." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary

BLM books 3

Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman

"In 1965, the Voting Rights Act transformed election demographics in the United States. African Americans in the South began voting, running for office, and being elected for the first time since the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Journalist Ari Berman compellingly details the act's history and also describes the recent "counterrevolution" against the VRA, in which dozens of state legislatures have passed measures making it more difficult to register and vote. Including views from different sides of the debate on voting restrictions, he presents a balanced but still revealing report on a wide variety of measures that have the potential to influence election results." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and black unemployment.

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and e-book and audiobook from hoopla digital

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

"The Black leader discusses his political philosophy and reveals details of his life, shedding light on the ideas that enabled him to gain the allegiance of a still growing percentage of the Black population." -NoveList

Available online: e-book from cloudLibrary

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

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

Available online: e-book from cloudLibrary

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged.

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

BLM books 4

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundation of  a Movement by Angela Davis

"The renowned activist and scholar discusses state violence and oppression, including such issues as prison abolitionism and the South African antiapartheid movement." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

"A plea and a warning to citizens to examine the actual state of America after a century of emancipation." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

"Recounts the loss of five young men in the author's life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the misfortune that can follow those who live in poverty, sharing her experiences of living through the dying as she searches through answers in her community." -NoveList

Available online: e-book from cloudLibrary  

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt

"A leading expert on unconscious racial bias examines the manifestations of automatic racism in contemporary society and how they influence race relations and criminal justice." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

"Austin Channing Brown's first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, 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, organizations, 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 who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele

"A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement's position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement's activists while calling for essential political changes." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from hoopla digital

BLM books 5

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward

"The National Book Award-winning author of Salvage the Bones presents a continuation of James Baldwin's 1963 The Fire Next Time that examines race issues from the past half century through essays, poems and memoir pieces by some of her generation's most original thinkers and writers." -NoveList

Available online: e-book from cloudLibrary

An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz

"A history of the United States from the viewpoint of People of Color argues that the "Global South" was a vital to the development of America and challenges the concept of "Manifest Destiny" by portrayal of the working class organizing against imperialism." -NoveList

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary 

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named 'post-race' society.

Available online: audiobook from cloudLibrary and hoopla digital

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson

"Though several books have covered the 60-year-old case of Emmett Till's lynching in Mississippi, historian Timothy Tyson's new history freshly illuminates the trial of Till's murderers. He analyzes the trial transcript, which had been missing since 1955, interviews the key witness (now 80 years old) to Till's allegedly inappropriate behavior, and provides details from a recent FBI investigation. This riveting account immerses readers in the case and offers the definitive summary of its impact on subsequent history." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary and audiobook from hoopla digital

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

"A Harvard sociologist examines the under-represented challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems." -NoveList

Available online: e-book and audiobook from cloudLibrary

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