Understand that this is sacred ground and it hurts to walk here. But at the same time, I “need” to walk here, need the strength, the sense of purpose, the knowledge of self, that walking here imparts. … What do I want from you? I want you to be my sister and to walk here with me. I know it’s a hard walk. I know it causes you pain. But this much I also know: If ever we learn to tread this ground together, there’s no place we can’t go. —Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Eradicate Racism Reading Suggestions
for Children and Youth from Murray Johnson
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him. This Young Adult book is geared for high school readers.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
An NAACP Image Award Nominee follows two teen girls―one black, one white―who have to confront their own assumptions about racial inequality as they rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has set their city on fire with civil unrest.
4th – 6th Grade
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Zoe Washington, a soon-to-be seventh-grader growing up outside Boston, is celebrating a birthday bereft of friends due to distance and betrayal, when a surprise letter from her incarcerated father arrives and throws her life into emotional disarray. – Booklist (Recommended for readers in 4th- 6th grade)
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.
This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewel
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
1st – 3rd Grade
All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms no matter their race, religion, or background. This book is for preschool and beginning readers.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano
Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.
Eradicate Racism Reading Suggestions for Adults
Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As Irving unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she's changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups, and understands the antiracism movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas.
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science--including the story of his own awakening to antiracism--bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.
Films to Watch:
The Hate U Give
Amandla Stenberg leads a truly outstanding cast in The Hate U Give, an adaptation of Angie Thomas’s bestselling novel. Stenberg plays Starr, one of the few black students in her private high school, who witnesses the police shoot her friend in an incident that becomes a national flashpoint. The film has a great deal to say and no apologies to make about its outspoken message, even as it presents itself as a straightforward family drama. But The Hate U Give strikes a perfect balance between coming-of-age story and social drama. And in never sacrificing either of those two interests, it becomes a strong example of both.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned.
Just Mercy tells the story of EJI, from the early days with a small staff facing the nation’s highest death sentencing and execution rates, through a successful campaign to challenge the cruel practice of sentencing children to die in prison, to revolutionary projects designed to confront Americans with our history of racial injustice.
One of EJI’s first clients was Walter McMillian, a young Black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a young white woman that he didn’t commit. The case exemplifies how the death penalty in America is a direct descendant of lynching — a system that treats the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent.
Resources for children, youth, families:
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds
adapted from Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
March Trilogy by John Lewis
Resources for Adults
Books for Adults:
Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone
Waking up White by Debby Irving
Website with LOTS of resources (including some for kids):
Documentaries to watch
Documentary list here
Austin Channing Brown (writer with blogs, newsletter and other good stuff)
Austin Channing BrownBooks and articles (link)Books and articles (link)