Black Americans: We see you, we hear you, we support you, and we condemn the violent acts against Black Americans that happen too frequently in the United States including the murders most recently of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor. Black. Lives. Matter.
Racism is a long-standing virus in our country. Because of racism, Black people are brutalized, murdered, and unjustly treated. This virus is not new—it is engrained in our history. And what is happening in our country now (and throughout our time as a nation) is motivated by the White systemic racism that permeates structures and motivations of this country.
As Dr. Ibram X. Kendi states in How to Be an Antiracist, “The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.'”
So to combat racism, we must be actively anti-racist.
Educate ourselves about the history of racism, race relations, and the act of anti-racism.
- Anti-Racism Booklist from @idealbookshelf
- Anti-Racism Book List from Candace Greene McManus including gateway books and books to dig deeper.
- Educators: Educate on race in education and in literature.
- Books to share from The Brown Book Shelf and KidLit Community Rally for Black Lives:
- We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by Cornelius Minor
- Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension by Sara K. Ahmed
- Teacher for Black Lives by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, and Wayne Au
- Libraries, Literacy, and African American Youth edited by Dr. Paulette Brown Bracy, Sandra Hughes-Hassell, and Casey H. Rawson
- The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
- Books to share from The Brown Book Shelf and KidLit Community Rally for Black Lives:
Educate ourselves about what IS racist.
- Learn about passive/covert racism as well as active/overt racism and take action on what.
- Passive racism example: Digital Blackface from Teen Vogue
- Educators: Learn about how schools are racist and how they have the potential to get even worse (from The Progressive). (The links in this article provide further background, as well.)
- Then, apply what you have learned to your own context. What can you do to make a change? How can you stop being complicit and start being anti-racist?
Make sure we understand our own implicit biases and White privilege.
- “What is White Privilege Really?” from Teaching Tolerance (2018)
- “My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to be Honest” by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (2017)
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker & Alyssa Klein
- Educators: Applied to the teaching of reading, Letting Go of Literary Whiteness by Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides offers concrete suggestions for teaching about White privilege.
- Then, apply what you have learned to your own context (regardless of the level or content area). What can you do to make a change? How can you stop being complicit and start being anti-racist?
It’s time to start doing. Remember: educating ourselves is critical, but it is only the first step. Action must follow.
Share posts from Black activists or organizations that inform about, fight against, and educate on police brutality.
- Black Lives Matter
- The Anti-Defamation League
- Many listed on the Obama Foundation’s page Anguish and Action.
Support works produced by Black artists and creatives.
- “50 Black Movies on Netflix to Add to your Watch List” from The Voice of Black Cincinnati
- “6 Black Artists to Support During Nationwide Protests” from Rolling Out
- “11 Important TV Shows and Movies to Further Your Education on Black History” from Secret Manchester
- “Black TV Shows You Should Watch Right Now” from Grit Daily
- “29 Movies, Shows, and Documentaries to Watch to Educate Yourself on Racial Injustice” from The Every Girl
- “WB Makes Just Mercy Free to Rent for ‘Systemic Racism’ Education” from NY Post
- “The Anti-Racist Starter Pack: 40 TV Series, Documentaries, Movies, TED Talks, and Books to Add to Your List” from Parade
Donate, join, support, and participate in organizations (a few are noted below).
- Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help
- Black Visions Collective
- The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Dignity and Power Now
- “Which Organizations You Can Donate to Help Bailout Protestors” from The Queen Sessions
Support Black businesses.
- Brain Lair Books
- Bold Xchange
- The Fuzzy Pineapple
- “You Can Order Today From These Black-owned Independent Book Stores” from Lit Hub
- “100+ Black-Owned Wellness Businesses to Support Now and Always” from Well and Good
- “400+ Black-Owned Etsy Shop” from The Mad Mommy
- “20 Black Designers to Support Instead of Gucci and Prada” from Rolling Out
Highlight the history and contributions of the Black community. Below, we offer a list of contributions to education and books.
- Black Lives Matter at School
- Scholars for Black Lives Collective
- Teaching Tolerance
- The Brown Bookshelf
- #KidLit Community Rally for Black Lives
- The Conscious Kid
- We Need Diverse Books
- Teaching for Change
- Rethinking Schools
Call your local and state reps and demand change.
Discuss race, race relations, and anti-racism with students, kids, family, etc.
- “How to speak to kids about race relations in America” with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
- “Your Kids Aren’t Too Young To Talk About Race: Resource Roundup” from Pretty Good Design
- Anti-Racism Book List from my friend Candace Greene McManus including books to guide you while talking with your kids about race.
- “These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to your Kids” from the New York Times
- The first 45 minutes of the #KidLit Community Rally for Black Lives was aimed at speaking to young people
- Not My Idea: A Book About Whitenessby Anastasia Higginbotham (Free PDF available through June 19th) offers one option for scaffolding for discussions critical conversations about race.
Read and share books by BIPOC authors and about BIPOC characters with our students, kids, family, etc.
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients
- Anti-Racism Book List from my friend Candace Greene McManus including further reading for kids & young adults and children’s books featuring BPOCs just living their lives
- #BlackLivesMatter Reading List for Kids created by librarians Sujei Lugo Vázquez & Alia Jones
- “25 Fantastic Middle Grade Books By Black Authors” from Book Riot
- “19 Black Children’s Books by Black Authors from Book Riot
- “Books Celebrating Black Children” by Elephant Books
- “45 Black Young Adult Novels to Add to Your TBR” by Afoma Umesi
- “15 Black Comic Artists Whose Work You Need to Read” from CBR
- Join the Generations Book Club from The Brown Bookshelf
- Book recommendations by Black authors (This is a list of books we have especially loved and recommend. This list is limited. Please be sure to click the links throughout the post for more book recommendations, and keep your finger on the pulse of new releases to constantly learn and grow.)
- Picture Books
- Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, illustrated by Stasia Burrington
- Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander
- The 5 O’Clock Band by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
- Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
- Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
- Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James
- The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
- Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier
- The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
- Rocket Says Look Up! by Nathan Bryon, illustrated by Dapo Adeloa
- Firebird by Misty Copeland, illustrated by Christopher Myers
- Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
- Shortcut by Donald Crews
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
- Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
- Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
- Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter
- Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
- Fresh Princess by Denene Millner, illustrated by Gladys Jose
- Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
- H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers
- Harlem by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers
- Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champion by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Alix Delinois
- Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
- Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
- My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete & Ryan Elizabeth Peete, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
- Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkey, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomping Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- A Day at the Museum by Christina Platt, illustrated by Sharon Sordo (chapter book)
- Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
- Another by Christian Robinson
- You Matter by Christian Robinson
- Little Melba and her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, illustrated by Frank Morrison
- Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrated by Laura Freeman
- Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
- Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
- Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James E. Ransom
- Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
- Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
- This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James E. Ransom
- Middle Grade
- Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- Booked by Kwame Alexander
- The Usual Suspect by Maurice Broaddus
- New Kid by Jerry Craft
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
- The Watsons Go to Burmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
- Stella By Starlight by Sharon Draper
- The Last-Last-Day of Summer by Lamar Giles
- Great Greene Heist series by Varian Johnson
- Robyn Hoodlum series by Kekla Magoon
- Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers
- Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri
- Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
- Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
- Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
- Track series by Jason Reynolds
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- Louisiana Girls Trilogy by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrewy Vernick
- Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
- Logan series by Mildred D. Taylor
- Gaither Sisters series by Rita Williams-Garcia
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- Locomotion series by Jacqueline Woodson
- Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
- Young Adult
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- With Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Swing by Kwame Alexander
- Solo by Kwame Alexander
- Kendra by Coe Booth
- Tyrell series by Coe Booth
- Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence, A True Story of Black and White by Geoffrey Canada, illustrated by Jamar Nicholas
- The Belles series by Dhonielle Clayton
- Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles
- Say Her Name by Zetta Elliott
- Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles
- Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
- Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
- A Certain October by Angela Johnson
- First Part Last by Angela Johnson
- I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal
- March series by John Lewis
- How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
- Tyrell by Coe Booth
- Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers
- It Ain’t All for Nonthin’ by Walter Dean Myers
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
- Knockout Games by G. Neri
- It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
- When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
- Odd One Out by Nic Stone
- The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
- Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
- Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- American Street by Ibi Zoboi
- Picture Books
Educate ourselves about the system we are part of.
- “Our Modern Minstrelsy” by Kekla Magoon
- “Teachers Must Hold Themselves Accountable for Dismantling Racial Oppression” by Kelisa Wing
- “Goals and Strategies for White Educators Working Toward Antiracism and Social Justice” from Jennifer Serravallo
Talk about anti-racism. Speak up when others are being racist. Educators, teach about being anti-racist. This is your job–in order to support young people. Just so we are clear, this includes teachers in predominantly White classrooms.
- Don’t know how to start?
- Here is a “Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources” from New York City School Librarians. “This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible. We will continue to add resources.”
- Antiracist Allyship Starter Pack: Resources and Tools Regarding Racism & Anti/Blackness & How to Be a Better Ally from Tatum Dorrell, Matt Herndon, and Jourdan Dorrell
- Anti-Racism Resources for All Ages (Padlet): A project by the Augusta Baker Chair, Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, The University of South Carolina
- “There is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times” from NCTE “We know that racism exists in our classrooms and in our communities. We feel that silence on these issues is complicity in the systemic racism that has marred our educational system. We see no place for neutrality and urge each member of NCTE to educate as many people as possible about the ways that systemic racism affects all of us in negative ways.”
Continue to listen to Black voices, do not stop educating yourself, and focus your learning on anti-racist ACTIONS. White Americans, if you feel exhausted, keep in mind that Black Americans don’t have opportunity to shut off the effects of racism. This is a privilege.
Educators, we must frame everything we do to be anti-racist.
What anti-racist work are you doing?
**Please note: These links have been widely shared on social media, and we curated them here and added many others to give them a concrete place. This is shared work.**
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