Hi everyone. Given the current state of our country, I thought it would be helpful to offer a list of illuminating reading materials and movies we have at the library for young adults. Many of us are wondering “What can I do?” and I think further educating ourselves on this movement and history can be a great place to start. This list is compiled of fiction and nonfiction, audiobooks and e-books, and physical books, even DVDs, as I want to provide various options for anyone interested. This is a challenging time for the country, so hopefully this collection of titles will help guide you in better understanding the scope of where we’re at as a nation.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – A powerful book, that is particularly relevant to current times. – Available as an e-book, a physical book, and on audiobook on CD.
- American Street by Ibi Zoboi – Similar in subject to The Hate U Give, this features a character that is originally from Haiti and shows an interesting portrayal of divides in culture. – Available as a physical copy.
- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – An insightful ode to rap and hip hop and a deep look at freedom of speech. – Available as in e-book, physical book or audiobook on CD.
- Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson – A deeply moving book about a young black girl striving for success. – Available as an e-book and physical book.
- Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown – A heavily autobiographical coming of age story, which explores racism, sexism, sexual violence and poverty. – Available as an e-audiobook.
- Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles – A story that spotlights societal pressure and toxic masculinity. – Available as an e-book.
- Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson – A powerful story about a missing friend and loss. – Available as a physical copy.
- Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson – A fierce and loving black story that incorporates black history/roots and an adoration for music. – Available as an audiobook on CD.
- This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell – This book highlights injustice and racism, and offers ways feel empowered to stand up and speak out against them. – Available as a physical copy.
- How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation (Various authors) – This collection of essays focuses on activism and hope, and answers the questions “What can I do?” and “How can I help?” – Available as an e-audiobook.
- Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Allison Marie Behnke – A book that outlines the history, manifestations and consequences of racing profiling. – Available as a physical copy.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama – A memoir from the first black First Lady of the United States. Inspiring, mesmerizing and powerful. – Available as an e-book, e-audiobook, audiobook on CD, and in physical copies.
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – An important and relevant book for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism and start doing the work for a society of equality. – Available as a physical copy.
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – Hidden Figures spotlights the black women that were math wizzes and calculated how to launch rockets and get astronauts into space. – Available as a physical book and an audiobook on CD.
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – A short, yet relevant, book in which the author has written as a letter to his 15-year-old son about what it means to be a black man in America. – Available as a physical copy or an audiobook on CD.
- Wade in the Water by Traci K. Smith – A collection of poetry by former Poet Laureate of the United States, which tackles black erasure along with being a citizen and artist in our culture. – Available as a physical copy.
Graphic Novels (All available as physical copies)
- March (Complete Trilogy) by John Lewis – A vivid portrayal of John Lewis’s lifelong fight for civil and human rights. A personal, yet powerful story.
- Black Panther: A Nation Under our Feet (volumes 1-3) by Ta-Nehisi Coates – A strong story about a violent uprising, terrorism and what it takes to adapt.
- Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxanne Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates – A story focusing on strong black women who are selected to be part of the Dora Milaje.
- (H)afrocentric by Juliana “Jewells” Smith – A vivid story that tackles current issues of racism, patriarchy, gentrification, police violence, the housing crisis, and more.
Movies (All available on DVD)
- Hidden Figures
- Black Panther
- The Hate U Give
- Selma – An excellent portrayal of the civil rights movement; may be best to watch as a family for further discussion.
- Spider-Man into the Spider-verse
- 12 Years a Slave – A powerful film about Solomon Northup’s experiences as a slave. This is for more mature audiences and would be best to watch with a family member who can further discuss the violence shown in the film.
- To Kill A Mockingbird
- The Sun is Also a Star
This list barely scratches the surface of materials that are available to illuminate the anti-racist movement, black lives, and black culture. I encourage you to seek out more materials and guidance if you’re so inclined. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there. If you have questions or suggestions for additional titles please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope this helps.