Race and Justice Resources
The work toward racial justice and the advancement of equity for all can start with a book, article, film, or idea. The following resources are a representation of those available to you through our collection and beyond.
Be the refuge : raising the voices of Asian American Buddhists by Chenxing Han
Despite the fact that two thirds of U.S. Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream perceptions about what it means to be Buddhist in America often whitewash and invisibilize the diverse, inclusive, and intersectional communities that lie at the heart of American Buddhism.
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Combines ethics, history, law, and science with a personal narrative to describe how to move beyond the awareness of racism and contribute to making society just and equitable. Cloud Library | Libby
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums. Cloud Library | Libby
I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America's racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God's ongoing work in the world. Cloud Library | Libby
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
What is the one commonality of people on death row? If the victim is white, the perpetrator is 11 times more likely to be condemned to die than if the victim is black. When Stevenson was a 23-year-old Harvard law student, he started an internship in Georgia where his first assignment was to deliver a message to a man living on death row. This assignment became his calling: representing the innocent, the inadequately defended, the children, the domestic abuse survivors, the mentally ill—the imprisoned. Cloud Library | Libby
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would become a cultural movement. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it... Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 80,000 people downloaded the supporting work Me and White Supremacy. Updated and expanded from the original edition, Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. Cloud Library | Hoopla | Libby
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
This work 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. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them. Cloud Library | Hoopla | Libby
So You Want to Talk About Race by 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. Cloud Library | Hoopla | Libby
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Chronicles 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. Cloud Library | Libby
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Analyzes defensive moves that white people make when racially challenged, how these actions protect racial inequality, and presents strategies for engaging more constructively in these conversations. Cloud Library | Libby
Watch and Listen
- Movies and Documentaries (free across various platforms throughout June)
- Code Switch - Podcast - Hosted by journalists of color, the NPR podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. They explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports, and everything in between.
- Intersectionality Matters! - Podcast - Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
- 1619 - Podcast - Observes the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.
- Momentum: A Race Forward - Podcast- Features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice.
Young Adult Books
All American Boys and Jason Reynolds
A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to stay still as ordered. But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins--a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan--and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. And the basketball team--half of whom are Rashad’s best friends--start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before. Cloud Library | Libby
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack. Cloud Library | Libby
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
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. Cloud Library | Libby
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. But when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems. Cloud Library | Hoopla | Libby
Stamped by Jason Reynolds
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of this country, and the first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America's racist past and present. This book takes you on that journey, showing how racist ideas started and were spread, and how they can be discredited. Cloud Library | Libby
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared. Cloud Library
Blended by Sharon Draper
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police. Libby
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South. Cloud Library | Libby
Justice Makes a Difference by Artika Tyner
Justice has grown up witnessing the many ways her grandma serves the community. She wants to make a difference in the world, too, but how? Isn't she too young? Through conversations with her grandma and their shared love of books, Justice learns about important women and men throughout history who changed the world: Ella Baker, Shirley Chisholm, Charles Hamilton Houston, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Paul Robeson, and Ida B. Wells. Justice learns how each leader was a champion for advancing justice and improving the world, and she dreams of becoming a change maker, too--"Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire," a superhero with a law degree and an afro.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. He finds himself torn between two worlds and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself? Cloud Library | Libby
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963. Cloud Library | Libby