Perspectives on Black America

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Perspectives on Black America

...challenging the status quo

Happy Juneteenth! A holiday to commemorate the end of slavery! Indeed, all lives matter. Presently, there is a resounding call echoing across the globe, declaring: "Black Lives Matter" in response to systemic oppression and racism that continue to thrive. This list of books challenges the status quo. A cohesive message exists urging readers to become aware, empowered and to stand for equity and lasting change.

Adult titles

No BS (bad stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People / by Ivory A. Toldson.
Dr. Ivory A. Tolson, presents data to challenge prevalent stereotypes aimed at Black people. This book, presented with parents, students, advocates and educators in mind, encourages us all to question bad statistics that inevitably promote inequity.  

On the Other Side of Freedom the Case for Hope by  Mckesson, DeRay
American Civil Rights Activists, Mckesson DeRay calls for justice and accountability in On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. This book addresses the fight for racial justice, the presence of activism and resistance as a means to bring about change. 

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This enlightening book is full of candid dialogue and testimonials pertaining to race relations in America. Best selling Author, Ijeoma Oluo challenges readers to have tough conversations while checking any biases at the door. The Author addresses privilege, microaggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement and more. 

Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
This timely book offers context surrounding systemic racism. Best selling Author and award-winning historian Ibram X Kendi addresses the nature of assimilationist, segregationists, racists and anti-racists ideas as it relates to race in America. Perspectives from Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Llyod Garrison, W.E.B. Dubois, Angela Davis and others are used to highlight the current condition of race relations in America. 

Stay Woke: a People's Guide To Making All Black Lives Matter by Lopez Bunyasi, Tehama,Smith, Candis Watts
This book offers guidance for racial justice advocates and anti-racists. The devaluing nature of institutional and systemic inequity are addressed in this book. The authors present ideas surrounding a racially just society calling all readers to be informed and proactive towards achieving a more racially just America. 

The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing by Annaleise Singh
The goal of this handbook is to ultimately empower readers. Dr. Annaleise Singh endeavors to move readers from a place of anxiety and shame (among others) concerning race relations in America towards a more healthy, self-actualized and liberated stance. 

Young Adult titles

Black History in It's Own Words by Ronald Wimberly (Illustrator)
This book is jammed packed with commentary and quotes from black luminaries, as it relates to identity and race. Ronald Wimberly’s illustrations coupled with the messages across each page, truly encourage the reader to reflect, to stand for growth, and to embrace hope.  

Stamped Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi 
Award-winning Authors Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi address the realities of race relations in America. This book is a variation of the adult title Stamped from the beginning: the definitive history of racist ideas, as such the authors discuss racist and anti-racist ideas, along with offering insight on identifying and refuting racist thoughts.  

Children’s titles

Antracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Antiracist Baby is a poetic conversation that colorfully illustrates and models an age-appropriate method of speaking with children about race and difference. Best selling author and award-winning historian Ibram X Kendi lists actual steps (9 steps to be exact) to take towards embracing difference and ultimately being anti-racist. 

I Can Make a Difference by Marian Wright Edelman 
Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist for children’s rights has compiled a book of stories, quotations, poems, songs and folktales to empower young readers. This book encourages children, letting them know, they can make a difference in this world. 

Sulwe by. Lupita Nyong'o, Illustrated by. Vashti Harrison
Lupita Nyong'o, Academy Award-winning actress and author of Sulwe, challenges young people to celebrate the beauty of diversity. Sulwe is creatively written and illustrated, it's encouraging and it gives readers a new perspective around identity and self-acceptance. 

The History of Juneteenth / by Maximilian Smith.
This book outlines the History of Junetenth, a holiday celebrating freedom! Maximilian Smith discusses the American Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the events that unfolded leading up to Juneteenth becoming a holiday. 

The Undefeated  by Kwame Alexander 
Best selling author Kwame Alexander pays homage to black luminaries and to the black experience as a whole in America. This insightful and beautifully illustrated book shines a light on the strength and endurance of Black people working towards justice and equity.