We Have Work To Do: An Anti-racist Reading List

It is easy to feel powerless watching the news today, maybe you want to help but don’t know how. Let's start in this critical time by educating ourselves on the stories and histories that have been affected by systemic racism and injustice in America. Now is the time to learn the history, listen to activists, and push forward to create a society that is firmly anti-racist. When the social media posts slow down, the library will still be here, waiting for you. We have work to do. Black Lives Matter. 

When They Call You A Terrorist A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement's position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement's activists while calling for essential political changes.

Stamped From the Beginning Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. 

Between the World and Me For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear.

An African American and Latinx History of the United States Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the "Global South" was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism.

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.

White Fragility In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence.

So You Want to Talk About Race A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

How to Be An Antiracist The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.

The Fire This Time National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. 

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