Kid- and Family-Friendly Titles
A Kids Book about Racism by Jelani Memory
This book is a great starting point for families to talk about racism. It is intended to be read together for constructive conversion. This is not a picture book but is around a 1st or 2nd grade reading level.
Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Ebony Glenn
This picture book is about a young Muslim girl and her love for her mother and her khimars. Read from the perspective of the daughter and her excitement about dressing up like her mother.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, Vashti Harrison
Young Zuri has very textured, curly hair. It “kinks, coils, and curls every which way” and she loves it. Her mother is great at doing her hair, but with her dad it’s more of an adventure. This book portrays the relationship between young Zuri and her dad who will do anything to make her, and her hair, happy.
Intersection Allies: We Make Room For All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi. Forward by Kimberlé Crenshaw. Illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
Building on the idea that “we strive to be equal but not all the same,” this book briefly follows the lives of nine young female friends to teach the meaning of “community” to kids and parents alike. This book is full of rhyming strategies to support and celebrate each other’s differences and to explain how children’s safety concerns are shaped by their intersecting identities, such as class, sexuality, dis/ability, race, religion, and citizenship.
The authors of this book also made a teaching guide discussion prompts, worksheets, and activities for grades K-5.
The ABCs of Black History by by Rio Cortez (Author), Lauren Semmer (Illustrator)
“A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright!” This book takes you on a journey through the alphabet of Black History. The ABCs of Black History celebrates a world-wide story of triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Featuring 40 trailblazing leaders in the world’s history. This book is bold, bright, and brave; it educates and inspires as it tells the story of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations.
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
This picture book takes you and your family through nine basic steps towards a more equitable world through dismantling racism. This book is written for all ages with bold art and thoughtful yet playful text.
Books for Adults
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story created by Nikole Hannah-Jones
This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life. You can also listen to The 1619 Project podcast from the New York Times.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs
Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin’s son James, about Alberta King’s son Martin Luther, and Louise Little’s son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them. In her groundbreaking and essential debut, The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America’s most pivotal heroes.
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be Black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks
Visionary and original, bell hooks shows how love heals the wounds we bear as individuals and as a nation, for it is the cornerstone of compassion and forgiveness and holds the power to overcome shame. For readers who have found ongoing delight and wisdom in bell hooks’s life and work, and for those who are just now discovering her, All About Love is essential reading and a brilliant book that will change how we think about love, our culture, and one another.