Knowledge is power. It can also help strengthen empathy, understanding, and a unified desire to work for equality and accountability. In that spirit, here are resources and readings to help families and individuals, especially white families and individuals, start conversations and work on their own biases by delving into uncomfortable topics and leaving their comfort zones.

Families need to have conversations with their children and with their extended family around the topics of personal and systemic racism, police brutality, and how people of all races and backgrounds can work towards equality.

“The Montclair Public Library joins in supporting the statement of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Color. Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by the police.  We cannot tolerate or allow prejudice, ignorance, and hatred in our society. We pledge to continue educating our community by providing programming and resources that address the issues of race and inequality.” The Montclair Public Library’s Anti-Racism: A Reading List is amazing, and it includes ebook and audiobook links.

Books Addressing Racism for Elementary Aged Children

Start them early with the board book (out later in June): Anti-Racist Baby

A book that is getting a lot of traction for kids 5 and up is A KIDS BOOK ABOUT RACISM. It’s backlisted, so while you wait for it to arrive, read this interview with the author, Jelani Memory.

This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewel and Aurelia Durand

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester has been around for a while, and it remains a favorite.

WOKE: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne

Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson celebrates the African American National Anthem. Didn’t know there was one? Better order it today!

A list of over two dozen children’s books to help jumpstart conversations about racism.

Explanation Kids is a platform that deals with hard questions from kids. Questions like, “Why didn’t he get up and let him breathe?” Sign up for their free newsletter here.

Sesame Street and CNN will host a town hall on Saturday, June 6th at 10 AM: Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. 

Instagram has several really wonderful accounts, aimed at younger children that feature books focused on diversity, racism, and celebrating images of Black and brown people.

Here We Read

The Conscious Kid

The Tiny Activist

Bi-Racial Bookworms

Books and Book Lists for Tweens, Teens, and Adults

STAMPED by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi is a young person’s version of Kendi’s STAMPED From the Beginning.

From Bustle: 10 Books About Race To Read Instead of Asking a Person of Color to Explain Things to You

From Esquire: 10 Books to Start Learning About Anti-Racism 

Short Readings and Videos for teens and adults

A great hour of conversation between Deray McKesson and Ibram X Kendi at last year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival: How To Be An Anti-Racist

President Obama’s advice on How to Make This Moment the Point for Real Change and the roundtable from this week: Anguish and Action.

Rachel Elizabeth Cargle’s Public Address on Revolution: Revolution Now

From NBC News: Dear White Allies: Please Stop Saying You “Don’t See Color”

From Forbes: Why the “I Don’t See Color” Mantra is Hurting Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

From The Today Show: Race and Parenting: Why Raising ‘colorblind’ kids is actually a terrible idea

From Harper’s Bazaar: Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” 

From Bustle: How To Argue Against Saying “All Lives Matter”

Publisher’s Weekly has compiled An Anti-Racist Reading List as well.

For past suggestions of readings from Baristanet, click here: 15 Books for Children and Teens That Center Black Characters and The Black Experience