“If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals. Let’s get to work.” – Barack Obama
Definition of Antiracism: The policy of practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.
Below is a recommended list of titles to help better understand antiracism, how you can help to make peaceful, sustained and effective change, as well as be a more informed citizen.
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
This one is so special. With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.
All Kinds of Kindness by Judy Cary Nevin
Kids are surrounded by other kids, so it’s important to hold a proper mirror and window up to their lives to show them that being kind makes the world a better place.
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
This bestselling ABC book is written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.
No!: My First Book of Protest by Julie Merberg
Each spread introduces an iconic figure—such as Gloria Steinem or Cesar Chavez—along with a super simple summary of the actions they took to change the course of history. Activists of all ages will learn about the abolitionist movement, civil rights, women’s rights, and more! Detailed, colorful art will thoroughly engage toddlers and preschoolers. And the chance to join the refrain on every spread “NO, NO!” is sure to please the tiniest protestors. (A mini history of protest movements at the end of the books is a handy cheat sheet for parents!)
What’s the Difference? by Richard Doyin
Photographs and simple text celebrate friendship, diversity, and acceptance. “The world needs you, little one. I’m counting on you to set the example for grownups to follow. Because when it comes to LOVE, keep showing that there really is no difference. It’s all AMAZING. Just like you.”
Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Two poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this must-have collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.
I’m Gonna Push Through by Jasmyn Wright
The four simple words “I’m gonna push through!” speak volumes. By using historical examples, debunking excuses, diminishing doubt, encouraging community, and reminding young readers that we’re all here to make a difference, the manuscript builds in a soulful narrative. Young readers are directly addressed in this engaging, motivating, and ultimately profound manifesto that uses a loud-and-proud voice that not only lifts children up, but shows them how to lift themselves up and seize their potential.
A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliot
In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. Summertime is filled with joy—skateboarding and playing basketball—until his community is deeply wounded by a police shooting. As fall turns to winter and then spring, fear grows into anger, then pride and peace.
Are Your Stars Like My Stars by Leslie Helakoski
No matter where they live, all children gaze at the blue sky, bask in the warmth of the golden sun, dig in the rich dirt, and watch clouds grow soft and rosy at end of day. Through the eyes of one inquisitive and thoughtful young narrator, young readers explore the idea of perspective, and come to realize that all of us, everywhere, share the colors of the world. The gentle, poetic text and gorgeous collaged illustrations make this just right to say goodnight.
Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
A Good Kind of Trouble is an accessible and nuanced introduction to social justice for middle grade readers. It addresses important issues of racism and police brutality in a nuanced and thoughtful way that is just right for this age group.
Harbor Me by Jaqueline Woodson
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat–by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them–everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth
In the powerful follow-up to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem. Here is an invitation to all families to be advocates and allies for change.
Say Her Name: Poems to Empower by Zetta Elliot
Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls.
This Book Is Anti-racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell
Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. All you need is a pen and paper.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Young Readers Edition) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
Carol Anderson’s White Rage asserted that as America achieves progress toward black equality, the systemic response is racist backlash. This adaptation for teens examines five of these moments: Reconstruction led to Jim Crow laws; Brown v. Board of Education led to the closing of Southern public schools; the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act led to the disenfranchisement of millions and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to violence including the death of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
A best-selling author, National Book Award-winner and professor 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.
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
The host of the “Good Ancestor” podcast presents an updated and expanded edition of the Instagram challenge that launched a cultural movement about taking responsibility for first-person racism to stop unconsciously inflicting pain on others.
Have questions or are in need of additional recommendations? Please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Looking for more titles? Check out our Featured List on our website HERE.