Black Lives Matter Resources

Resources to educate yourself, family, friends, students, and communities about the experiences and the lives of the Black community in the face of racial injustice: 

a sign with Black Lives Matter written on it

Non-fiction Books

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (2018) by Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele. 

A memoir of Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, as she takes the readers on a journey of what it means to be Black in America. Patrisse narrates her life growing up with racial injustice and how mass incarceration divided her family apart. Patrisse sheds light on her experience starting the Black Lives Matter movement and how her fight for justice was condemned as an act of terror. In her memoir, she transforms her painful experiences into a political power to spread the message behind the Black Lives Matter movement. Her powerful memoir gives a voice to people who suffer from inequality and injustice. 

How to Be an Antiracist (2019) by Ibram X. Kendi

In his memoir, Kendi fundamentally reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America and he does so by encouraging readers to think of active roles that they can have in building an antiracist society. Kendi’s memoir pushes readers beyond being racially aware as it moves to think about how they can contribute to building an equitable society. 

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (2018) by Monique Morris 

The book describes the experiences of black girls whose lives are misunderstood and judged by teachers, administrators, and the justice system. Morris exposes the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that cause many black students to drop out of schools. The book inspired a documentary with the same name. 

The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (1994) by Gloria Ladson- Billing

Ladson-Billings was the first to introduce culturally relevant pedagogy to bring educators’ attention to engaging students whose cultures and experiences are often excluded from the mainstream setting. In this book, Ladson-Billings examines the stories and experiences of eight successful teachers of African American students. Although the eight teachers have diverse teaching styles and methods, they all share culturally relevant teaching that empowers cultural identity in African American children and other ethnically diverse students.  

The Fire Next Time (1963) by James Baldwin 

In his book, Baldwin gives the readers a deeper look into his early life in Harlem and examines the consequences of racial injustice. The book holds two letters that were both written in the 1960s during the Jim Crow law that enforced racial segregation. 

Stamped from the Beginning (2016) by Ibram X. Kendi 

In his book, Kendi challenges people who believe that America is living a post-racial society by discussing how anti-black racist ideas are developed, spread, and entrenched in American society. Kendi displays the entire history of anti-black racist ideas and the power of these ideas throughout American history.  

Freedom is a Constant Struggle (2015) by Angela Davis

In this book, the powerful activist Angela Davis draws from collected essays, interviews, and speeches to shed the light on the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression and how they are deeply rooted throughout history and around the world. 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing (1969) by Maya Angelou  

This autobiography tells the story of one of the greatest poets and writers of all time, Maya Angelou. It depicts her coming of age story and the struggles that she faced with racism. The book also shows how Maya Angelou found shelter and strength in literature while facing racism and trauma. 

So You Want to Talk About Race (2018) by Ijeoma Oluo 

Elements of white supremacy such as police brutality and mass incarceration highlight racism in America and the constant suffering of African Americans. Even though racism has always been present, people sometimes avoid conversations about race because of the discomfort and the difficulty that comes with such conversations. Moreover, some avoid conversations about race because of their own privileges that can blind them from seeing what is actually going on in the world. This book guides readers of all races towards meaningful and honest conversations about race and racism. 

Between the World and Me (2015) by Ta-Nehisi Coates

By looking at the anti-black and oppressive history of America from slavery to segregation and then looking into the current anti-black oppressions like the case of mass incarceration, Coates writes to his son a letter. In his letter, he gives a powerful and personal depiction of what it means to be black in America. In this book, Coates gives a clear image of the past, faces the present and suggests a better world for the future.  

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010) by Michelle Alexander

Although the Jim Crow law is no longer in the books, Alexander addresses how racial injustice wasn’t wiped off with the Jim Crow law. Alexander gives a clear argument about how racial injustice has been redesigned in America and it has been redesigned into mass incarceration that targets black men and people of color. 

 

Children’s Books

Antiracist Baby (2020) by Ibram X. Kendi

From the author of How to Be an Antiracist, this children’s book introduces children to the powerful concept of antiracism. In this book, Kendi uses the appropriate language to start meaningful and important conversations about race with children of all ages. 

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice (2018) by Marietta Collins, Marianne Celano and Ann Hazzard

This children’s book is about two families, one white and one black. The book depicts these two families’ conversations and insights about the shooting of a black man in their community. The book pushes children to examine and understand racial injustice and the traumatic events caused by such injustice. 

Hair Like Mine (2015) by Latashia M. Perry

An entertaining story about a little girl who is saddened by how no one around her has naturally curly hair like hers. She embarks on a journey of searching for someone who has naturally curly hair like hers. A children’s book with an important message about the beauty of diversity. 

Skin Like Mine (2016) by Latashia M. Perry

From the writer of Hair Like Mine, Skin Like Mine is a fun children’s book of all levels of reading proficiency. This book celebrates diversity among children and builds empathy and community among them. 

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison 

A story of self-love about a little girl, Sulwe, who has the darkest skin of all her family and the people in her school. Sulwe wishes that her skin was lighter, but through supernatural experience, she begins to fall in love with her dark skin. 

Let’s Talk about Race (2005) by Julius Lester

In this children’s book, Lester pushes children to start thinking about race and equality. Lester emphasizes that no race is better than the other and encourages children to see people as human beings and acknowledge the similarities they have in their stories.