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Black Lives Matter

How the word is passed : a reckoning with the history of slavery across America book cover

How the word is passed : a reckoning with the history of slavery across America

Clint Smith

973.00496 /Smith
History, Black Lives Matter

"'How the Word is Passed' is Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks - those that are honest about the past and those that are not - that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nations collective history, and ourselves."--

Victoria's picture

A thoroughly researched exploration of the impact of slavery and how it's history has been recorded through various monuments and landmarks. You may never see the Statue of Liberty or Wall Street the same way again! -Victoria

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism book cover

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism

Robin J. DiAngelo

305.8 /DiAngelo
Nonfiction, Black Lives Matter

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. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively. --

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

How to be an antiracist book cover

How to be an antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

305.8 /Kendi
Nonfiction, Black Lives Matter

""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. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." --

Beth's picture

Added by Beth

We are each other's harvest : celebrating African American farmers, land, and legacy book cover

We are each other's harvest : celebrating African American farmers, land, and legacy

Natalie Baszile

630.973 /Baszile
Black History, Black Lives Matter, Nonfiction

"In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people's connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000. Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers' personal experiences. In their own words, middle aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss. The Returning Generation--young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations."--

Victoria's picture

An absolutely fascinating exploration of African American connection to land past, present and future. I loved the acknowledgment of historical truths and hopes for restorative futures in this series of essays, poems and photography. -Victoria

You are your best thing : vulnerability, shame resilience, and the Black experience -- an anthology book cover

You are your best thing : vulnerability, shame resilience, and the Black experience -- an anthology

152.44 /You
Black Lives Matter, Self Help

This stark, potent collection of essays on Black shame and healing present a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black love and Black life. They allow readers to recognize and process the trauma of sexual assault, and white supremacy and sexual assault, in order to work toward healing. Through lived experiences, we can work to dismantle oppressive systems-- of all types-- in this country. -- adapted from jacket and Introduction.

Victoria's picture

I've read much of Brené Brown's work, but I think this one is my favorites so far because it builds on her framework in a different way. These essays lay out what vulnerability, shame resilience and determination can look like in BIPOC places and spaces. By cracking open who can authentically feel and more importantly learn to thrive by being vulnerable and succeeding despite what has happened to them in the past, her contributing authors offer insight and solace for the reader. The reader can feel more resonance with the authenticity of her work in a way they may never have been able to before. As we begin to see each other on a spectrum of cultural experiences, backgrounds, social statuses, mental health and gender, we have a greater capacity to learn, empathize, communicate and share in each other's vulnerabilities. I loved this book! -Victoria

We do this 'til we free us : abolitionist organizing and transforming justice book cover

We do this 'til we free us : abolitionist organizing and transforming justice

Mariame Kaba

303.372 /Kaba
Black Lives Matter, Political

"What if social transformation and liberation isn't about waiting for someone else to come along and save us? What if ordinary people have the power to collectively free ourselves? In this timely collection of essays and interviews, Mariame Kaba reflects on the deep work of abolition and transformative political struggle."--Page 4 of cover.

Victoria's picture

Seasoned activist, abolitionist, community organizer and Founder/Director of Project NIA (an organization that works to end the incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices,) Mariame Kaba's latest book is a collection of essays that have been described as a "pragmatic playbook" that reimagines institutionalized systems and how ordinary people can collectively implement change. In her essays she describes what it means to defund and abolish the police and how we as communities can contribute to making our spaces more equitable through strategic, collective action. In the beginning of her book she cites a quote from her father: "Everything worthwhile is done with other people". Everything she has done in her work has amplified this sentiment and I think is a truly beautiful mantra. Well worth reading! -Victoria

A little devil in America : notes in praise of Black performance book cover

A little devil in America : notes in praise of Black performance

Hanif Abdurraqib

791.09 /Abdurraqib
Black Lives Matter, Black History, Music, Nonfiction

"A Little Devil in America is an urgent project that unravels all modes and methods of black performance, in this moment when black performers are coming to terms with their value, reception, and immense impact on America. With sharp insight, humor, and heart, Abdurraqib examines how black performance happens in specific moments in time and space--midcentury Paris, the moon, or a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. At the outset of this project, Abdurraqib became fascinated with clips of black minstrel entertainers like William Henry Lane, better known as Master Juba. Knowing there was something more complicated and deep-seated in the history and legacy of minstrelsy, Abdurraqib uncovered questions and tensions that help to reveal how black performance pervades all areas of American society. Abdurraqib's prose is entrancing and fluid as he leads us along the links in his remarkable trains of thought. A Little Devil in America considers, critiques, and praises performance in music, sports, writing, comedy, grief, games, and love"--

Jason's picture

Looking forward to reading this one! He's a poet, essayist, and cultural critic that has been a Visiting Professor at the Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program as well as taken part in past Mission Creek Festivals. -Jason

Tom Waits book cover

Tom Waits

Matt Mahurin

779.2 /Mahurin
Political, Black Lives Matter, Black History, Gardening

"A collection of portraits of musician Tom Waits, the result of a 30-year collaboration with photographer and illustrator Matt Mahurin This book is a testament to the unique collaboration, going back three decades, between the photographer and illustrator Matt Mahurin and the musician Tom Waits. Having shot magazine portraits, album covers, and music videos of Waits, Mahurin was inspired to resurrect 100 dormant film negatives as a jumping off point to explore his own surreal, poetic, and occasionƯally dark vision. The images vary from traditional porƯtraits to ones that capture Waits in concert--but the majority are imagined scenes in which Waits is more muse than musician. In addition to the diverse images, the book includes a foreword by Waits, an essay by Mahurin on their longtime collaboration, and 20 original paintings, drawings, photographs, and digital images inspired by Waits's song titles."--Publisher's website.

Victoria's picture

This is a riveting read; with essays that document black legacies to American land linking past, present African American stewards and hopes for the future -Victoria

The Hill We Climb: an Inaugural Poem for the Country book cover

The Hill We Climb: an Inaugural Poem for the Country

Amanda Gorman

811.6 /Gorman
Poetry, Black Lives Matter

"On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet, at age twenty-two, to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," is now available to cherish in this special edition."--

Frannie's picture

I missed the live reading of "the Hill We Climb", but when I watched the video after it was one of the few that lived up to the Twitter hype. I had not felt that sort of hope in a LONG time. Reading the text is a great way to revisit what might have been an initial flood of emotions, sit with them, and digest the words with thorough consideration. -Frannie

Look, black boy book cover

Look, black boy

Caleb Rainey

811.6 /Rainey
Black Lives Matter, Read Woke, Black History

"In his debut poem collection Caleb 'The Negro Artist' Rainey explores racial tensions in America from the perspective of a young Black male."--

Victoria's picture

Caleb Rainey is a local poet and founder of IC Speaks, a poetry group for high schoolers. This book will have you nodding, snapping and clapping line after line. His verse is raw, honest and spot on. Go see him live if you get the chance! -Victoria