Recent acts of racism have again made visible the societal structures and norms that set different standards for white people and people of color. The systemic problems evident in the harassment of Asians/Asian Americans due to COVID-related hate and the continuing acts of violence experienced by Black people at the hands of white people make clear the need for change. Too often in the past, each cycle of violence and protests have led to forgetting, rather than real change. In response to the recent events of racism and protest, many resources and book lists are being posted by various organizations as a first step in working towards antiracist action. Here are some resources that seem particularly helpful in reading for change and developing a stance of anti-racism.
1. The Brown Bookshelf website has links to many other organizations providing resources and book lists. Also access their 28 Days Later blogs which documented children’s and YA literature about African American children and topics during February as Black History Month.
2. The Brown Bookshelf hosted the KidLit4BlackLives Rally on June 4, 2020, led by Kwame Alexander, Jackie Woodson, and Jason Reynolds. The Rally featured inspiring words, music, and call to action in support of equity and justice. Access this event on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fElXu_MdRrs&feature=youtu.be
3. Betsy Bird’s extensive list of antiracist resources and YA and children’s books, fiction and nonfiction, is available on her blog for School Library Journal, along with a large number of links to articles and information on teaching from an antiracist stance.
4. Publisher’s Weekly’s list of children’s and YA books contains recommended fiction and nonfiction about race and activism by creators of color and fiction that celebrates the diversity of the Black experience by Black authors and illustrators.
5. Booklist’s starting list for those who want to read for change and to work towards an antiracism stance can be found at: https://www.booklistreader.com/2020/06/05/books-and-authors/reading-for-change-booklist-recommended-antiracism-titles-for-all-ages/
6. The New Yorker recommends 7 anti-racist books for educators to read who want to learn more about anti-racism.
7. Black Lives Matter toolkits are available, such as Healing Action, Conflict Resolution, and How to Talk about Trayvon: A Toolkit for White People.
8. Teaching Tolerance has a website of resources, particularly the section on resources about race and racism, including articles on What is White Privilege, Testing Yourself for Hidden Bias and how to talk with kids about race and racism. The site is filled with lesson plans and books to support that teaching.
9. Anti-Racism Resources for All Ages, collected by N. A. Cooke (2020). A project of the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at the University of South Carolina. Includes resources on white privilege.
10. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynold and Ibram X. Kendi, is a YA nonfiction that is a good place to start to understand racism and antiracism.
11. Coronavirus, Racism and Kindness: How NYC Middle-Schoolers Built a Winning Podcast (NPR). Chinese American sixth-graders Leo Yu, Angelo Chen, Becky Liu, Si Chen Xu, Zoe Jiang, Nicole Zheng and tenth-graders Joyce Jiang and Amanda Chen created an award-winning podcast, https://soundcloud.com/karin-patterson-148776835/masked-kids, a time capsule and a cautionary tale about life in the time of the coronavirus.
12. Anti-Asian racism and COVID-19. Cathy Park Hung on being Asian American.
13. A special issue of WOW Stories, Freedom and Justice for All: Exploring Black Lives Matter and the Significance of Civil Disobedience, edited by Desiree Cueto, contains descriptions of inquiries in elementary classrooms.
14. Worlds of Words Global Resources. Resources and global book lists of children’s and YA literature related to oppression and discrimination at a global level are available on the Worlds of Words website.