In the last few days, I have seen people trying to educate themselves better and trying to educate their children better. Many have shared on their social media different resources and study guides to learn more about the recent events. Education is not just reserved for academic environments. It is something that we should be doing constantly and current events have pushed people to realize this. For that reason, I have selected different lists of resourceful books I have seen people share. I believe they will be helpful in your learning process and can be shared with children.
My friend Maddi, a librarian from Massachusetts, shared with her twitter followers a document, “Race, Justice & Activism: A Tween/Teen Starter List," she created with her co-workers of books that are helpful to educate tweens and teens. The purpose of their list of books was “to help youth in grades 6-12 process the information and the protests. There are resources for all races and for those that wish to help" as an informational resource. In there, you will find over 60 books that you can read to your children. These librarians created an amazing catalogue of readings that will help you explain to your children what is happening in the world.
Avid Reader Press: A self-proclaimed band of cheerful literary warriors who publish books, shared a post on their Instagram account dedicated to black authors, illustrators, readers, colleagues, educators, librarians, and creators. They compiled a list of black-owned bookstores and books to read. Their “books to read" list includes 11 different titles that will help you learn more about current events and white privilege. You should be able to use them as the beginning of your learning process.
Left Bank Books: The oldest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis, posted an article on their website titled “Black Lives Matter - A Reading List." In it, they listed articles, poems, and online content that would help people educate themselves while exploring the topic of race in contemporary America. They separated the different reading materials in categories: Children’s Books, Civil Rights History, Contemporary Civil Rights Issues, Memoirs, Novels and Stories Exploring Race, Policing and Incarceration, and Race in St. Louis History. I believe their list is very complete and can work as a starting point for anyone who is looking to educate themselves on current issues.
Last but not least, Refinery29, a well-known magazine, posted an article about the same topic. “10 Books About Race Non-Black People Should Be Reading Right Now" gives a list of books people should be currently reading to understand why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important. By sharing different authors, they give several opinions on race and how to be an ally. It is a well-thought compilation of books that will allow young people and older people to educate themselves.
Remaining ignorant or avoiding certain topics is not a possibility nowadays. We live in a time and age when there are no excuses to not educate ourselves. There are plenty of online resources to help us understand those topics we didn’t before. This is our opportunity to be better and do better. When movements as big and important as Black Lives Matter are born, all we can do is stand by them and fight for their rights. If you do not know where to begin, reading a good book is your best option. Do your research and find authors that know what they are talking about. Find fiction books that will help your children understand the current events better. Read and keep reading because education is the strongest weapon we have.
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