I would firstly like to say that I am of course no expert on this topic and I am not trying to place my voice in front of the Black Community. When I posted my support on twitter, I asked the book community if they would like me to do a series of posts about the Black Authors, Artists, Documentaries and Black Voices which I have studied during my Masters Degree as I did my Dissertation on this topic and many said yes. It is not down to the Black Community to help educate you on this topic, it is down to yourself to find the information.
I first wanted to start with a post about Children as I have seen many parents asking for advice on how they can better teach their children about this movement. As I mentioned, I am in no way an expert on this topic, please introduce them to Black Content Creators who are sharing their experience. But in the hopes of helping to spread awareness, I have listed 4 books below, which I believe every parent should have their children read so they get a better understanding on systematic racism and what is currently happening. Please also sit your children down and have the conversation with them, talk about it.
There are SO many books out there which you can buy, these are just a select few which I have chosen as I have read them myself and they are truly amazing. I will also include links to other creators with lists which will help you.
NOTE: I put 10 yrs + for the content being about Police Brutality, Violence and Racism but if your child has read books like The Hunger Games then I see no problem with them reading these.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Rashad is absent again today.
That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…
Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So then Rashad, an ROTC kid with mad art skills, was absent again…and again…stuck in a hospital room. Why? Because it looked like he was stealing. And he was a black kid in baggy clothes. So he must have been stealing.
And that’s how it started.
And that’s what Quinn, a white kid, saw. He saw his best friend’s older brother beating the daylights out of a classmate. At first Quinn doesn’t tell a soul…He’s not even sure he understands it. And does it matter? The whole thing was caught on camera, anyway. But when the school—and nation—start to divide on what happens, blame spreads like wildfire fed by ugly words like “racism” and “police brutality.” Quinn realizes he’s got to understand it, because, bystander or not, he’s a part of history. He just has to figure out what side of history that will be.
Rashad and Quinn—one black, one white, both American—face the unspeakable truth that racism and prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. There’s a future at stake, a future where no one else will have to be absent because of police brutality. They just have to risk everything to change the world.
Cuz that’s how it can end.
How it went down by Kekla Magoon
When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.
In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.
Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.
These are just a small example of the books which are out there and a starting point for your purchasing on this topic. For more amazing recommendations and for more Books by Black Authors you can buy please watch:
Fadwa @ Word Wonders – ’40+ Books by Black Authors’
Do NOT let the conversation go silent, keep spreading awareness, keep donating, keep supporting Black creators and keep calling out people on their racism.