It has been a ridiculous week where I did find myself as a Black and Indigenous woman having to act for my kids’ school to write a racism statement and then act to do something as momentum about racism was already dwindling. The one community conversation quickly steered and was symbolized with a complaint that not all families can afford to wear Patagonia labels in our community. Instead of screaming STFU since I can easily find Patagonia clothing for kids in the thrift stores in our area I came up with a book club concept that is self-identifying, self-led, and open or closed to a cluster of people you know to meet everyone’s discomfort with comfort.
This list is short with only two to three recommendations per self-identifying category to meet the criticisms that big lists are too overwhelming. This list is also not listed as a hierarchy with the end goal being to take kids to actions. I seriously doubt people can be someone who lives with systemic biases based on race after they complete the third listed level. Many of these books have educator guides or discussion toolkits if you get stuck but want to go further.
Note that I do appreciate many aspects of the education model and school my kids attend, but I put in the work on this concept so I am sharing it. I believe it is a great starting point. I still think you should start with assessing your values if you are serious about examining racism but get a good book to have on hand when you are ready to go further. I hope this list finds value with you.
ANTI-RACISM BOOK LIST TO MEET FOLKS AT THEIR COMFORT LEVEL
I humbly do not know about any of this, and am ready to start learning.
- White Fragility: Why Its So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (DiAngelo)
- So You Want to Talk About Race (Oluo)
- 1619 (New York Times)*podcast – start here if overwhelmed
I am a feminist but don’t really understand intersectionality.
I am white, but walk my path as an ally to support dismantling systemic biases.
- How To Be Antiracist (Kendi)
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty First Century (Boggs)
I (or my loved ones) experience systemic biases based on race.
I involve my kids in activist actions and I want to do a cluster with them and other families.
- Stamped (Reynolds and kendi) *tweens/teens
- This Book is Anti-Racist (Jewell) *Montessori author
- Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Higgenbotham) *younger kids
I need to thank Mariana Calderon from Second Star to the Right for quickly turning around suggestions for the category of reading with kids. She and the bookstore have been an amazing DEI resource for our school for a few years. I linked to their summer reading challenge because we can all stand to read or listen to a thing or two these days.