Read This Summer: Some First Steps Toward Civic Responsibility to Help Us Find Our Voice – But Don’t Stop Here!

Educators around our country and all over the world want to do their part to make the world a better place for their students, families, and communities. Some have already participated in protests to make their voices heard. You may feel unsure and not be ready to speak out or even have conversations about racial equity and social justice, but a reading list this summer may help you find your voice.

This list will help you quickly access book choices for you to grow personally and professionally, including some YA literature and a few picture books. Perhaps form a book club or partner with a colleague so you can have a discussion and reflect on what you are thinking and feeling. Of course, this list is not complete. There are lots of places to go to find great book lists.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/158-resources-understanding-systemic-racism-america-180975029/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200604-daily-responsive&spMailingID=42660911&spUserID=MTAyMzg5NTM3MDkyOQS2&spJobID=1780361169&spReportId=MTc4MDM2MTE2OQS2

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/twelve-books-to-help-children-understand-race-antiracism-and-protest-180975067/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200611-daily-responsive&spMailingID=42712616&spUserID=MTAyMzg5NTM3MDkyOQS2&spJobID=1780986316&spReportId=MTc4MDk4NjMxNgS2

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/158-resources-understanding-systemic-racism-america-180975029/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200604-daily-responsive&spMailingID=42660911&spUserID=MTAyMzg5NTM3MDkyOQS2&spJobID=1780361169&spReportId=MTc4MDM2MTE2OQS2

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/twelve-books-to-help-children-understand-race-antiracism-and-protest-180975067/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200611-daily-responsive&spMailingID=42712616&spUserID=MTAyMzg5NTM3MDkyOQS2&spJobID=1780986316&spReportId=MTc4MDk4NjMxNgS2

https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

After you’ve done some reading, don’t forget to send a note to your state and federal representatives and ask them what they plan to do to create a safer, more just America for ALL our students. Use children’s literature as a concrete and powerful way to talk to children about race. Books can be a great tool for sparking discussion with your students and/or your own children and grandchildren. Let’s raise anti-racists. Our students and children will have questions for us. They’ll look to us to imagine the possibilities for a better world. They’ll need our support. Can we afford to let them down?

Books, Articles, and Websites for Summer Reading with Anti-Bias and Racial Justice Themes

Recommended Resources

A list of book recommendations to get started

But please remember, don’t stop here. Share the books that have helped you grow, change, and find your voice. When considering where to buy books, you may be interested in examining this list put together by Lithub of black-owned independent bookstores that offer ordering/shipping options. Let’s support these businesses as a next step. In Pennsylvania, black-owned book stores at https://aalbc.com/bookstores/index.php?statename=Pennsylvania  and support black authors who are writing with a perspective of the lived through experience by buying their books.

Reading and talking about what you’ve read is only a first step. We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to act to dismantle power systems that stand in the way of justice for ALL, humanity, and happiness for all American citizens and all who come to this country looking for a better life for their family.  Whether these systems exist at work, at our state and federal government levels, in our education systems, we must work to dismantle systems that support inequalities and racial injustice. We’ve got to do better!

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