Reading for Learning and Loving

Reading List: Children’s Books

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The lives of ten Black women activists are featured in an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in–even when it feels like no one is listening. Ages 6-9.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
by Duncan Tonatiuh
Almost 10 years before Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. Ages 6-9

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
The lyrical text and art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
Ages 4-8.

Shomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford
The story of Arturo Shomburg who created and curated a collection that brought light to the achievements of people of African descent through the ages has become a beacon to scholars all over the world. Ages 9-12

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki
In 1946, Viola Desmond bought a movie ticket at the Roseland Theatre in Nova Scotia, she was told to move to the balcony, “You people have to sit in the upstairs section.” Viola refused to move. She was taken to jail, but her actions gave strength and inspiration to Canada’s Black Community. Ages 5-9

My Hair Is A Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera
After being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie learns that natural Black hair is beautiful. Ages 5-8

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carol Boston Weatherford
Celebrate the life of Lena Horne, the pioneering African American actress and civil rights
Ages 4-8

I AM NOT A NUMBER by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kaar
A powerful story of resistance, resilience, family and identity.
Ages 7-11

Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
The story follows 2 families, one white – one black, as they discuss a police shooting of a black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events. This book includes an extensive Note to Parents and caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child friendly definitions and sample dialogues. Ages 4-8

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson
This is a timeless story about justice, equality, and the importance of following ones hearts and dreams. Ages 3-7

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
by Carole Boston Weatherford
This book celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer’s life and legacy with a message of hope, determination and strength. Ages 9-12

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Fictional story of the Green book and its role in helping a generation of African American travelers avoid some of the indignities of Jim Crow are historical fact.
Ages 7-11

We Are Grateful, Otsalheliga by Traci Sovell
This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Ages 3-7

Preaching to the Chickens: the Story of young John Lewis by Jabari Asim
Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story includes author’s note about John Lewis who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, Chairman of the Student nonviolent coordination committee, demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama, and Georgia Congressman who is still an activist today. Ages 4-8

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson
A story about a difficult time in history and resilience, empowerment and strength.
Ages 4-8

Gordon Parks: How the Photograph Captured Black and White America
by Carole Boston Weatherford
Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first Black Director in Hollywood. He and others were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Gordon took a stand against racism through his photography. Ages 4-8

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vachti Harrison
Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of 40 trailblazing Black women in American history. Ages 8-11

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story by Paula Woo
The story of the first Chinese American movie star, Anna May Wong who took a stand against racial discrimination in the film industry. Ages 6-11

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange
Together with her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta gave birth to a vision and a journey with dreams of freedom for all. Ages 4-8

The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren
The dramatic based on a true story of neighbors in a small Danish fishing village who, during the Holocaust, shelter a Jewish family wanting to be ferried to safety in Sweden.
Ages 7-11

Moses: When Harriet Tubman led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
A foreword introduces the concept of slavery for children and an author’s note includes a brief biography of Harriet Tubman. Ages 5-8

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
A retelling of this historic event of Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. Ages 4-8

Credit for compilation of the above book titles go to
Google Doc on “Anti-Racism resources for white people”.
31 Children books to support conversations on race, racism, and resilience.

This Book is Antiracist by Tiffany Jewell
Ages Middle School and High School

Adult Reading: Bestsellers and General Reading

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander recommended by Jerome Sellars

White Fragility
by Robin DiAngelo

What does it mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy
by Robin DiAngelo

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson recommended by Pastor Susan

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
by Mahzarin R. Banaji

Between the World and Me
by Ta Nehisi Coates

Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
by Beverly Daniel Tatum PhD

How to be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi

My Grandmother’s Hands:Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
by Resmaa Menakem

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
by Layla F. Saad

There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in America
by Alex Kotlowitz

The Hate U Give Fiction
by Angie Thomas

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our stories of Race, Culture and Identity
by Winona Gau and Priya Vulchi (Ted Talk by authors). The book includes a story from John Bermel, Carleton’s Director of Security.
recommended by Marty Baylor Reed

Racist America: Roots, Current Realities, and Future Reparations
by Joe R. Faegin
recommended by Marty Baylor Reed

Recommendations from Marty Baylor Reed and the Ford Fellows Foundation:

How to Be Less Stupid About Race
by Crystal Fleming.

The Auntie Way
by Michelle M. Jacob

Adult Reading: Theology/ Church/Spiritual Formation

White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means To Be White
by Daniel Hill recommended by Pastor Susan

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown

Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism
by Carolyn B. Helsel author recommended by Pastor Abe

Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color
by Khristi Lauren Adams

Dear Church: A love letter from a Black preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US
by Lenny Duncan recommended by Pastor Susan

The Cross and the Lynching Tree
by James H. Cone

Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody
by James H. Cone

Jesus and the Disinherited
by Howard Thurman

Be The Bridge
by Latasha Morrison

America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
by Jim Wallis

Healing Our Broken Humanity: Practices for Revitalizing the Church and Renewing the World
by Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Will

Hermanas: Deepening our Identity and Growing our Influence
by Kristy Garza Robinson

compiled June 2020