My Top Picks to Understand the Black Lives Movement
Like I say in my podcast; it’s past time to talk about whether diversity in books is important. It’s time to talk about what the books are and where they are. Given all the racial discord in the news, I decided to list a few books that will help you understand what’s going on with the Black Lives Movement, also known as “Why My Child Matters”. Because, after all, children of POC are cherished just as much as the children of white parents.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’ve already told you about this: Starr is black and goes to an all white prep school. She witnesses the murder of a friend. She struggles to straddle the all Black neighborhood where she lives with the prep school she attends. Telling on SO many levels. Angie is MY BEST GIRL.
2. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Oh how I LOVE this book (and Jason Reynolds!). Young dude makes the track team but struggles with himself to stay out of trouble in school. He’s generally a good kid but the jerks at school pick on him for being poor and he can’t help himself when he lashes out. READ ALL THE JASON REYNOLDS’ BOOKS.
3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dear Martin isn’t out until October, but you know what? GO AHEAD AND PRE-ORDER IT NOW. You won’t be sorry. Our hero is a smart guy who has so much going for him at this fancy prep school he attends. That is, until he’s cuffed and harassed by the police. Justyce belongs in one world, but the police see him belonging to another world. Where’s the justice for Justyce?
4. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Ya’ll know how much I LOVE Jackie Woodson! Another Brooklyn is not targeted at Young Adult readers, but it’s about young adults, so why shouldn’t they read it? It’ll show you that Black teen girls have it rough in the city.
5. Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Gwen Strauss, and Floyd Cooper
If you think you can’t teach the little ones about diversity or people of color, you’re wrong. Here’s how to start. Read this together. Little Ruth and her family get a new car in the early 50s and need to travel down South to visit relatives. The problem is, they can’t stop for gas, food, or lodging at Whites only establishments. The (historic) Green Book helped her family find places that were friendly to Blacks during their trip. I can’t make this stuff up, folks, it’s true. There really was a thing called The Green Book. Remind me sometime to tell you about the chitterling circuit (for musicians).
There it is. Five books that you can start reading like YESTERDAY to help you understand why speaking out against hatred and violence toward African Americans is the right thing to do. These stories should move you to action. Not only are they great books, they’re totally relevant to what’s happening in the news. All of these books qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge.