Just to be clear. Black Lives Matter.
On Tuesday, June 2, the Twitter (and I think all social media, but my work life revolves around the Twitter. And yes, I call it "the" Twitter; moving on) went "black". Black squares were posted, profile pictures were changed, the music industry declared it was going dark, all to support Black Lives Matter.
I considered changes my profile picture to a black box as well. I decided instead that to support Black Lives Matter I would change my profile and banner picture to books that promoted anti-racism.
I was going with #BlackBooksMatter.
I also changed my name to Angela: Anti-Racists/BlackLivesMatter/Co-Conspirator. I only changed my pics for the day, but I haven't quite changed my name back. I'm sure I will, but I thought I' might leave that for a few more days. Why did the Blackout Day only need to be a day? Is that a suitable protest? One day? That's how long the music industry thinks it is suitable to shut down in solidarity for lynchings and executions of our sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters?
But I digress.
This point of this post is not to share my feelings. It is to provide resources.
Though, not ones that I have carefully curated (ha!). Once again, smarter people than I have posted amazing resources, I am merely gathering them for you, in one handy-dandy location. Though I will happily share a picture of my bookshelf so you can ooooh and ahhhh at my babies, I mean, at my books. Because I love books.
Sadly missing are those that I have loaned to friends or those that exist on libro.fm & audible (hello, 90 minute commute), or as ebooks. But still, hello, books. If you live locally, I have dogs & cats to pet, hammocks for sitting, and tea to drink. Come read with me. Warning: I'm not really southern, there's no sugar in the tea.
I'm going to kick off with a Senior High School Speech... that was given by a Youth Poet Laureate:
So let's take inspiration from Ms. Whiting's poetry reading and dive in to books, shall we? Because books.
You can explore a book of poetry by the gifted young poet in the video above, Haviland N.G. Whiting, available at the Third Man Store.
And I'm going to list some Raindrops on Roses...yes my favorite things. And these will be on several of the lists that you will see below. I'm not so brilliant that I'm not going to suggest books that others wouldn't! But I have to suggest them because I love them.
We Want to do More than Survive, Dr. Bettina Love. I cannot express how much I LOVE this book. I was inspired to develop my equity frame of gifted education while reading this book (it also draws on theories of a few of the others on this list, but this book, Dr. Love, is amazing). If you looked at my bookshelf pictures, yes, I do have two copies. My dog ate my copy of Gorski's book (just the back third, and the lower half, but still...). I wasn't taking any chances!
How to be an Anti-Racist, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. So powerful, both in a teaching capacity and a reflective journey. I've done a book talk with this book online with Clear the Air (HIGHLY recommend this organization, it's on at least two of the lists below- yes, I've read the lists I'm posting, ha!) as well as a few different webinars/chats with Dr. Kendi (not where I've spoken with him personally, but where he's been involved in the webinar).
Stamped/Stamped the Remix, Dr. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. These really dive into history which I appreciated, having been subjected to white washed history; I really needed a refresher. I listed to the remix with my kids.
Schooltalk, Dr. Mica Pollack and Troublemakers by Dr. Carla Shalaby. These are more for educators, but are incredibly powerful. Schooltalk is not on the surface an overtly antiracism title, but don't let the description or title fool you! Troublemakers is essential for any elementary teacher to consider how they look at classroom management. I used these books together as the required book for my undergrad classroom management class.
So You Want to Talk about Race & White Fragility- Dr. Ijeoma Oluo & Dr. Robin D'Angelo these are going to be on every list on the lists below, so I won't mention them in detail and they are great!
And now, on to the resources that I've found from my favorite people, and that my favorite people have shared...
The Brown Bookshelf hosted an event that crashed Facebook. It was that good. The video is available on their facebook page and on youtube (below). An ASL interpreter is provided during the broadcast. The Brown Bookshelf also provides a list of resources for anti-racist parenting, education, and living on their website.
This list is posted by Bored Teachers and written by Kenneth Braswell, illustrated by Joe Dent and Julie Anderson. The introduction speaks to empathy and knowledge, and a call to listening to voices of BIPOC. The books range from picture book to adult, but the article does not provide a listing of age ranges/grade ranges.
I'm in a Facebook group called Teaching on Days After: Dialogue & Resources for Educating Toward Justice (okay so maybe I do use facebook for work just a bit). She created a list of books featuring Black authors, mainly middle grades to young adult, but she noted that she does have other titles on the list. Then list itself is not organized by age or grade level, but goodreads does have a synopsis and user-generated reviews.
This is a "two for one"- it does have book recommendations but it is also a very interesting read about how the author navigates racial gatekeeping and marginalization in writing stories.
This summer reading list resources is not limited to Black literature, rather the focus is on inclusivity, with intersectional and diverse identities. Books are divided into picture books, chapter books/beginning readers, middle grades, young adult, and adult crossover. Summer reading lists start in 2015.
I can't even BEGIN to tell you how many amazing resources are on this page. It was created by Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, the Augusta Baker Chair from the University of South Carolina (@BakerChair). There are links to books, which is why I included it here. But there are also videos, pdfs of documents, articles, lists of books, links to websites. It. Is. Awesome. It's actually amazing that I even found anything that WASN'T already on this list to share with you. Seriously. There are several references on this site (understandably!) to the Teaching Tolerance site... that is my "go to" site.
Black Lives Matter at School This is a NYC website with resources and information, as well as a free, downloadable classroom activities book.
Another booklist, I know! And yes, there are a lot of duplications (there's gotta be something to those books, huh?) But I look through each list and on each list there's something new. What I probably should do is combine all of the lists. And I thought about it. And I may do that, but I almost feel that it takes away from these scholars' work/effort if I do that (even if I do acknowledge it...) so if I do, I have to do so while still acknowledging each author's contribution.
Social Justice Books: This is a website not in response to the current events, but one that has been live since 2017 to promote multicultural literature and social justice children's literature, as well as resources for educators. It is project of Teaching for Change.
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein is on quite a few of the lists shared. Check out Segregated by Design, written by Mark Lopez and Richard Rothstein. It will get you prepped and ready to learn more! High school teachers can use the video and this lesson plan from the ZinnEd project.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has several lists under reading resources divided by topic, such as anti-racism, immigration and the refugee experience, police brutality, racism, discrimination, & microaggressions, Juneteenth, and the list goes on (and on). These are linked lists to other sources, collated on the pages. MCBD also has giveaways and downloadable teacher packs.
AdLit.org is all about adolescent literacy! Curated by literature advisor Jamie Watson, this page is broken down topically. You can find lists by cultural/ethnic group, by interests, by historical event, and by award category. And that's only what's on the book list page!
And now, for other resources:
Absolutely Massive List of Anti-racist Resources for Black Lives Matter Allies: by Patricia Elzie, of Enthusiastic Encouragement and Dubious Advice. She notes that this post is public and free to share. And she starts with two incredible important statements: "Note: Reading all the books on anti-racism in the world is worthless if you aren’t also using your voice. Remember: It is a privilege to be able to learn about racism instead of experiencing it your whole life." I am quite purposefully starting with her resource, and her reminders.
Beyond The Statements: Doing the Work To Create More Anti-Racist School Districts by Jessica Lifshitz, a teacher in Illinois. She provides concrete steps to do the work- action, not words.
If you don't know Dr. Sheldon Eakins, please allow me the pleasure of an introduction. He hosts a podcast, and if you know me, you know I was glued to this episode: Leading Educators to Wokeness: Cultivating Equity Professional Development Through Culturally Responsive Teaching with Dr. Emily Affolter. Once you're on his email list, you also get a supply of resources, helpful one-two page resources. And if that's not enough, stay tuned for his Hip Hop Pedagogy summit! It was phenomenal (and Dr. Bettina Love was there, whom y'all may know I LOVE, and attend anything that she does that I find online).
Reckoning with White Supremacy: Five Fundamentals for White Folks I'm proud to say that I submitted a proposal for the All Y'll Social Justice conference this summer when I heard about the organization. While the conference was of many COVID cancellations, I follow them on twitter, and this was an article they tweeted. Written by Lovey Cooper for Scalawag magazine, it focuses on five "must dos" in teacher talk for white individuals to understand.
Avoiding Racial Equity Detours: An Expanded Handout, by Paul Gorski. I'll admit it. I'm a Gorski Groupie. That may not be a thing, but I'm totally one. He doesn't outweigh my love for Dr. Love (that's impossible, I think, shh, don't tell him.) On this page, you can download a handout that describes racial equity detours- what drives school, administration, teachers, off the path of equity work. While I'm on the Gorski Groupie tangent, check out a longer article on equity detours here, or consider dipping your toes into: Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States Or just go all in.
Under the Blacklight: The African American Policy Forum started a webinar series in March called Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Failures that COVID Lays Bare. Each Wednesday, Kimberle Crenshaw hosts the podcast with different guests. I joined for the first time on episode 4 and was riveted. I try to watch every week, but luckily they are recorded if I can't join live. Speaking of joining live.
Repurposing our Pedagogies for Abolitionist Teaching: Wow. Hosted by the Education for Liberation Network, this was an amazing 90 minutes.
Obama.org has two areas of the website that feature specific resources. The first is Meet Anguish with Action, focusing primarily on police brutality/antiracism and mental health, and how to take action in both areas. The second is My Brother's Keeper Alliance; this longstanding initiative (launched in 2014) has local chapters, or you can work with your local government to launch one. I signed up to volunteer this week, as my county has a chapter.
Supporting #BlackLivesMatter through Financial and Intellectual Means
Buy Black Stories, throughout BlackOwned bookstores. Try:
African American Literature Book Club a list of Black owned book stores in the US
Elite Daily provides a list that offers online shopping
EW's list also includes a few more, as well as organizations that may benefit from donations
Support Black-Owned business, full stop. While part of the work at this point is educating yourself- do not place the burden on people of color to explain racism to you- read a book (I believe there's about 100 suggestions above, lol), follow people or organizations on twitter to learn, engage in conversations, watch movies and listen to music (oh, that would be a good blog post hmmmm)-don't stop at shopping for books at Black-owned bookstores. Contribute to the economy and support other Black-owned businesses. This story came across my facebook feed today, and it would take a quick google search to find a similar list in your area.
If you are a researcher or a student, read the work of Black scholars in your field, and cite Black researchers. Resources:
Follow twitter or instagram accounts: @blackwomenphds, @blackwomenstem, @black_and_phd, @blackgurlscientist, @blackgirldoctorate, @blackafinstem, @blackmalephds, @citeblackwomen
Diversity Scholars Network Not all members are scholars of color (I am a member of the network, and I am white; however, it is a starting point)
As with my COVID resources, I will continue to update (I've already done so three times at least!); feel free to share, and check back.
I will close with my twitter post, the day after the Blackout:
I commit to speak out against #WhiteSupremacy, confront the #WhiteRage that is stomping out #BlackJoy, and to light a fire under others to fix the system that is breaking this country and lynching its citizens. What do you commit to? #ActionsNotWords#RacismIsTheCause#DayAfterBlackout
Please feel free to comment with additional links or resources.