Conversations about race, racial injustice and equality are hard but are essential to culivating an inclusive community. Because books can be great conversaton starters, we asked our readers and a local expert for their go-to books for kids, teens and parents looking to learn more about diversity and anti-racism. Here are a dozen resources broken down by age to help metro families engage in important dialog.
You Matter – Christian Robinson
Author-illustrator Christian Robinson shares an important message of self worth, moving readers through a range of perspectives reflecting the diversity of life in every scene.
Someday Is Now – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Follow along as a group of young kids become inspirational heroes of the Civil Rights movement led by Oklahoma City activist Clara Luper.
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters – Barack Obama
President Obama pens a tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the traits of those heroes he sees in his own children and in all American children.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy – Tony Medina
Medina shares thirteen views of everyday life for young men of color through poems highlighted by artistic renderings.
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness – Anastasia Higginbotham
The latest in the Ordinary Terrible Things series, Higginbotham explores racial injustice through the experience of a young white girl after she sees news coverage of a police shooting.
New Kid – Jerry Craft
This graphic novel follows seventh grader Jordan Banks and his journey as the new kid at a prestigious private school. Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
March – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
March is a first-hand account of John Lewis’ struggle for civil and human rights.
This Book is Anti-Racist – Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Aurelia Durand
Written for the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up against racial injustice, Jewell writes about racism and how to undo it.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
In an emotionally charged personal narrative, Coates attempts to answer questions about our nation’s history of racism and current racial injustices in a letter to his adolescent son.
Your Black Friend and Other Strangers – Ben Passmore
This culturally charged collection of comics tackles race, gentrification, the prison system and other complex racial issues with relatable humor.
So You Want to Talk about Race – Ijeoma Oluo
Oluo guides readers though racially charged subjects in an honest conversation about race and racism in America.
How To Be An Anti-Racist – Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi points readers to a new way of thinking about what an anti-racist society looks like and how readers can play a role in building it.
More reader recommended books about diversity:
I am Enough by Grace Byers
I’m Like You, You’re Like Me by Cindy Gainer
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Beautiful by Stacy McAnulte
Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game by John Coy
A Girl Named Misty by Kelly Starling Lyons
Hair Love By Matthew A. Cherry
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Firebird by Misty Copeland
If You Were a Kid During The Civil Rights Movement by Gwendolyn Hooks
Teach Your Dragon about Diversity by Steve Herman
Mae Among The Stars by Roda Ahmed
Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit
Who Were the Tuskagee Airmen? by Sherri L. Smith
Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy
I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer
Chachaji’s Cup by Uma Krishnaswami
Something Happened in Our Town by Ann Hazzard, Marianne Celano and Marietta Collins
Special thanks to Literati Press Bookshop and our readers for recommending the above books about racism and equality. Literati Press Bookshop opened in the Paseo Arts District in 2016 and focuses on innovative and progressive storytelling in comics, novels and non-fiction. Literati Press also maintains a publishing and mentorship wing to give a platform to established and emerging storytellers throughout the state. They are open seven days a week from 10am-6pm. Find more information at literatipressok.com or @literatipress on social media.
Know of a book we should add? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.