Valerie S. on Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler: Another delicious helping of contemporary life in Baltimore — just before coronavirus — that ended too quickly and left me wanting more. Tyler’s main characters are usually funny and fallible. This novel is no exception. A perfect summer read.
Michael M. on Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: Evaristo opened my eyes with this gorgeous semi-prose book. Identity can be an obstacle, but it can also be a fountain of joy when fully realized. Many characters fall into unhealthy relationships with an imbalance of power. Past trauma, mistreatment, or marginalization leads the characters to trust and rely on people who ultimately take advantage of them. It’s a compelling and crucial read with as broad a range of emotions as possible.
Ashley S. on The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary: This is a must-read for every parent who is interested in helping their children blossom and grow.
Rachel P. on A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr: A book about friends whose ideals about love and marriage are tested and true friendships and true love are shown to hold up when communication and trust are a part of the recipe. A fun read!
Stephanie H. on My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: A fast-paced and immersive read. Fun use of language and first-person narrative.
Yana C. on White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo: …Truly required reading for every white person in America. She does a great job of clearly explaining concepts like prejudice, discrimination, racism, white privilege, white supremacy, and of course, white fragility. Straightforward yet will really challenge your views and get you out of your comfort zones, both for those who do not understand their role in the system but also for those white progressives who feel “woke.:”
Join the fun! For a chance to win fabulous prizes in the Adult Summer Challenge, create a free Beanstack account and log each book you finish between June 17 and August 12.
Each year in June, Baltimore and other cities across the U.S. host Gay Pride parades and festivals. These events celebrate LGBTQ+ lives and commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a protest against police brutality that catalyzed the modern Gay Rights Movement.
This year the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march is different, with many large, in-person Pride events cancelled. The country is reeling under a historic pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black people and communities of color. The health crisis is also occurring amidst a backdrop of ongoing protests focused on ending the killing of Black people by police, confronting systemic racism, and dismantling white supremacy.
Pride month has brought increased public discussion around the intersection of the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements. We see it acknowledged, at least aesthetically, by organizations who this year have opted to display Pride flags that include black and brown stripes, an acknowledgement of the unique inequities experienced by Black and Brown LGBTQ+ people. We see it on the cover of Time Magazine, where Baltimore photographer Devin Allen captured a scene from a recent march against police brutality organized by the Black transgender community in Baltimore. We see it in interviews with The Pride Center of Maryland (the host of Baltimore Pride) that discuss this year’s realignment of Baltimore Pride with Black Lives Matter.
With Baltimore Pride cancelled this year, Pratt Library staff will miss seeing you in the streets and talking to you in Druid Hill Park. Instead we invite you to check out our books and movies to learn more about the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities.
In addition to our books, eBooks and Audio books, below you’ll find a few film titles from the Kanopy catalog, but we have many more. Write to us on Facebook or Twitter to share your own recommendations we’d love to hear from you.
Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena- the only other adopted black girl she knows- for a new life.
When the six students start meeting together weekly, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.
From celebrated author and illustrator Ashley Bryan comes a deeply moving picture book memoir about serving in the segregated army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him.
When eleven-year-old Langston’s father moves them from their home in Alabama to Chicago’s Bronzeville district, it feels like he’s giving up everything he loves. Until he finds the Chicago Public Library welcomes everyone. There, Langston discovers another Langston—a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
Meet Caleb and Bobby Gene, two brothers embarking on a madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure in which friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might happen.
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, discover over fifty remarkable African American women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation of young people.
This book reveals how in 1963, demonstrations and public protests lead the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park to became desegregated. Learn how tells how a community came together—both black and white—to make a change.
Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews’s distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color.
Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.
Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do.
When Daddy steps in to style Zuri’s hair for an extra-special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he loves Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her and her hair happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.
Six-time Coretta Scott King Award-winner and four-time Caldecott Honor-recipient Bryan Collier brings Useni Eugene Perkins’s classic, inspirational poem to life. This book celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals.
Don’t miss this moving picture book that tells the story of a young girl and her family whose visit to see Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery becomes an extraordinary moment.
Starting kindergarten is a big milestone — and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm.
I Believe I Can is an affirmation for boys and girls of every background to love and believe in themselves, from actress and activist Grace Byers. The book teaches, “My presence matters in this world. I know I can do anything, if only I believe I can.”