Books to add to your Anti-Racism Reading List

Happy Juneteenth! In celebration of the holiday, we’re highlighting the richness of the Black Culture as well as spotlighting books that speak to the current racial climate.

Not sure what Juneteenth is? On June 19, 1865, the abolition of slavery was announced in Texas, marking the end of slavery in the United States. First known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates that critical date in history.

How to be an Antiracist
By Ibram X. Kendi 

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Book | eBook | eAudio

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
By Michelle Alexander

Alexander provocatively argues that by targeting Black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness.

Book | eBook | eAudio

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
By Paul Kivel

Learn about interpersonal, institutional, and cultural racism along with stories of resistance and white solidarity. It provides practical tools and advice on how white people can work as allies for racial justice, engaging the reader through questions, exercises, and suggestions for action.

Book | eBook

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?
By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States.

Book | eBook

They Can’t Kill Us All
By Wesley Lowery

Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery details his quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it.


Getting Smart about Race
By Margaret L. Anderson

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
By Jennifer E. Cobbina
Just Mercy
By Bryan Stevenson

Book | eBook
Making All Black Lives Matter
By Barbara Ransby

Book | eBook
Me and White Supremacy
By Layla F. Saad

Book | eBook
The Condemnation of Blackness
By Khalil Gibran Muhammad

The Racial Healing Handbook
By Anneliese Singh

White Fragility
By Robin Diangelo

Book | eBook

Looking for even more books on this subject? Check out the Pratt’s collection of Anti-Racist Reading for Adults.

Happy African American Music Appreciation Month!

From pop and rock, to soul and rap, African Americans have such a strong impact and influence on music. This June, we celebrate them during African American Appreciation Month! With Hoopla you can download up to 15 e-materials a month. Here’s a collection of some of the music industry’s latest and greatest performers. Go ahead and take a listen.

Wires & Nerve

by Jodi Apps, Librarian  


 Meyer’s debut graphic novel, Wires and Nervepicks up immediately following the events of Winter (2015), the fourth installment of the Lunar Chronicles.  The evil queen was overthrown and Cinder, the new Queen, has reestablished peace between Earth and Luna (kingdom on the moon); however, the evil queen spent many years transforming young men into wolf-hybrid soldiers and though her reign is over, those soldiers remain on Earth. Their presence challenges the hard-fought peace, so Iko, the once servant android turned operative, takes it upon herself to locate and return the soldiers. When a zealot begins recruiting the rogue soldiers in a plot to kill Cinder, Iko must find a way to protect the life of her friends and the peace agreement. Holgate’s illustrations are rendered in a bold, cartoonish fashion in skillfully shaded black and blue hues.  White text bubbles moving in a traditional left-to-right fashion are set in sharp contrast to the illustrations and combined with well-defined panels and transitions, making the storyline easy to follow for first-time graphic novel readers. The detailed text, though heavy at times, and precise, fast-paced action scenes tell a clear and complex story that ends on a definite cliffhanger.   Although the prologue attempts to introduce the large cast of characters and catch new readers up to speed, the storyline is filled with references to events that occurred in previous installments, making it difficult to read as a stand-alone. Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will love the extended storyline, answering the “what happens next” questions.        

Oh So Sweet Baking Cookbooks

by Rachel Frisch, she/her, Walbrook Branch Manager

As we stay at home, many of us are picking up or rediscovering baking as a hobby. Methodical mixing and measuring can allow us to relax, promote mindfulness, and even reinforce math concepts. Enjoy it as a quiet solo activity, or share the experience with your family.

However you choose to bake, the Pratt’s free digital resources are here to help.

While The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook includes a variety of savory and dessert selections, the “Sweets” section includes fancy-feeling yet accessible options for cookies, pies and tarts, cakes, and puddings, and candy. Each recipe opens with a relatable personal anecdote about how Perelman devised or adapted the recipe. Visit her blog for more delicious ideas. Favorite Bake: Gooey Cinnamon Squares. They’re like snickerdoodle casserole!

In this update to Bittersweet (2003), Medrich explains why different percentages or types of chocolate are the right choice for each carefully refined recipe. Childhood memories add an evocative dose of personality to descriptions of these chocolate desserts. Favorite bake: Best Cocoa Brownies. Prepare to abandon box mix brownies for these decadent treats.

Curated from the popular blog of the same name, these recipes are straightforward and fun, perfect for when you need a low-stress project. The collection includes breakfast bakes, breads, and healthier alternatives, as well as standard categories like cookies, cakes, and pies. Favorite bake: Frosted Sugar Cookies. These are extra soft, and what’s more fun than decorating.

In Honor of Music Legend

by Hannah Lane, African American Department

Little Richard

The recent passing of African American singer, musician, and songwriter Richard Wayne Penniman (better known as Little Richard,)  moved millions throughout the country to reminisce on their own memories of the icon’s music, and to reflect on his legacy in American popular music more broadly. Born in 1932, and active as a performer since the late 1940s, Little Richard had a very long, dynamic career. Much like musicians such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was an important influence on Little Richard as a young teen, Penniman is remembered as a founding “architect” and “innovator” of Rock and Roll. But his musical career would go on to shape soul, funk, R&B and various other genres.

From artists such as Bessie Smith, to Ma Rainey, to Count Basie, Blanche Calloway, Louis Jordan, James Brown, Prince, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Little Richard himself, Black Americans have historically and continuously been at the forefront of artistic innovation in American Popular music. The African American Department invites you to remember Little Richard–his showmanship, undeniable charisma, and musical genius– and celebrate his legacy with our digital resources at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.