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Working against Racism

The recent killing of George Floyd has outraged communities across our country – including here in Gloucester. Responding to this appalling act, and mindful of the pervasive racism in our country, people in Gloucester and around Cape Ann are speaking out, sending the message that racism is hate, and is unacceptable anywhere. 


The Sawyer Free Library staff and our Library Board support all those working to end systemic racism, inequality, and other barriers that limit opportunity within our city and our country. The Sawyer Free Library welcomes everyone, and is dedicated to fostering an active and inclusive community. 


The following are just some of the resources available at our library to help us all understand the history and the current state of racism in the United States, and to enable us to work more effectively to end racial injustice.


Antiracism Books for Adults



1919, by Eve L. Ewing
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry
Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, by Eddie S. Glaude
Excessive Use of Force: One Mother’s Struggle against Police Brutality and Misconduct, by Loretta A. Prater
How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
How We Fight White Supremacy, edited by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad
Monument: Poems, New and Selected, by Natasha Trethewey
Our Black Sons Matter: Mothers Talk about Fears, Sorrows, and Hopes, edited by George Yancy and others
Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi
This Stops Today: Eric Garner’s Mother Seeks Justice after Losing Her Son, by Gwen Carr and Dave Smitherman
The Toni Morrison Book Club, by Juda Bennett and others
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, by Charlene A. Carruthers
Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots, by Morgan Jerkins
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality beyond Black and White, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld



The Deep, by Rivers Solomon and others
Home, by Toni Morrison
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance, by Zora Neale Hurston
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, by Stephen L. Carter
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
The Seven League Boots, by Albert Murray
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Some Sing, Some Cry, by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza
Speaking of Summer, by Kalisha Buckhanon
Song of the Shank, by Jeffery Renard Allen
An Unconditional Freedom, by Alyssa Cole
The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
We Cast a Shadow, by Maurice Carlos Ruffin



Antiracism Books for Youth


Older Readers

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, by Mildred D. Taylor
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights, by Mikki Kendall and illustrated by A. D’Amico
Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi
The Impact of Slavery in America, by Duchess Harris and Gail Radley
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young People), by Bryan Stevenson
Light It Up, by Kekla Magoon
Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi
A Phoenix First Must Burn, edited by Patrice Caldwell
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell and illustrated by Aurélia Durand
Tyler Johnson was Here, by Jay Coles
The Voting Booth, by Brandy Colbert


Middle Grade

Black Brother, Black Brother, by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Blended, by Sharon Draper
Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendships, by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, and illustrated by Sean Qualls
For Black Girls like Me, by Mariama J. Lockington
From the Desk of Zoe Washington, by Janae Marks
Genesis Begins Again, by Alicia D. Williams
A Good Kind of Trouble, by Lise Moore Ramée
Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box, by Evette Dionne
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop, by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
The Only Black Girls in Town, by Brandy Colbert
Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice, by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Olivia Gatwood, and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III


Young Readers

Bedtime Bonnet, by Nancy Redd and illustrated by Nneka Myers
Boonoonoonous Hair, by Olive Senior and illustrated by Laura James
Cool Cuts, by Mechal Renee Roe and illustrated by the author
Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
I Got Next, by Daria Peoples-Riley and illustrated by the author
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All, by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, and illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
My Mommy Medicine, by Edwidge Danticat and illustrated by Shannon Wright
Saturday, by Oge Mora and illustrated by the author
Sing a Song: How ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ Inspired Generations, by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Keith Mallett
Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora and illustrated by the author
The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Who Will You Be? by Andrea Pippins and illustrated by the author
What Is Given from the Heart, by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
You Matter, by Christian Robinson and illustrated by the author





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