Resources — Addressing Racism
Resources for Meetings
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PhYM) has developed annotated bibliographies of books, websites, media, and workshops designed to help meetings "think about where they are and what they may do regarding the many facets of “-isms” that confront us and our wider community." This is part of an onoing wider effort in PhYM to address racism in the Yearly Meeting and in society at large. They have divided these resources into three tiers according to how deeply you feel your meeting is engaged with the issues.
Resources for Youth
Babies & Toddlers
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara. Also available in Spanish.
- Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester. Introduces concept of race as part of a person’s story; Introduces the idea of prejudice based on skin color. Picture book for K-2.
- Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine. Excellent book about a child’s resistance to slavery.
- Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Describes the sit-in by four college students at Woolworth’s counter in 1960. Picture book for K-2.
- We March by Shane Evans. Picture book about 1963 March on Washington. Preschool-Grade 2.
- A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson. A stirring yet jubilant glimpse of the invaluable contributions of youth in the Civil Rights movement. Ages 5-8.
- Yours for justice, Ida B. Wells : the daring life of a crusading journalist by Philip Ray.
- Dolores Huerta : A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah E. Warren.
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Through poetry, Woodson shares her experience growing up African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Grade 4 & up.
- Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice. An excellent book parents and teachers can use to raise the question: Who gets to be a leader? Which Black lives matter, and who gets left out when we look for just one kind of hero? Grades 6 & up.
- One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. Three sisters visit their mother, a Black Panther Party member, during a memorable summer in Oakland. Grades 3 & up.
- Little Rock Nine by Marshall Poe. Two boys in Little Rock get caught up in the struggle over public school integration. Grades 4 & up.
- Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. Autobiography about the harrowing story
of how Bridges integrated a public school in New Orleans when she was 6 years old. Grades 2-4.
- Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge. A photo essay focusing on the critical role that children and teens played in the success of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Grades 4 & up.
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. The Watsons’ lives are drastically changed after they visit Grandma in Birmingham in the summer of 1963. Grades 4 & up.
- Revolution by Deborah Wiles. Twelve-year-old Sunny evolves a growing sense of justice and empathy after “the invaders” arrive in her Mississippi town to integrate public facilities and register voters during “Freedom Summer.” Grades 4 & up.
- The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights by
Steve Sheinkin. The riveting local account of African American sailors who were charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after a deadly explosion during World War II. Grades 4 & up.
- The Kid's Guide to Social Action: how to solve the social problems you choose -- and turn creative thinking into positive action by Barbara A. Lewis .
- Black Lives Matter by Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris. Grades 6 & up.
7th grade & Up
- From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor .
- A young people's history of the United States by Howard Zinn.
- March: by John Lewis; with Andrew Aydin; art by Nate Powell.
- All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
- How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon.
- Police Brutality (opposing viewpoints series) by Sheila Fitzgerald.
- A Letter to My Nephew by James Baldwin (1962).
- See also The Fire Next Time.
Grades 9 & up
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis. Grades 9 & up.
- Canerow Book List, titles featuring children of color as central characters in their own stories, curated by Bay Area mom, activist and author Mia Birdsong for children of color to see themselves and their histories reflected in literature.
- #RaiseUpJustice Diverse Books Starter Kit from Showing Up for Racial Justice.
- The Zinn Education Project teaching materials on racism, civil rights and other social issues.
- Teaching for Change. Resources by theme, including Racial Identity and Fairness and Activism.
- Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching. Sample lesson plans and resources.
- #WeNeedDiverseBooks envisions a world where all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. Get involved with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign by tweeting and contacting publishers. http://diversebooks.org
- Confederate Flag 2 - How to Talk to Small Children About Racism; Celebrating Bree Newsome, a model for educational, age-appropriate storytelling by Aya de Leon.
- Straight Talk on Race: Challenging the Stereotypes in Children’s Books by Mitali Perkins in School Library Journal.
- How To Teach Kids About Ferguson by Marcia Chatelain in The Atlantic (contains resource list).
- A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza on FeministWire.com.
- Articles for discussion with grades 7 & up
- Contemporary Police Brutality and Misconduct: A Continuation of the Legacy of Racial Violence from the Black Radical Congress.
- Black Youth 100 - Agenda to Build Black Futures includes numerous resources, solutions and reports for discussion with grades 7 & up.
- How the Children of Birmingham Changed the Civil Rights Movement in The Daily Beast.
PARENT and TEACHER PERSPECTIVES
- The Rules: Making sense of race and privilege by Lawrence Otis Graham in Princeton Alumni Weekly. A Black father shares the lessons and rules he hoped would protect his upper-class Black children, and how they failed.
- A Mother’s White Privilege by Elizabeth Broadbent in the Huffington Post.
- Talk to Your Kids About Ferguson by Bruce Reyes-Chow in the Huffington Post.
- Telling My Son About Ferguson by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow.
- What White Children Need to Know About Race by Ali Michael and Eleonora
Bartoli in Independent School Magazine.
- Your Child and the Juvenile Justice System by Lenore Anderson. (For parents).
VIDEOS & MULTIMEDIA
- Black Lives Matter on the New Civil Rights Movement. Alicia Garza, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, tells AJ+ about the young Black activists leading a movement for change and what it is they are asking for (03:51 minutes). Grades 7 & up.
- Cracking the Codes dir. by Shakti Butler (film and discussion guide).
- Teaching Ferguson in the Classroom from PBS. Various videos for discussion.
- Michelle Alexander: A System of Racial and Social Control on PBS Frontline. Grades 7 & up.
- Letter to the Local Police by June Jordan. Use this poem as a conversation starter: Remove key identity words from the poem and ask students to fill in the blanks. Discuss how the poem could actually be about racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, or sexism.
- The Knotted Line by Evan Bissell. An interactive media project exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the United States. With miniature paintings of over 50 historical moments from 1495-2025. Includes resources for educators.
- For Teens: “Is Ferguson Like Mockingjay?” from MTV Braless. (03:15 minutes, clip continues until 04:09 - Strong language in the unrelated segment starting at 03:16 mins). Grades 8 & up.
USEFUL WEBSITES & OTHER RESOURCES
Resources for Families from SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
- Raising Race Conscious Children (blog)
- Embrace Race (newsletter), also on Facebook.
- YWCA Stand Against Racism.
- Teaching #BlackLivesMatters, a guide from San Francisco Unified School District.
- The Children’s Peace Education and Anti-Bias Librar.
- Teaching African American Literature & History from National Humanities Center.
- Teaching about Ferguson: Race and Racism in the United States from Teaching Tolerance.
- Books to Increase Awareness of the Cycles of Poverty, Race and Incarceration from Reaching Reluctant Readers, a blog by Amy Cheney.
- The Other America, speech by Martin Luther King Jr. Read what MLK actually said about riots, protest and racism in the weeks before he was assassinated in 1968.