Black Lives Matter: A Reading List for Young Adults
As the Black Lives Matter movement grows in the wake of ongoing racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans, it can be difficult to understand current events. The books on this list offer a starting place for exploring racism, prejudice, discrimination, and inequity in a manner accessible to teens and young adults.
2016 by Taylor, Keeanga-YamahttaGet this item
With a strong voice, this book analyses the Black Lives Matter movement in the larger struggle for racial justice and social equality. An important primer for budding activists wanting to get involved in the movement.
2015 by Jason ReynoldsGet this item
After a misunderstanding in a convenience store, a young Black man is horrifically beaten up by a police officer and one of the only witnesses is a white classmate, who also happens to know the police officer well. This dramatic, fast-paced story, told from the perspective of the victim and the bystander, illustrates a variety of issues confronted by young people in today's society.
2015 by James William KilgoreGet this item
How did the criminal justice system get to where it is now-- where people of color, immigrants, and transgender individuals are so disproportionately imprisoned? This book lays out the roadmap that got us to where we are and offers directions for where we might go to correct these injustices.
2013 by John LewisGet this item
This vivid graphic novel chronicles the story of Georgia Congressman John Lewis' political awakening as a young man, through his participation and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. The book highlights the nonviolent processes that directed the public eye to the injustices faced by the Black community and drove social change through the eyes of a true American hero. It's the first book in a trilogy.
2011 by Thomas A JacobsGet this item
Even as a young person, you have rights. It's important to educate yourself about your rights before you find yourself in a situation where you may have to call on them. This book is a good primer to navigating issues that many young people may face.
Let nobody turn us around : voices of resistance, reform, and renewal : an African American anthology2000 by Manning Marable, Leith MullingsGet this item
A treasure trove of primary sources and historical writings and that span three centuries of the Black American struggle for social justice. If you are looking for a starting place to understand the larger context of racial inequality and societal power structures, this book is it.
2014 by Kekla MagoonGet this item
When a young Black teenager is shot and killed by a white man, a community comes together to process the events that led to the shooting. The reader is introduced to a broad cast of characters who all bring their own perspectives and biases to the table and a picture emerges of a complex young man who is forced to be defined by the eyes of everyone around him.
2002 by Jacqueline WoodsonGet this item
After her father testifies against fellow police officers in the shooting of a young black man, Toswiah Green's family is whisked away through the witness protection program to start a new life. The family struggles with their new identities and the violence that plagues their past.
2009 by Phillip M HooseGet this item
You probably learned about the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, but did you know that nearly a year before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white passenger, a fifteen-year-old girl named Claudette Colvin took the same defiant stance? This book examines racial discrimination and one young person's experience navigating the social and legal ramifications of challenging the status quo.
2012 by Mark LongGet this item
An intimate look into the lives of two families growing up in the 1960s--one Black and one white. As the Civil Rights Movement blossoms around them, each character must consult their conscience for how to best speak out against the atrocities they have witnessed.
2015 by Dawson BarrettGet this item
Despite the persisting stereotype that young people are disengaged, we can see today that youth are speaking out against injustice--and that isn't a new phenomenon. In short, beautifully illustrated stories, 'Teenage Rebels' describes the experiences of high school aged activists in a variety of social movements in the U.S., from 1777 to the present. Read on to learn about how teens have examined their own values, formed their own opinions, and taken action to shape their world.
2012 by Laura ScandiffioGet this item
This book goes through key examples in the global history of civil disobedience to show how different movements have used nonviolent processes to create social change. Budding activists will find plenty of role models for movement-building in this concise introduction.