Launched by OverDrive in response to the demand for books on antiracism and social justice, Black Lives Matter Community Reads offers acclaimed works that focus on #ownvoices so that we can read, listen, learn, and grow together in our understanding and knowledge of race relations. Available on demand with unlimited access, these titles are highly recommended for both solo readers and book club discussion.
Why these books & why now?
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo - NEW
Ready to read OverDrive audiobook until July 26
A contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo, Editor-at-Large of the Establishment, answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Ready to read OverDrive audiobook until July 15
After nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and ten years since it was first published, Alexander's landmark and award-winning examination of the inequities within the criminal justice system based on race is, once again, a clarion call to all of us. This book demands us to consider what has changed in the past decade, and what hasn't—and why not?
This book "spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S." (Baker & Taylor)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Ready to read OverDrive eBook and audiobook until July 12
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (harpercollins.com)
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
Ready to read OverDrive eBook until July 19
Based on the original workbook to the #meandwhitesupremacy social media challenge, this book leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous, and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better. This digital edition expands on historical and cultural contexts, stories and anecdotes, and includes more definitions, examples, and further resources. (Adapted from www.meandwhitesupremacybook.com)
Ijeoma Oluo is an editor-at-large and contributing writer at The Establishment and various other journals. She has also performed as a speaker, storyteller, and stand-up comic on a wide variety of topics including race, parenting, feminism, online harrassment, and social justice.
Michelle Alexander is a writer, The New York Times columnist, civil rights advocate, lawyer, and visiting professor of social justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York.
Angie Thomas is an author of young adult fiction and social justice activist. Her first novel, The Hate U Give debuted at #1 on The New York Time Best Seller list for young adult fiction in 2017, and was adapted into a feature film in 2018.
Layla Saad is a social media figure whose online work on Instagram under the hashtag #MeAndWhiteSupremacy was the basis of her best-selling first book.