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Posted on: September 23, 2022

Raising Antiracist Children: A Practical Parenting Guide

Raising Antiracist Children

by Britt Hawthorne with Natasha Yglesias

This timely guide stands out for its intersectional approach to parenting. Author Britt Hawthorne states in her introduction "Many of the parenting books out there focus on individualism-- in this book, I&a...

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Posted on: September 16, 2022

We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power

We Refuse to Forget

by Caleb Gayle

In this largely forgotten chapter of American history, Gayle offers a fascinating look at racial dynamics within the Creek Nation, where for a long period of time, Blacks could become formally adopted and identified fully as Creeks. “Sharp c...

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Posted on: September 9, 2022

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

This 2017 YA debut from author Angie Thomas depicts a sixteen year old, Starr Carter, dealing with the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by the police. Starr has to navigate what it means to tell the truth about the incident while...

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Posted on: September 2, 2022

My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir

My Remarkable Journey

by Katherine G. Johnson

The week of the planned launch of NASA’s Artemis I Mission seems an opportune time to promote a memoir by the brilliant mathematician Katherine Johnson. Published shortly after her death in 2020 at age 101, the memoir give...

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Posted on: August 26, 2022

Hurricane Child

Hurricane Child

by Kacen Callender

Caroline is considered unlucky because she was born during a hurricane. She has lived her whole life on Water Island, and takes a water taxi every day to her school on St. Thomas (part of the US Virgin Islands). As a young child, she onc...

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Posted on: August 19, 2022

Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir

Constructing a Nervous System

by Margo Jefferson

In her memoir Negroland, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Margo Jefferson wrote insightfully about her middle-class Black childhood in the 1950s and ‘60s. In this new memoir, she describes how she escaped the p...

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Posted on: August 12, 2022

Kings of B'More

Kings of BMore

by R. Eric Thomas

Best friends Linus and Harrison are two queer black teens living in Baltimore that are both shook when Linus receives news that his family is moving to South Carolina. Harrison, in turn, plans an epic last day in honor of Linus and their ...

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Posted on: August 5, 2022

Love & Justice: A Journey of Empowerment, Activism, and Embracing Black Beauty

Love and Justice

by Laetitia Ky

Filled with beautiful color photographs, this book presents the personal story of artist and activist Laetitia Ky, known for sculpting her own hair to create powerful and joyful artwork that embraces the beauty of Black hair and style, the f...

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Posted on: July 29, 2022

Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy

Agent Josephine

by Damien Lewis

Josephine Baker, American-born French dancer, singer, and actress, is well known as the first black woman to start in a major motion picture. This new book uncovers a little-known aspect of her life: working as a spy for the British during ...

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Posted on: July 22, 2022

The Only Black Girls In Town

Only Black Girls in Town

by Brandy Colbert

Alberta has been the only Black girl in her small town for years, so when Edie, another Black girl, and her family move in across the street, Alberta is excited to finally have a friend who will understand that important piece of her iden...

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Posted on: July 15, 2022

Miss Chloe: A Memoir of a Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison

Miss Chloe

by A.J. Verdelle

A.J. Verdelle writes movingly about her more than two decades-long friendship with Chloe Ardelia Wofford, aka Toni Morrison. Thanks to Morrison’s efforts, Verdelle, then a young professor and novelist, was invited to teach at Pri...

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Posted on: July 8, 2022

Planeta Blu: Rise of Agoo

Planeta Blu

by Tem Blessed; illustrated by Mike Lariccia

Planeta Blu is a graphic novel created by our own local Amherst talent, Tem Blessed. You might know Tem from their work empowering youth or as a socially conscious hip hop artist. Along with the lush creative ta...

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Posted on: July 1, 2022

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from across the African Diaspora

Black Food

edited by Terry Bryant

James Beard – and NAACP Image Award – winning chef and food activist Terry Bryant presents a rich and fascinating look at the food, culture, history, and people of the African Diaspora, exploring its wide range ac...

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Posted on: June 24, 2022

My Rainbow

My Rainbow

by Trinity and DeShanna Neal; illustrated by Art Twink

My Rainbow is a touching and authentic story which centers a young Black transgender girl named Trinity, who wishes to have longer hair. She expresses to her mother that having longer hair would feel a...

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Posted on: June 17, 2022

On Juneteenth

On Juneteenth

by Annette Gordon-Reed

Learn about our newest federal holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, grew up both proudly African American and Texan, and her powerful book is a combinati...

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Posted on: June 10, 2022

Troublemaker for Justice

Troublemaker for Justice

by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

It's always the right time to learn more about our Queer Black leaders, but as we celebrate Pride this month, it is perhaps the ideal time to shine the light on the accomplishments of Bayar...

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Posted on: June 3, 2022

The Black History Book

Black History Book

edited by Nemata Amelia Blyden

This illustrated celebration of Black history begins with prehistory and goes to the present. In it, readers will discover the rich and complex history of the peoples of Africa, and the struggles and triumphs of Black culture...

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Posted on: May 27, 2022

Clean Getaway

Clean Getaway

by Nic Stone; illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile

When Scoob's grandmother shows up unexpectedly in an RV and invites him to go on an adventure together, he jumps at the chance to escape from his strict single father and recent grounding. But as the pa...

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Posted on: May 20, 2022

Racism, Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Racism Not Race

by Joseph L. Graves Jr. and Alan H. Goodman

In the wake of the massacre of Black Americans in Buffalo, we grieve and seek understanding. This new book offers a valuable place to start. The authors explain that the science on race is clear. Common categorie...

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Posted on: May 13, 2022

Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard

Black Girl Unlimited

by Echo Brown

Steeped in magical realism and Matrix references, this first-person narrative tells the story of author Echo Brown's own girlhood in Cleveland. Echo struggles to survive some truly difficult circumstances, like poverty, depression, s...

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Posted on: May 6, 2022

Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families...

Torn Apart

by Dorothy E. Roberts

An award-winning scholar exposes the foundational racism of the child welfare system and calls for radical change. Many believe the child welfare system protects children from abuse. But as Torn Apart uncovers, this system is designed...

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Posted on: April 29, 2022

Finding Me

Finding Me

by Viola Davis

The first African American actress to achieve an Academy Award, an Emmy, and two Tony Awards, the "triple crown of acting," Viola Davis has written a candid and inspiring memoir. From her coming of age in Rhode Island to her hard-w...

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Posted on: April 22, 2022

The Me I Choose To Be

The Me I Choose to Be

by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley; art by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt

There is much to admire about this gorgeous, affirming picture book, but the photographic illustrations make it feel truly unique and timely. Regis and Kahran Bethencourt, illustrators of Th...

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Posted on: April 15, 2022

White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America's Darkest Secret

White Lies

by A. J. Baime

A much-needed new biography of an exceptionally courageous civil rights leader who is too little known today. Walter F. White led two lives: one as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance and the NAACP in the early twentieth century; the other as...

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Posted on: April 8, 2022

Me (Moth)

Me (Moth)

by Amber McBride

This debut YA novel in verse by Amber McBride was just a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, as well as the Morris Award for new authors. Moth is a teenaged girl, broken and grieving the deaths...

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Posted on: April 1, 2022

Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration

Black Joy

by Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts

A heart-warming book that demonstrates the importance of finding personal joy, even in lives that may be plagued by trauma. The author shows that Black joy is a powerful resource to be drawn upon. She shows how t...

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Posted on: March 25, 2022

This Book Is Feminist: An Intersectional Primer for Next-gen Changemakers

This Book is Feminist

by Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Aurélia Durand

Fans of Tiffany Jewell's This Book is Anti-Racist may recognize the look and feel of this accessible guide to feminism. Author Jamia Wilson is an activist, writer, speaker, pod-caster, and ...

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Posted on: March 18, 2022

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution

Allow Me to Retort

by Elie Mystal

Elie Mystal, lawyer, analyst at MSNBC, and legal editor at The Nation, argues that Republicans are wrong when they tell you the First Amendment allows religious fundamentalists to discriminate against gay people who like cake. They're wrong ...

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Posted on: March 11, 2022

Feminist AF: a Guide to Crushing Girlhood

Feminist AF

by Brittney Cooper, Chanel Craft Tanner, and Susana Morris

This is a book I wish had existed when I was a teenager. Written by three Black women who are members of the Crunk Feminist Collective, this guide to crushing girlhood is a fun and relevant way to ...

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Posted on: March 4, 2022

Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South

Chasing Me to My Grave

by Winfred Rembert; foreword by Bryan Stephenson

The art is this stunning book depicts vivid scenes from the cotton fields and chain gangs of the segregated south to the churches and night clubs of the urban north as it tells of a self-taught artist&ap...

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Posted on: February 25, 2022

Recognize!: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life

Recognize

by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

From the stunning cover art to the accessible length of the pieces included in this anthology, Recognize! draws readers into a rich portrait of what it means to be Black in America. As editors Wade Hudson and Cheryl ...

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Posted on: February 18, 2022

How to Make a Slave and Other Essays

How to Make a Slave

by Jerald Walker

How does a Black professor at a mostly white liberal arts college in Massachusetts experience and confront racism at work and in the community? Our selection for the 2022 On the Same Page Amherst community reading program - How to Make a S...

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Posted on: February 11, 2022

Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Hip Hop History

Cant Stop Wont Stop

by Jeff Chang and Davey D

Jeff Chang's award-winning 2005 history of hip hop has recently been remixed for a young adult audience. Trimmed down in half from its hefty 600 pages, the history has been updated to include the Black Lives Matter moveme...

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Posted on: February 4, 2022

Angela Davis: An Autobiography

Angela Davis:  An Autobiography

by Angela Davis

Angela Davis has been a political activist at the cutting edge of the Black Liberation, feminist, queer, and prison abolitionist movements. First published and edited by Toni Morrison in 1974, An Autobiography is a powerful and commanding a...

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Posted on: January 28, 2022

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

One Last Word

by Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes was recently named the recipient of the 2022 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. Author of over 77 books for young people, her works include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We love so many of h...

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Posted on: January 21, 2022

Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant's Search...

Reclamation

by Gayle Jessup White

A Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson tells how her family's "secret" - carried for generations - was, through her efforts, proven and acknowledged by the wider world, including the historic Monticello site. She th...

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Posted on: January 14, 2022

Black Birds in the Sky

Black Birds in the Sky

by Brandy Colbert

The Tulsa race massacre, which took place one hundred years ago in 1921, is a part of our American history that has escaped widespread attention until recently. After watching the pilot episode of HBO's Watchmen, which starts out...

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Posted on: January 7, 2022

Our African Unconscious: The Black Origins of Mysticism and Psychology

Our African Unconscious

by Edward Bruce Bynum

This third edition demonstrates how all modern human beings, regardless of ethnic or racial categorizations, share a common deeper identity, both psychically and genetically - a primordial African unconscious. Edward Bruce Bynum, Ph.D...

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Posted on: December 24, 2021

The People Remember

The People Remember

by Ibi Zoboi; illustrated by Loveis Wise

Poetic text by National Book Award Finalist Ibi Zoboi and expansive art by Loveis Wise bring the seven principles of Kwanzaa to life in The People Remember. Honoring the oral tradition of Black history being passed ...

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Posted on: December 17, 2021

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery across America

How the Word Is Passed

by Clint Smith

The New York Times has just named this book to their list of the top ten books of 2021. We strongly agree with their choice; Americans urgently need to reckon with the legacy of slavery and with the many monuments to our slave-holding past. ...

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Posted on: December 10, 2021

A Song Below Water

song below water

by Bethany C. Morrow

Set in Portland, Oregon, this young adult novel centers on 16 year old Tavia and her best friend, Effie. Tavia and Effie are both Black girls and have to deal with normal high school things like exes and classmate rivalries. But Tavia ...

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Posted on: December 3, 2021

The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth

Rage of Innocence

by Kristin Henning

Drawing upon 25 years of experience representing Black youth in Washington D.C.'s juvenile court, attorney Kris Henning confronts America's irrational, manufactured fears of Black youth and clearly shows that they recei...

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Posted on: November 26, 2021

Molly of Denali: Party Moose

Molly of Denali

based on a television episode written by Kathy Waugh

This beginner-reader, based on the popular PBS Kids show, features an Alaskan Native kid named Molly. Molly is joined by her best friends Trini and Tooey on many adventures in beautiful Alaska. They are ...

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Posted on: November 19, 2021

We Were There: The Third World Women’s Alliance and the Second Wave

We Were There

by Patricia Romney

Congratulations to local author Patricia Romney, whose new book has received glowing advance reviews. From 1970 to 1980, the Third World Women’s Alliance was one of the earliest groups advocating for what came to be known as in...

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Posted on: November 12, 2021

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask

by Anton Treuer

In our antiracist efforts to dismantle white supremacy, we have to also look at this country's relationship with its Indigenous communities. Both Black and Indigenous people have suffered under white-led systems of power for centur...

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Posted on: November 5, 2021

Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature

Read Until You Understand

by Farah Jasmine Griffin

Anyone who loves the works of the acclaimed writer Toni Morrison will savor this account by Farah Jasmine Griffin of how she found her father and herself through rereading Morrison’s books. Griffin’s beloved fat...

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Posted on: October 29, 2021

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Algorithms of Oppression

by Safiya Umoja Noble

Safiya Umoja Noble was selected in September as one of this year’s MacArthur (Genius) Award winners for her important work about the harm being done to society by search engines. Google and similar online tools may look neut...

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Posted on: October 22, 2021

White Smoke

White Smoke

by Tiffany Jackson

Need a spooky read to get you in the mood for Halloween? Tiffany Jackson's latest young adult novel White Smoke will do the trick. High schooler Mari is not pleased that her family uprooted from California and moved her to some ...

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Posted on: October 15, 2021

Breaking It Down: Audition Techniques for Actors of the Global Majority

Breaking it Down

by Nicole Hodges Persley and Monica White Ndounou

Racism is present in all types of employment, including acting. Here is an acting guide specifically for people who are nonwhite. The authors’ practical advice focuses on stage audition skills but...

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Posted on: October 8, 2021

Sprouting Wings: The True Story of James Herman Banning

Sprouting Wings

by Louisa Jaggar & Shari Becker, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

This engaging picture book biography tells the story of James Herman Banning, the first African American pilot to complete a flight across the country in 1932. Captivated by flight from child...

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Posted on: October 1, 2021

You Can Keep that to Yourself: A Comprehensive List of What Not to Say to Black People, for Well-Int

You Can Keep that to Yourself

by Adam Smyer

The title tells the reader all they need to know about this short little book: it is direct, it does not mince words, it is humorous while being about a deadly serious topic. Words and phrases—from “Ally” to &...

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Posted on: September 24, 2021

The Parker Inheritance

Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson's The Parker Inheritance is a masterpiece of a middle grade novel wrapping mystery, history, friendship, and family into one seamless narrative. Beginning with a simple premise - a summer, two friends, and the trea...

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Posted on: September 17, 2021

All that She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake

All That She Carried

by Tiya Miles

The story behind this heart-breaking book began when Rose, an enslaved woman in 1850s South Carolina, gave her young daughter, Ashley, a sack containing among other items a braid of hair and a handful of pecans on the eve of Ashley's...

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Posted on: September 10, 2021

Long Way Down

Long Way Down

by Jason Reynolds

Last year, Jason Reynolds adapted his award-winning young adult novel in verse into a graphic novel beautifully illustrated by Danica Novgordoff. This short but powerful story takes you on an elevator ride down filled with ghosts and diff...

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Posted on: September 3, 2021

We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

We Are Each Other's Harvest

by Natalie Baszile

Harvest season is a good time to explore Black people’s connection to the land, and this beautiful volume does just that, covering the years from Emancipation to the present. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farm...

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Posted on: August 27, 2021

The King of Kindergarten

King of Kindergarten

by Derrick Barnes illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Whether you're feeling excited, anxious, curious (or all three at once!) this empowering first day of school picture book will give readers a boost of confidence. From the moment he wakes up on the f...

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Posted on: August 20, 2021

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

Disordered Cosmos

by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is one of the leading physicists of her generation, at work on the origins of spacetime at the intersection of particle physics and astrophysics. She is also one of the fewer than one hundred Black w...

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Posted on: August 13, 2021

Blackout

Blackout

by Dhonielle Clayton, et al.

This YA collection of short stories written by YA superstars such as Angie Thomas, Tiffany Jackson, Nic Stone, and Nicola Yoon is super charming. The stories sweetly entangle during a NYC summer heatwave as 6 pairs of Black tee...

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Posted on: August 6, 2021

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism

You ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

This charming and hilarious sister duo take on the challenging topic of racism. Older sister Lacey Lamar lives in Omaha; her younger sibling Amber left their hometown to become a comedy writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers...

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Posted on: July 30, 2021

One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race

One Drop

by Yaba Blay

For generations in this country, a black person has been commonly recognized as someone with any known Black ancestry, the “one-drop rule.” This beautiful book explores whether the social and political landscape has changed in recent times. Si...

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Posted on: July 23, 2021

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole In the Sky

Tristan Strong

by Kwame Mbalia

If you're seeking a page-turning adventure perfect for summer reading, look no further than Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. From the eye-catching cover to the final page, the story of relatable protagonist...

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Posted on: July 16, 2021

Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

Notes from a Young Black Chef

by Kwame Onwuachi

In 2019, Kwame Onwuachi received much praise for his food. Food & Wine magazine named him one of its Best New Chefs, the James Beard Awards christened him Rising Star Chef of the Year, and Esquire chose him as Chef of the Year, identi...

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Posted on: July 9, 2021

A Blade So Black

A Blade So Black

by L.L. McKinney

There just aren't many fantasy books with Black kids in them, so I was so psyched to stumble upon the wonderful Nightmare-Verse series. It's an urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland with some serious Buffy the Va...

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Posted on: July 2, 2021

Better Not Bitter: Living on Purpose in the Pursuit of Racial Justice

Better Not Bitter

by Yusef Salaam

Yusef Salaam was only 15 years old in 1989 when he and four other teens were falsely accused of the brutal rape of a Central Park jogger. He was imprisoned for seven years, but the Central Park Five were not exonerated until 2002 when one o...

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Posted on: June 25, 2021

When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother

by Kyle Lukoff; illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

This 2020 Stonewall Award Winner is about so much more than Aidan's journey of identity. "When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl....But Aidan didn't feel like any kind of gi...

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Posted on: June 17, 2021

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir

How We Fight for Our Lives

by Saeed Jones

During Pride Month, we celebrate great memoirs like this one by a highly regarded poet who was raised in the South by a single mother. In a home where sexuality was never discussed, Saeed Jones struggled to understand what it meant to be gay...

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Posted on: June 11, 2021

All Boys Aren't Blue

All Boys Aren't Blue

by George Johnson

This 2020 memoir manifesto is the perfect coming-of-age read to celebrate pride this month. Johnson explores the meaning of blackness, queerness, and toxic masculinity and he does so with honesty and vulnerability. His casual narrative vo...

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Posted on: June 4, 2021

Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice

Ground Breaking

by Scott Ellsworth

This new book is described as the definitive history of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred a century ago. The author has been researching the tragedy for decades, and in recent years served on the city’s reckoning commissi...

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Posted on: May 28, 2021

Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race

Our Skin

by Megan Madison & Jessica Ralli; art by Isabel Roxas

Research has shown that children begin recognizing race a few months after birth, and that talking about issues like race and gender from the age of two helps children understand what they see, incr...

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Posted on: May 21, 2021

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Caste

by Isabel Wilkerson

Caste is, in the words of National Public Radio, “a profound achievement of scholarship and research that stands also as a triumph of both visceral storytelling and cogent analysis.” Isabel Wilkerson, the acclaimed a...

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Posted on: May 14, 2021

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity

Tell Me Who You Are

by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi

Tell Me Who You Are is a wonderful collection of stories gathered by two teens on their gap year before college. They traveled around the country and asked people how race, culture, and intersectionality had impacted their li...

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Posted on: May 7, 2021

Surviving the White Gaze: A Memoir

Surviving the White Gaze

by Rebecca Carroll

Everyone interested in transracial adoption would be wise to read this new memoir. The author, a black cultural critic, recounts her story of being adopted as a young child by a white family from rural New Hampshire. She was raised in an...

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Posted on: April 30, 2021

The History of the Black Population of Amherst, Massachusetts, 1728-1870

History of the Black Population of Amherst

by James Avery Smith

Once only available to those visiting our Special Collections, this important book, published in 1999 by the New England Genealogical Society, can now be borrowed and read at home. Using tax lists, probate and land records, town record...

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Posted on: April 23, 2021

Parenting for Liberation: A Guide for Raising Black Children

Parenting for Liberation

by Trina Greene Brown

Parenting For Liberation was launched as a virtual platform in 2016 by activist-mama Trina Greene Brown. In her introduction to this guidebook she states that the blog and podcast were created to "...connect, inspire, and uplift ...

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Posted on: April 16, 2021

Age of Phillis

Age of Phillis

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

For National Poetry Month, we are pleased to highlight this volume of poetry written about Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. Award-winning poet Jeffers spent fifteen years research...

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Posted on: April 9, 2021

Every Body Looking

Every Body Looking

by Candice Iloh

This young adult novel in verse is the #ownvoices debut from Candice Iloh, a first-generation Nigerian-American author. It's a poetic coming-of-age story that deals with some heavy themes like the protagonist's complicated...

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Find in our catalog Black Lives Matter Book of the Week
Posted on: April 2, 2021

Julian Bond’s Time to Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

Time to Teach

by Julian Bond

How lucky were the students at Harvard and other American universities who were able to take a class with Julian Bond. Along with being a famed civil rights activist, author, chairman of the NAACP, and Georgia state representative and senato...

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Posted on: March 26, 2021

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

Freedom Over Me

by Ashley Bryan

Based on an original estate-appraisal document from 1828, Ashley Bryan's poetry gives voices to 11 enslaved individuals, imagining not only their daily lives but their hopes for the future. While the document that inspired these po...

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Posted on: March 19, 2021

Grieving while Black: An Antiracist Take on Oppression and Sorrow

Grieving While Black

by Breeshia Wade

The author, a Black end-of-life caregiver and chaplain, looks at the significance of grief to Black people. In particular she connects sorrow to the ongoing trauma of systemic racism. She encourages readers to attend to their grief so that...

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Posted on: March 12, 2021

Concrete Rose

Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose is the prequel to the number one New York Times best-seller, The Hate U Give. Set 17 years in the past, it follows Starr's father, Maverick, as he navigates growing up while raising an infant son and having to make di...

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Posted on: March 5, 2021

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Distinguished scholar Henry Louis Gates offers a history of the Black church in America, showing it to be "the Black community's abiding rock and fortress." Gates powerfully demonstrates that the church was a so...

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Posted on: February 25, 2021

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

Four Hundred Souls

edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

This bestseller marks a milestone in the study of African American history. It is the result of research conducted for the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X...

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Posted on: February 18, 2021

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

The Oldest Student

by Rita L. Hubbard; illustrated by Oge Mora

This picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Mary Walker, who learned to read at the age of 116. Born enslaved in 1848, Walker was emancipated as a teenager, and was gifted a Bible that she longed to ...

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Posted on: February 10, 2021

Bingo Love

Bingo Love

by Tee Franklin; artwork by Jenn St-Onge

If you're looking for the perfect book to read in honor of St. Valentine's Day, check out the young adult graphic novel Bingo Love which is a joyful celebration of Black queer love and an inspiring...

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Posted on: February 3, 2021

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

My Grandmother's Hands

by Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem approaches the problem of racism from his perspective as a therapist. He explains that racism is embedded in the bodies of blacks and whites in this country. Blacks experience everyday threats and respond by fighting, fleei...

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Posted on: January 26, 2021

Do Lord Remember Me

Do Lord Remember Me

by Julius Lester

On what would have been his 82nd birthday, we celebrate a distinguished Amherst author, civil rights activist, professor, musician, and photographer. Julius Lester wrote 31 award-winning children’s books as well as nonfiction and fiction f...

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Posted on: January 8, 2021

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature

The Home Place

by J. Drew Lanham

In honor of National Bird Day (January 5), we have chosen a remarkable memoir published in 2016 by an African-American birder and naturalist. The Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, J. Drew Lanham has writte...

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Posted on: January 7, 2021

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America

Black Enough

edited by Ibi Zoboi

This 2019 anthology of young adult short stories is a wonderful offering of modern Black voices. Featuring 16 excellent Black authors such as Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds, my favorite part of reading this was the diversity of stories to...

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Posted on: December 28, 2020

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

This highly acclaimed new book is winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview...

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Posted on: December 15, 2020

You Can Keep That to Yourself

You Can Keep That to Yourself

A Comprehensive List of What Not to Say to Black People, for Well-Intentioned People of Pallor by Adam Smyer

How do you write something humorous about racism in America? If you are Adam Smyer, an attorney, martial artist, and mediocre bass player,...

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Posted on: December 15, 2020

King and the Dragonflies

King and the Dragon Flies

by Kacen Callender

This bittersweet middle grade book takes us to the bayous of small town Louisiana where homophobia and racism are very real things that twelve year old Kingston James must deal with. Mourning the sudden death of his older brother, King s...

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Posted on: December 1, 2020

The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

The Beauty in Breaking

by Michele Harper

The author of this eloquent memoir is an ER doctor and a practitioner of yoga and meditation. Here she recounts how she overcame racist colleagues, a background of domestic violence, and the trauma of seeing suffering people every day at ...

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Posted on: November 20, 2020

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

The Truths We Hold

by Kamala D. Harris

The results of the presidential election are now acknowledged by most Americans, and for the first time a woman of color was on the winning ticket! Kamala Harris, the daughter of an economist from Jamaica and a cancer researcher from In...

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Posted on: November 20, 2020

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; adapted by Jean Mendoza & Debbie Reese

In our antiracist efforts to dismantle white supremacy, we have to also look at this country's relationship with its Indigenous communities. Both Black and Indigenous people have suffered ...

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Posted on: November 4, 2020

Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code

Race After Technology

by Ruha Benjamin

An African American Studies scholar turns a bright light on technology, illuminating how racism and inequality underpin its newest creations. From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to unders...

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Posted on: October 29, 2020

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

From Here to Equality - Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

by William A. Darity, Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen

Racism and discrimination have choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. William Darity, an economist at Duke University and an Amherst native, and folklorist Kirsten Mullen toge...

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Posted on: October 14, 2020

The City We Became

The City We Became

by N. K. Jemisin

Congratulations to N. K. Jemisin for being named one of this year’s MacArthur “geniuses!” The MacArthur Foundation describes her as “a speculative fiction writer exploring deeply human questions about structural racism, environmental crise...

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Posted on: October 13, 2020

Dread Nation

Dread Nation

by Justina Ireland

This 2018 young adult historical fiction by Justina Ireland is the perfect spooky October read to get you in the mood for Halloween. Why? Because there are zombies! Zombies! Set just after the Civil War, this is a fun and action-packed s...

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Posted on: September 29, 2020

Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

Farming While Black

by Leah Penniman

At a time when Americans are closely examining all aspects of our society for racism, those of us interested in food issues would do well to start with this remarkable book. Author Leah Penniman, the 2019 recipient of the James Beard Found...

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Posted on: September 25, 2020

Say Her Name

Say Her Name

by Zetta Elliott; illustrated by Loveis Wise

Turn to the Acknowledgements section in the final pages of this short 100 page collection of poetry-activism and you will see that the author knowingly divines that there will be more black women to mourn and re...

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Posted on: September 16, 2020

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Vanguard

by Martha S. Jones

According to conventional wisdom, American women’s campaign for the vote began with the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. But this women’s movement was an overwhelmingly ...

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Posted on: September 11, 2020

Towers Falling

Towers Falling

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Fifth grade student Dèja is starting the year at a new school in Brooklyn after her family moves into a shelter. Although the first day is filled with challenges, it is also filled with promise: a teacher who connects to her student...

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Posted on: September 11, 2020

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

Memorial Drive

by Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey is a former U.S. Poet Laureate and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She earned her M.F.A. at UMass Amherst. Memorial Drive is her first book that is not poetry. This memoir was written because, in the aut...

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Posted on: August 28, 2020

One Crazy Summer (One Crazy Summer Series, Book 1)

One Crazy Summer

by Rita Garcia Williams

One Crazy Summer follows the three Gaither sisters as they travel from Brooklyn to Oakland in the summer of 1968, where they hope to get to know the mother who left them. Delphine, the oldest sister, takes on many roles in her famil...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson

Brother Robert by Annye C. Anderson - An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson’s stepsister

by Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach; foreword by Elijah Wald

We are excited to offer this new weekly feature and to share a wide array of books about Black lives in America. It seems appropriate to begin with a new book by a well-known Amherst res...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America

Gordon Parks

by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Jamey Christoph

This picture book biography introduces readers to the life and work of multi-talented artist Gordon Parks. It traces Parks’ path to becoming one of the most important photographers of the 20th ce...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

March: Book 1, 2, and 3

March - Book 3 161x235.jpg

by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illustrated by Nate Powell

The nation is mourning the death of a civil rights hero and “conscience of the Congress,” Representative John Lewis. Adults and young adults wanting to know more about Lewis and the civil rights mo...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope

This Is Major

by Shayla Lawson

Writing in a fierce and humorous voice, Shayla Lawson provides a memoir in essays that is also a celebration of black women’s lives and culture. She knows the richness and resilience of black girl culture (its irony and rebellion!) and the...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Stamped

by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

In this 2020 YA remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s work (2016’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America), Jason Reynolds is quick to point out that this isn’t a history book. That said, he d...

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Posted on: August 21, 2020

Horace Pippin, American Modern

Horace Pippin

by Anne Monahan

Horace Pippin, sometimes described as an American Henri Rousseau, was a disabled veteran (WWI) without formal art training who began painting in his 40s and soon became famous in the art world. His works depict WWI, black families, Abraham ...

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