Library Column for June 25, 2020

@ Your Library

June is clipping along at a right jolly pace. Have you and your kids spent some time reading? Reading is a great way to keep the brain engaged and can be a great way to relax at the end of the day. Reading can also be a great way to begin to understand someone else’s perspective. As we try to understand what is happening around the world, books can help us understand the perspective of those we don’t know or aren’t around. Here are some books from our collection that might help us all extend patience and grace to others.

Let’s start with Race: A history beyond black and white by Marc Aronson. That could be followed up with The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison, Stamped: racism, antiracism and you by Jason Reynolds, So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olui or The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward. Additional titles of note include This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell, Breaking Hate: confronting the new culture of extremism by Christian Picciolini or Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

These titles focus on the story or experience of others. Grace Will Lead Us Home: the Charleston church massacre and the hard, inspiring journey to forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes, Let Justice Roll Down by John Perkins, Highway of Tears: a true story of racism, indifference and the pursuit of justice for missing, and murdered indigenous women and girls by Jessica McDiarmid or This is What America Looks Like: my journey from refugee to Congresswoman by Ilhan Omar.

Fiction can also be a powerful tool to build empathy and understanding. Both The Hate U Give and On the Come Up by Angie Thomas portray a world unknown to me. Cristopher Paul Curtis provides historical context with The Journey of Little Charlie or Bud Not Buddy. Several have recommended Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

If you are looking for faith based approaches then try One in Christ: bridging racial and Cultural Divides by David Ireland, I See You: how love opens our eyes to invisible people by Terence Lester, Revolution of Values by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Uncommon Ground: living faithfully in a world of difference by Timothy Keller and John Inazu or Rediscipling the White Church by David Winston Swanson.

Here are a few books dealing with incarceration and the judicial system for minorities. Beyond These Walls: rethinking crime and punishment in the United States by Tony Platt, On the Other Side of Freedom: the case for hope by DeRay McKesson and Death Penalty compiled by the New York Times

Books that will help open up conversations with children include The Power Book by Claire Saunders or Not My Idea: a book about whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham or Putting Peace First: seven commitments to change the world by Eric David Dawson.

If you want access to a wide range of digital materials check out this University of Minnesota site
https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/project-collection/racial-justice
for free materials available through the end of August.

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