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Anti-Racism: Authors Discussing the History of Racism and Proposing Steps to Move Forward

24 Jun

The issues of race, privilege, and social justice have been brought to the forefront of national discourse recently especially as they relate to relationship between Black and White Americans. Here are a selection of the many ebooks available to our Hoboken Patrons looking to explore this important topic further. They are all available from eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS, and/or Hoopla.

So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Oluo discusses a variety of topics including intersectionality and affirmative action and how issues of race permeate American society.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin DiAngelo

DiAngelo’s New York Times bestseller examines how reactions about race when challenged can block an honest discussion of the topic and how this prevents change.

How to Be an Antiracist
by Ibram X. Kendi
Kendi is a National Book Award Winner.  In How to be an Antiracist he looks at how we can both understand and dismantle racism and inequalities.  It was called, “The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.” By the New York Times.  Also check out Stamped from the Beginning and the YA remix version Stamped-Racism, Antiracism, and You. You can read more about the book in a previous post where our staff chose their picks for best books of 2019.

The Origin of Others
by Toni Morrison

Best known as one of America’s most beloved fiction authors in The Origin of Others, Morrison, looks at topics that are prevalent in her work as well as society including race, fear, and a longing to be accepted. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a forward.

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates, while reflecting on the topic as a father, looks at his own life and the history of the US and how it has led to our current situation, to look for a way to move forward in Between the World and Me. You can learn more in our Staff Post about our favorite recommendations from 2016.

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
by Layla F. Saad
Me and White Supremacy looks at how readers can work to examine their own privilege and to be more aware of the frequently unconscious impact they may have on others because of it.  

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown

I’m Still Here details Austin Channing Brown’s experience of learning to appreciate herself as a black women growing up in a mostly white area.

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD
Biased looks at the ways the topic of race and bias are discussed and how institutions from schools to the criminal justice system can both build and exacerbate these issues.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

History Repeats: Past Pandemics

17 Jun

We cannot lie to ourselves and others that COVID-19 or what is known as the novel coronavirus is not on our minds; it can be nerve-wracking.  I wanted to use this as an opportunity to help others to use our online materials to understand that history repeats itself, which means that we will get through this together. Here I have created a YA nonfiction booklist on this subject.

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
By Jim Murphy

One epidemic that is unique to the history of Philadelphia is the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. In this book, the reader is introduced to historical accounts of survivors, victims, and service heroes. Murphy gives the reader a tour of the anxieties and mistakes that were made during the summer of 1793. He even makes sure to examine how societal, political, and historical factors come into play during this pandemic with pictures of historical documents and photographs. You can borrow An American Plague as an ebook from Hoopla, eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS.

Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat
by Gail Jarrow.

The Red Madness is a historical event in the early 19th century that affected 3 million people and resulted in 100,000 deaths in the American South. It was a mystery as to how it was spread and how to cure it. Jarrow echoes a word of caution on how those that are held of lesser value can be overlooked in a time of need and this can result in everyone’s undoing. Be sure to keep in mind the more at risk individuals during the time of COVID-19, such as the homeless, the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and the undocumented. Because the Pellagra Epidemic or “Red Madness” happened first amongst the population less cared about, such as prisons and orphanages, the disease was not tackled from the beginning. This mindset changed when it started to grow past prison walls and into whole towns! The book elaborates on how this epidemic was taken care of. You can borrow it as an ebook from Hoopla

Pandemic!: How Climate, the Environment, and Superbugs Increase the Risk
by Connie Goldsmith

 Pandemic, printed in 2018, elaborates how human error will (not can) contribute to the next pandemic. Now that we are in the middle of a Global Wide Pandemic, the reader can have a better perspective on the current situation with scientific research and testimonials. Yes, one would have to take in the information skeptically, but it does instill hope in the reader. The last chapter talks about what you, as an individual, can do to contribute to the SOLUTION. I think to hope to end this and even prevent a future outbreak is what we as a global community need.

You can share your story during this pandemic to inspire people in the future; click here to learn more.

Teens and children can join us reading all summer long with our Summer Reading Program! We also have a Summer Reading Program for Adults!

Written by:
Elbie Love
YA Library Associate

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