An educational introduction for young readers and a comprehensive primer for adults.

CALL AND RESPONSE

THE STORY OF BLACK LIVES MATTER

An explanatory lesson about the historical protests of June 2020 and what led up to them.

Basing their account heavily on firsthand accounts of various Black Lives Matter leaders and New York Times reporters, the authors explore the origins of the movement and the impact it has had along with the historical events that its leaders built it upon. Beginning with how BLM founders Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, and Alicia Garza came separately to activism and then together in 2013 via a Black leadership network, they tell the stories of victims such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and George Floyd in the context of the roles they played in the movement’s development. The second half delves deeper into history with discussions of systemic racism and comparisons to the civil rights and Black Power movements, allowing readers to clearly identify parallels to the impact on Black Americans today. The roles played by athletes, musicians, and artists may inspire readers to find their unique paths to activism. The authors write with clarity and honesty, holding back no truths, but with language that makes the book accessible to preteen readers and adults alike. A logical progression of chapters punctuated by informational breakouts and concise paragraphs accompanied by photographs on each page make for a clean layout and easy reading.

An educational introduction for young readers and a comprehensive primer for adults. (authors' note, further reading, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-57341-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Versify/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images.

THURGOOD

The life journey of the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court and the incidents that formed him.

Thurgood Marshall grew up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland, with a family that encouraged him to stand for justice. Despite attending poor schools, he found a way to succeed. His father instilled in him a love of the law and encouraged him to argue like a lawyer during dinner conversations. His success in college meant he could go to law school, but the University of Maryland did not accept African American students. Instead, Marshall went to historically black Howard University, where he was mentored by civil rights lawyer Charles Houston. Marshall’s first major legal case was against the law school that denied him a place, and his success brought him to the attention of the NAACP and ultimately led to his work on the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education, which itself led to his appointment to the Supreme Court. This lively narrative serves as an introduction to the life of one of the country’s important civil rights figures. Important facts in Marshall’s life are effectively highlighted in an almost staccato fashion. The bold watercolor-and-collage illustrations, beginning with an enticing cover, capture and enhance the strong tone set by the words.

A larger-than-life subject is neatly captured in text and images. (author’s note, photos) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6533-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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