Introduction to the Initiative

A White hand, palm down, above the WML logo and a black hand, palm up, above the WML logo

The WML Working Towards Antiracism initiative aims to educate our community about antiracism, raise awareness of racial and social inequities, and foster discussions through programs, resources, and community reads. We hope you will join us in reading, learning, and listening as we strive to educate ourselves and make our beliefs and values actionable for needed change.

  • To create a dialogue around antiracism, and to spread the word about what you’ve learned from these workshops and resources, use #WilmingtonIsAntiracist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Schedule an interview to talk about race at WCTV by emailing Technology Librarian Brad McKenna. The interviews will held in October, shortly thereafter be uploaded to StoryCorp Communities, and, finally, be archived at The Library of Congress.
  • You can also share your thoughts about race on our forum.

On this page, WML librarians have cultivated lists of books, movies, podcasts, and other media to assist in the pursuit of an antiracist community, as well as lists of Black-owned businesses to support in the Merrimack Valley and greater Boston area.

Resources Menu

Booklists

There are plenty of organizations and activists that have curated lists to help educate people about race in America. What follows is but a small sampling.

Adults

Baratunde Thurston List

Technology writer, comedian, and activist, Baratunde Thurston put together this list and it includes lists for both adults and kids.

Elle’s Reading List

What will you find in this list? As the editors who curated it say  “You’ll certainly find that many of your questions about the Black experience are already answered around you.”

NYT List

Ibram Kendi, the author of How to Be Antiracist, hopes this list can act as “a stepladder to antiracism, each step addressing a different stage of the journey toward destroying racism’s insidious hold on all of us.”

Publishers Weekly List

This list is from the go-to magazine for the book publishing industry. The list covers a wide variety of topics, including, “police brutality, institutional racism, activism, or what it’s like to be black in America today.”

Teens

All Boys Aren’t Blue : A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

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Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) : A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson.

Lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

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March. Book One by John Lewis

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

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March. Book Two by John Lewis

After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence — but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before.

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March. Book Three by John Lewis

By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.” To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. With these new struggles come new allies, new opponents, and an unpredictable new president who might be both at once. But fractures within the movement are deepening… even as 25-year-old John Lewis prepares to risk everything in a historic showdown high above the Alabama river, in a town called Selma.

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Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang

When Dr. Lee moves his family to Metropolis, his son Tommy adjusts to the new neighborhood while daugher Roberta feels out of place, so when the evil Klan of the Fiery Cross begins a string of terrorist attacks on the city, Superman fights them, and Roberta and Superman soon learn to embrace their own unique features that set them apart.

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Stamped : Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi

A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning.

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Stolen Justice : The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone

Following the Civil War, the Reconstruction era raised a new question to those in power in the US: Should African Americans, so many of them former slaves, be granted the right to vote? In a bitter partisan fight over the legislature and Constitution, the answer eventually became yes, though only after two constitutional amendments, two Reconstruction Acts, two Civil Rights Acts, three Enforcement Acts, the impeachment of a president, and an army of occupation. Yet, even that was not enough to ensure that African American voices would be heard, or their lives protected. White supremacists loudly and intentionally prevented black Americans from voting — and they were willing to kill to do so. In this vivid portrait of the systematic suppression of the African American vote, critically acclaimed author Lawrence Goldstone traces the injustices of the post-Reconstruction era through the eyes of incredible individuals, both heroic and barbaric, and examines the legal cases that made the Supreme Court a partner of white supremacists in the rise of Jim Crow. Though this is a story of America’s past, Goldstone brilliantly draws direct links to today’s creeping threats to suffrage in this important and, alas, timely book.

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The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed.

With the Rodney King riots closing in on high school senior Ashley and her family, the privileged bubble she has enjoyed, protecting her from the difficult realities most black people face, begins to crumble.

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This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

This book is written for the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life. For the 14 year old who sees injustice at school and isn’t able to understand the role racism plays in separating them from their friends. For the kid who spends years trying to fit into the dominant culture and loses themselves for a little while. It’s for all of the Black and Brown children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves; because the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, their names made white folx feel scared and threatened. It is written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it. In short, it is for everyone.

Place a hold on the print book
Access the ebook on Overdrive

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom : My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed eleven times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today’s young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.

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We Are Not Yet Equal : Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson

This … young adult adaptation brings her ideas to a new audience. When America achieves milestones of progress toward full and equal black participation in democracy, the systemic response is a consistent racist backlash that rolls back those wins. We Are Not Yet Equal examines five of these moments: The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with Jim Crow laws; the promise of new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration was limited when blacks were physically blocked from moving away from the South; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to laws that disenfranchised millions of African American voters and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to an outburst of violence including the death of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump. This YA adaptation will be written in an approachable narrative style that provides teen readers with additional context to these historic moments, photographs and archival images, and additional backmatter and resources for teens.

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Kids

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

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Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.

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Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

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Not My Idea : A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham

A white child sees a TV news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a black man. “In our family, we don’t see color,” his mother says, but he sees the colors plain enough. An afternoon in the library’s history stacks uncover the truth of white supremacy in America. Racism was not his idea and he refuses to defend it.
“A necessary children’s book about whiteness, white supremacy, and resistance. Important, accessible, needed.”

Place a hold on the print book

Separate is Never Equal : Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California

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Something Happened in Our Town : A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano

After discussing the police shooting of a local Black man with their families, Emma and Josh know how to treat a new student who looks and speaks differently than his classmates. Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers that provides general guidance about addressing racism with children, child-friendly vocabulary definitions, conversation guides, and a link to additional online resources for parents and teachers.

Place a hold on the print book 
Access the audiobook on Overdrive

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

Place a hold on the print book
Access the audiobook on Overdrive

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

This book is written for the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life. For the 14 year old who sees injustice at school and isn’t able to understand the role racism plays in separating them from their friends. For the kid who spends years trying to fit into the dominant culture and loses themselves for a little while. It’s for all of the Black and Brown children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves; because the colour of their skin, the texture of their hair, their names made white folx feel scared and threatened. It is written so children and young adults will feel empowered to stand up to the adults who continue to close doors in their faces. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it. In short, it is for everyone.

Place a hold on the print book
Access the ebook on Overdrive

Voice of Freedom : Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford

Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.

Place a hold on the print book
Access the audiobook on Overdrive

Watch List

Ted Talks, documentaries, and more. Some are long, some are short, all are worth a watch for one reason or another.

Adults

Segregated by Design

Examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.

Styliized Cityscape with a belching Smokestack front and center

AntiRacism Defined

In a longish interview on the Ted YouTube Channel, Ibram Kendi, author of How to be Antiracist, explains what antiracism is.

Thumbnail Image of Ibran Kendi's interview about antiracism for the Ted Talk YouTube channel

Screaming in Silence

It’s important that everyone gets to speak for themselves. Graciela Mohamedi explains why.

Graciela Mohamedi on the stage at Ted Talk Beacon Street

How to Deconstruct Racism: One Headline at a Time

Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of … eating, walking or generally “living while black.”

Thumbnail Image of Baratunde Thurston's Ted Talk

I Am Not Your Negro

As part of our Kanopy subscription, you can watch this documentary that is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

Post-viewing discussion handout.

White Like Me

As part of our Kanopy subscription, you can watch this documentary that is a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we’ve entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

Post-viewing discussion handout

American Experience: Freedom Riders

As part of our Hoopla subscription, you can watch this documentary shows how from May until December 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South.

Post-viewing discussion handout.

Michelle Obama

As part of our Hoopla subscription, you can watch this documentary shows the powerful story of former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s journey from the working-class South Side of Chicago.

Red White and Blues

The first American contribution to the music world visits the first place people think of when they think “seat of American power”.

Thumbnail Image of the Red White and Blues concert in the White House

Kids

Hair Love

African American hair is often mocked. In this short animated video a father helps his young daughter love her hair.

Thumbnail image for the animated short "Hair Love"

Podcasts

These are just some of the great podcasts out there that will help educate you on the history of race in this country and keep you informed of current events. The descriptions are taken from the series’ descriptions themselves.

Podcasts may not be available on all podcast platforms. You can subscribe in a browser but it’s easier to listen in an app. Below are links to the most popular Podcast platforms.

We’re Having a Moment

It’s true. We all feel it in the United States. We are having some kind of moment. Where it goes, we can’t say, but right here, right now, something significant is happening involving race and in particular, policing. In this limited run series, Baratunde Thurston explains and explores what feels like a defining moment in American history.

Pod Save the People

On Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.

1619

Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed.

“1619,” a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the long shadow of that fateful moment.

Code Switch

Remember when folks used to talk about being “post-racial”? Well, we’re definitely not that. We’re a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.

The Breakdown

Join Shaun King as he unpacks the most important stories of injustice, racism and corruption, but also tells you who’s fighting back and how you can support and join them with practical action steps.

The Nod

The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else. Our show ranges from an explanation of purple drink’s association with Black culture to the story of an interracial drag troupe that traveled the nation in the 1940s. We celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black — in America, and around the world.

Identity Politics

Identity Politics is a podcast that features new stories and perspectives about race, gender and Muslim life in America. From pop culture to politics, each episode co-hosts Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali invite guests to talk about issues impacting their lives as Muslims at the intersection of multiple identities.

Organizations

Help out by becoming a member, volunteer, or donating to one or more of these organizations. The descriptions are taken from the organizations’ about pages.

The list was gathered, in part, from https://www.greatbigstory.com/guides/how-to-become-a-better-black-lives-matter-ally

Elevated Thought

Elevated Thought is an art and social justice 501(c)(3) organization based in Lawrence, MA. We develop spaces for BIPOC youth and communities to engage and understand art’s liberating power.
Through creative youth development, beautification projects, public outreach, and paid opportunities for BIPOC creatives, ET actively addresses forms of systemic injustice.

The Let Us Breathe Fund

The Let Us Breathe Fund is the only NYC-based fund led by and for Black communities organizing around police reform and building Black liberation. We started the Fund in 2015 following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD. The Fund provided rapid response in that crisis moment and now supports the long-term leadership of Black New Yorkers fighting police violence and structural racism.

Black Youth Project 100

Founded in 2013, BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. BYP100 was, at one point, just a hashtag for the 2013 “Beyond November Movement Convening” developed through the vision and leadership of Cathy Cohen.

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence again Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all person

National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities

Showing Up for Racial Justice

SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.

Resources

These sites help you learn about racism, act to change it, or both.

21 Day Racial Equity Challenge

Inspiration without action is daydreaming.What does it mean to make racial equity a habit? Start the 21-Day Challenge to find out more. Enter your information below to request an invitation to ProHabits, a free tool that will help you #MakeItHappen

The words "Black National Convention" with some letters in different colors the others in white on a black background.

Black November

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and Electoral Justice Project will host the 2020 Black National Convention (BNC) live broadcast. Together, we will ratify a Black political agenda days after the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and ahead of November, when Black voters will play a pivotal role in determining whether we have four more years of domination or a new set of challenges to overcome

Racism 101

Racism is a word that is widely used and yet often carries many different meanings depending on who is using it. If we want to work together effectively for racial justice, and we do, we need to be clear about what racism is, how it operates, and what we can do to end it.

Antiracism for White People

This is a Google Doc of various things white people can do about racism in this country. It was compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020.

Pink downward-pointing triangle with the words, in blue "ANIT RACISM RESOURCES"

Rachel Ricketts Resources

This is my carefully curated list of anti-racism + racial justice minded resources to help all hue-mans in the quest to dismantle racist patriarchy.

Reading is a helpful place to begin but the best way to address racial justice is by doing the inner work. Check out my Spiritual Activism webinars to get started.

Living While Black

A list of headlines that show the kinds of things white people call the cops on black people for.

Raising Antiracist Kids

Podcasts

LifeKit: Parenting: Talking Race with Young Children

Even babies notice differences like skin color, eye shape and hair texture. Here’s how to handle conversations about race, racism, diversity and inclusion, even with very young children.

LifeKit: Parenting: How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race

Most people have heard about “the talk” — the conversation many African American parents have with their kids about how to avoid altercations with police or what to do and say if they’re stopped.

The recent unrest sparked by anger over police brutality against African Americans has parents who aren’t black thinking more about how they talk to their kids about race.

Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered, spoke with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America.

SafeSpace Radio: Talking to White Kids About Race & Racism

Many white parents have never learned how to talk about race and racism with their kids. Silence perpetuates racism—but it can be hard to know how to start. This hour-long program is about talking to white kids about race and racism: how white parents, families, and teachers can learn to show up for racial justice in a way that will make a difference for generations to come.

Integrated Schools: Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey

What is a healthy racial identity for a White person, and how do we help our White children develop one? We’re joined by Dr. Jennifer Harvey to discuss her book, Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, as well her personal journey towards anti-racist organizing, educating, and child rearing.

Kojo For Kids: Jason Reynolds Talks About Racism And The Protests

Best-selling YA author Jason Reynolds joins Kojo For Kids to help us understand what has led to the tensions we’ve seen over the last week, and to talk about why racism persists and what we can do to build a less racist society.

Black-Owned Businesses

Help out people who historically have had a tougher time breaking into the restaurant business and eat some yummy food in the process!

A drawing of a group of black and brown people with the words "Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Allies" to the right on a yellow background.

https://www.mvbbvoices.org/business-directory

Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices created an interactive map of Black and Brown owned businesses across Merrimack Valley.

Black Boston

The list of Black-male and Black women-owned firms, minority-owned businesses and, local shops and a growing artists list. MBE certified vendors of Massachusetts are also listed with hundreds of records in all categories

The Initialism BECMA, Black Econimic Council of Massachusetts

Black Economic Council

The mission of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc. (BECMA) is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts.

Northshore Magazine

The magazine curated a list of black-owned businesses in the North Shore of Boston. Categories include Arts, Cleaning Services, and Restaurants.