Antiracism Resources for Adults

Black Lives Matter: Community Read

Our ebook platform Overdrive (Libby) will be making selected books available without waitlists or holds. These books are focused on #ownvoices and are intended to help communities read, listen, learn and grow as they expand their knowledge of race relations.

Current titles:

Monday, June 15 – July 15

Monday, June 22 – July 19

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Ebook and audiobook) This bestselling young adult novel follows Starr, a Black teenager caught between the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these two worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

Monday, June 22 – July 12

Watch for upcoming titles, including So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeomo Oluo.


ALA’s Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, together with ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, compiled a Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List to draw “attention to the Black experiences of the past and present to demand a new future for our Black friends and neighbors.” Listed below are some of the print titles in our catalog, available by request for contact-free pickup.

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks and Caanan White

A fictionalized account of the 369th Infantry Regiment, the first African American regiment mustered to fight in World War I.

Incognegro by Mat Johnson, Warren Pleece, and Clem Robins (available in Fanwood)

Black reporter Zane Pinchback goes undercover as a white man to investigate the arrest of his brother and save him from a lynch mob.

Josephine Baker by Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet

The glorious life and tumultuous times of Josephine Baker.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler and Damian Duffy

A graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s groundbreaking science-fiction classic offers an unflinching look at slavery, race, and the role of women in society.

The Life of Frederick Douglass by David F. Walker, Damon Smyth, and Marissa Louise.

Celebrated comic book writer and filmmaker Walker presents the life of abolitionist Frederick Douglass in graphic format.

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell (available in Fanwood)

As the civil rights struggle heats up in Texas, two families-one white, one black-find common ground.

Your Black Friend and Other Strangers by Ben Passmore.

An exploration of the stresses and harm a Black man experiences in his everyday life through his relationships with non-Black people.


Reading Lists

We have provided links below to those that may be borrowed as ebooks or e-audiobooks through our two online services, RBDigital and eLibraryNJ. Print copies may currently be requested for contact-free pickup. If a book is checked out, you can place a ‘hold’ and you will be notified when it’s available to be picked up.

Please contact us if you have any questions about accessing these books.

An Antiracist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi

By not running from the books that pain us, we can allow them to transform us.

The New York Times published this list by author and historian Ibram X. Kendi, whose book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

The following are available to borrow or hold:

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern America

The Condemnation of Blackness: ““Black” and “criminal” are as wedded in America as “star” and “spangled.” Muhammad’s book traces these ideas to the late 19th century, when racist policies led to the disproportionate arrest and incarceration of blacks, igniting urban whites’ fears and bequeathing tenaciously racist stereotypes.”

RBDigital e-audiobook


Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel

Their Eyes Were Watching God: “Of course, the black body exists within a wider black culture — one Hurston portrayed with grace and insight in this seminal novel.”

eLibraryNJ ebook and e-audiobook
Print


The Bluest Eye: A Novel

The Bluest Eye: “Beautiful and hard-working black people come in all shades. If dark people have less it is not because they are less, a moral eloquently conveyed…stirring explorations of colorism.”

eLibraryNJ ebook and e-audiobook
Print


Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Locking up Our Own: “Amid rising crime rates, black mayors, judges, prosecutors and police chiefs embraced tough-on-crime policies that they promoted as pro-black with tragic consequences for black America.”

RBDigital e-audiobook
Print


Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America

Waiting ’til the Midnight Hour: “To be antiracist is not only to promote equity among racial groups, but also among their spaces, something the black power movement of the 1960s and 1970s understood well, as Joseph’s chronicle makes clear.”

RBDigital e-audiobook


How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

How We Get Free: “Black feminist literature…helps us recognize black women “as human, levelly human,” as the Combahee River Collective demanded to be seen in 1977.”

RBDigital e-audiobook


Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider“…[M]y racialized homophobia made Lorde’s essays and speeches a challenge. But pain often precedes healing.”

RBDigital e-audiobook

Additional titles available in our collection:


17 Books On Race Every White Person Needs to Read

A list compiled by writers and reviewers for Bustle.com.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

“A compelling argument that shows the many ways racial hierarchy still dominates American society, The New Jim Crow is a hard but necessary read.”

RBDigital e-audiobook, eLibraryNJ ebook
2010 print edition; 2012 print edition


How to Be an Antiracist explains why a personal opposition to racism and racist policies and behaviors does not excuse us from performing the civic duty of actively fighting against organizational structures that promote and maintain white supremacy.”

Rbdigital ebook and e-audiobook; eLibraryNJ ebook; Print


Between the World and Me

“Drawing from his own experiences as a black man in America, Coates explores the country’s fraught past and divisive present in an attempt to shed a light on creating a brighter future.”

RBDigital ebook, eLibraryNJ ebook and e-audiobook; Print


White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism

White Fragility: “Most white people will admit that racism makes someone a bad person, but we draw the line at calling other people racist, or admitting to our own unconscious biases. Robin DiAngelo examines these defensive behaviors, mapping their roots and branches…

RBDitigal ebook, eLibraryNJ ebook; Print


The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

“A stunning history of the racial divides in metropolitan America and how they got there, The Color of Law makes clear the undeniable connection between discriminatory laws and policies enforced by the government and the long-reaching grasp of discrimination still alive today.”

eLibraryNJ ebook

Additional list titles available to borrow or hold:


Book Riot’s 35 Must-Read Books about Racism

A recently-published list from an independent editorial book site that is “dedicated to the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are.”

Available to borrow or hold:

You Can't Touch My Hair, and Other Things I Still Have to Explain

Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of The New York Public Library, is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Online Video Resources

The Library’s online streaming video resource Kanopy Films offers many films and documentary series on racism. Besides these, view all films listed in their Social and Systemic Injustice category.

An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I am Not Your Negro explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism,  a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.


Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South after the Civil War, new systems of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force and brutality. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.


Online Library Research Sources

Login with your Scotch Plains Library card number.

The African-American History Online database provides different perspectives through event and topic entries, slideshows, primary sources, images, videos, general and topic-specific timelines, biographies of key people, original maps and charts, and more.