In the last few weeks, we have witnessed our communities and nation react to the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.  If you’re a teen and you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen some of these same things, too, both on social media and around our community.

In response to this tragedy and in accordance with MAYOR STEVEN GAER’S STATEMENT HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION STATEMENT, and WDMPL’S MISSION STATEMENT, we have curated a list of materials focusing on topics related to racism, the Black experience, the fight to end racism, and racism’s effects in America. The library does not stand for racial harassment, of any sort.  Our building and the library community is meant to be a safe place; if you do experience racism, harassment, or discrimination at the library, teens, please tell a staff member like me (Liz) and it will be dealt with immediately.

The majority of the books included are Own Voices stories, which means if you’re reading a book where the protagonist is a Black person, the book is written by a Black author.  Some of these materials are fiction, some are non-fiction, some are graphic novels, and some are films.  Some are historical, some are set in the present tense, and some are purely educational–but there are things to be learned about the Black experience in America from each one.  We hope that these books and films are a source of hope, understanding, conversation, context, and empathy as you navigate your role in this time of American history.

Lastly, if you need help finding additional resources and materials or if there’s a book you’d like to read that we don’t have yet, click on a link below so we can best help you.