More than ever, with the murder of George Floyd in the United States and the subsequent protests for racial equality that have taken place around the globe, it is important for kids to learn to be the change they want to see in the world.
Knowledge is power and power can be used for good.
This list for teens will inspire and help them understand the topics of racism, antiracism, decolonisation and white privilege and suggest ways to get involved in activism.
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 them 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.
How to Start a Revolution, by Lauren Duca
The award-winning Teen Vogue columnist presents an accessible guide for today’s young adults on how to follow the examples of the newest generation of elected progressives to challenge the status quo and promote an equitable democracy.
Girls Resist! A guide to Activism, Leadership and Starting a Revolution, by KaeLyn Rich
An activism handbook for teen girls ready to fight for change, social justice, and equality.
Take on the world and make some serious change with this handbook to everything activism, social justice, and resistance. With in-depth guides to everything from picking a cause, planning a protest, and raising money to running dispute-free meetings, promoting awareness on social media, and being an effective ally.
Get this handbook to crush inequality, start a revolution, and resist!
Protest in New Zealand, by Brent Coutts and Nicholas Fitness
Protest in New Zealand provides an in-depth look at protest movements during the 20th century, focusing on their causes and effects, and the events and people that drove them.
The book aims to engage all learners in a wide variety of primary sources, including photographs, articles and posters, many of which have never before been included in New Zealand school textbooks. It provides a basis for inquiry-based teaching and learning, giving teachers an opportunity to extend students and allow them to draw their own conclusions.
Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, by Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett presents a young readers adaptation of the book that uses humour to discuss racism and violence, denounce the NFL’s abuses, and encourage black athletes in the NCAA and NFL to speak out against injustice both on and off the field.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson, with Tonya Bolden
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.
Tell Me Who You Are, by Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi
In this deeply inspiring book, Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi recount their experiences talking to people about race and identity on a cross-country tour of the United States.
Determined to ignite a substantive discussion about racism, these two young women deferred college admission for a year to travel to all fifty states, conducting hundreds of interviews that uncover how racism plays out in the country every day, and often in unexpected ways.
Featuring interviews with over 150 Americans accompanied by their photographs, this intimate toolkit also offers a deep examination of the seeds of racism and strategies for effecting change.
D.I.Y Resistance: 36 Ways to Fight Back! by Anthony Alvarado
Like its predecessor, the effervescent, self-published phenom D.I.Y Magic, which dared to invite its readers into a brave new world of artistic expression and magical thinking, D.I.Y. Resistance focuses its attention on you, on us, and what we can do to survive and thrive as leaders during these years of government antagonism and the fracturing of our founding principles and democratic institutions.
Reader-friendly to the extreme, Alvarado doesn’t guilt-trip or point his finger but rather reminds us that we the people have the power, if only we learn how to harness it.
D.I.Y. Resistance celebrates the power of the individual and shows how the reader can take inspiration from the actions and words of leaders, activists, and historical heroes, how we can learn to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally in troubled times, and do our part to look after the larger community around us.
“I Will Not Be Erased”: Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour, collated by gal-dem
gal-dem, the award-winning online and print magazine, is created by women and non-binary people of colour. In this life-affirming, moving and joyous collection of fourteen essays, gal-dem’s talented writers use raw material from their teenage years – diaries, poems and chat histories – to give advice to their younger selves and those growing up today.
gal-dem have been praised by the Guardian for being “the agents of change we need”, and these essays tackle important subjects including race, gender, mental health and activism, making this essential reading for teens and adults alike.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds with an introduction from Ibram X. Kendi
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an antiracist future.
It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.