For Adults

Read Right Now: Racial Equity

02/11/2021 | What We're Reading

Are you interested in learning about antiracism, racial equity, and social justice? The following resources can help you learn about the construct of race, the experiences of people impacted by systemic racism, and the concept of racial equity.

Books can help us with our own self-reflection and can also give us an effective way to begin having crucial conversations with our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. The books, videos, and other resources listed span a wide range of genres for children, teens, and adults. Readers of all ages can take part in a community movement to read, learn, think, talk about, and lead social transformation.

Racial Equity Book Covers

12 Ways to Read, Learn & Share

1. Browse a list of 100+ titles in our Racial Equity Collection and choose one to check out. The opportunity to grow this collection to meet reader demand was made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Learn more

2. Make a selection from one of the racial justice booklists for adults, teens, and kids, prepared by IndyPL staff.

3. Check out an e-book or audiobook from OverDrive's Antiracism Collection. If you have never used OverDrive before use our app directions, browser directions, or video tutorial.

4. Listen to the audiobook Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. It is currently available for free on Spotify, a music and podcast platform/app that does not require a Library card. The book was winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. It's a good choice if you are waiting for a hold to come in!

5. Use your Library card to instantly check out no wait streaming documentaries and videos focused on social and systemic injustice and racism in America on Kanopy, one of the Library's streaming platforms. Titles include I Am Not Your Negro, P.S. I Can't Breathe, White Like Me - Race, Racism, and White Privilege in America, Race: The Power of an Illusion, and more. If you have never used Kanopy before, here are directions and a video tutorial.

Kanopy Streaming Movie Covers

6. Stream a movie from the category Celebrating Black Stories from Hoopla, another one of the Library's streaming platforms. Titles in this category include Maya Angelou And Still I Rise and Just Mercy. If you have never used Hoopla before, here are directions and a video tutorial.

7. Explore the TEDTalks playlist Talks to help you understand racism in America to "take an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminate the way forward."

8. Make a selection from NPR's Code Switch list of books, films and podcasts about systemic racism.

9. Explore the National Museum of African American History & Culture's Talking About Race Portal. The modules include embedded videos, diagrams, and question prompts to help illustrate and support the processing of complex ideas and also inspire conversation.

10. Check out an IndyPL Book Club in a Bag Kit and host a racial equity book club. Gather your family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors and we'll take care of gathering enough books for the group and also supply some suggested discussion questions to help get you started. All you have to do is reserve a Book Club Kit. Each kit contains 10 copies of the same title with suggested discussion questions. Learn more and FAQ.

Available Book Club Kit titles include:

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Reserve
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall Reserve
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi Reserve
  • I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown Reserve
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson Reserve
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad Reserve
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander Reserve
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo Reserve
  • The Source of Self-regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison Reserve
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds Reserve
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Reserve
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors Reserve
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo Reserve
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together? by Beverly Daniel Tatum Reserve

11. Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library, a space dedicated to exploring the black experience.

Racial Equity Book Covers

After looking through the resources here, if you need more help, call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email ask-a-librarian. We are here to help you find what you need and make the most of Library resources.

12. Join the #WakeUpIndy community reading challenge to read books written by underrepresented authors and books that raise awareness about racial issues and social injustices.