February is Black History Month, and with the events of 2020 (and preceding 2020) I feel it is very important to educate ourselves on some topics that need to be known about. One of these topics is injustice the Black community.
The purpose of Black History Month is to challenge our perspectives and to find ways to support black communities. By educating ourselves, we can educate our children – and hopefully one, small step at a time, we can change the way the black community is treated.
I have put together a list of 5 books to read to help educate ourselves on what Black people deal with on a daily basis. All of these books are based on true stories and personal experiences of the author.
1. The Central Park Five by Sarah Burns
This is a true story about 5 young boys, black and Latino, who were wrongfully charged and convicted (as adults) of a brutal rape and beating of a young jogger. This is a riveting story from the accounts of these boys.
2. The Fruitvale Station Shooting by Fergus Mason
On New Years Day 2009, Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old, was detained by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) officers. Grant was fatally shot in the back while being held down face-first on the ground. Find out what happens to the officers responsible for the death of Oscar, and to hear the whole story of what happened that day.
3. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
In the memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson documents his career as a lawyer for disadvantaged clients. Bryan focuses on injustices in the United States judicial system.
4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between the World and Me is a #1 New York Times bestseller that weaves Coates’ personal life with reports to explain racism in America. This book is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities he had growing up Black in America.
5. How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is an American author and historian who was an assistant professor of African-American History. This is a book that discusses concepts of racism and Kendi’s proposal for antiracist individual actions and systemic changes.
If you haven’t read these books yet, I highly recommend adding them on your “to read” list, and you don’t need to have Black History Month as a reason to read any of these books, they can be read anytime of the year.