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Black Lives Matter

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A Message from City Librarian John F. Szabo

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Black Lives Matter. Always and in all ways. That feels like the absolute baseline, but it is important that we say it—and that we acknowledge the need to say it. Black Lives Matter.

These are unprecedented times, and because of COVID-19, the world—and our city—has seemed unrecognizable. In the past week, we have added more agony to the pain we feel as a result of the pandemic.

This is a time for listening and learning, and it is a time to speak up. I know we can fear that we won’t get it right, or that we won’t express ourselves as eloquently as we would like, but that can’t keep us quiet.

At this moment, we must channel our collective anger, ache and frustration and condemn the horrifying injustice and violence experienced by African Americans in this country. We continue to grieve not only George Floyd, but the far too many who have tragically gone before him.

As a library, we support African Americans who are enduring such pain, trauma and sheer exhaustion, and who are protesting against this oppression. But the responsibility to do the necessary work of diversity, inclusion and equity belongs to all of us, and it is essential to the mission of the Los Angeles Public Library.

We all need to challenge ourselves and each other to meet the moral imperative of dismantling systemic racism. As an organization, we will look inward and examine our practices and identify where and how we can do better and be better. And we will reach out to our diverse communities to see how we can be of greater service—and take action.

As the cornerstone of democracy, libraries have a long history of being agents of social change, and we will continue that work. We believe in enlightenment through education, and we value lifelong learning. Through our inclusive resources, programs and staff, we will continue to shine a light on the path to justice, equality and reform.

In solidarity,

John Szabo signature

John F. Szabo

Essential Readings for Adults and Teens

  • March: Book One

    March: Book One

    Lewis, John
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    Wilkerson, Isabel.
  • Between the World and Me

    Between the World and Me

    Coates, Ta-Nehisi
  • Black Is the New White

    Black Is the New White

    Mooney, Paul, 1941-
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

    Noah, Trevor, 1984-
  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men

    Chokehold: Policing Black Men

    Butler, Paul, 1961-
  • Dear Martin

    Dear Martin

    Stone, Nic
  • Genesis Begins Again

    Genesis Begins Again

    Williams, Alicia
  • How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People

    How Not to Get Shot: And Other Advice From White People

    Hughley, D. L. 1963-
  • How to Be an Antiracist

    How to Be an Antiracist

    Kendi, Ibram X
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    Angelou, Maya.
  • I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

    I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

    Jones, Kimberly
  • Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement

    Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement

    Bell, Janet Dewart.
  • Long Way Down

    Long Way Down

    Reynolds, Jason
  • March: Book Three

    March: Book Three

    Lewis, John
  • March: Book Two

    March: Book Two

    Lewis, John
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

    Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

    Saad, Layla F
  • Monster

    Monster

    Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.
  • One Person, No Vote (YA edition): How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally

    One Person, No Vote (YA edition): How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally

    Anderson, Carol
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

    Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

    Morris, Monique W., 1972-
  • Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

    Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

  • So You Want to Talk About Race

    So You Want to Talk About Race

    Oluo, Ijeoma
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

    Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

    Kendi, Ibram X.
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

    Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

    Kendi, Ibram X.
  • The Bluest Eye

    The Bluest Eye

    Morrison, Toni
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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

    Rothstein, Richard
  • The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give

    Thomas, Angie
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    Skloot, Rebecca, 1972-
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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

    Alexander, Michelle.
  • The Underground Railroad: A Novel

    The Underground Railroad: A Novel

    Whitehead, Colson, 1969-
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race

    Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race

    Tatum, Beverly Daniel.

Music

  •  Like Water for Chocolate

    Like Water for Chocolate

    Common
  • Fear of a Black Planet

    Fear of a Black Planet

    Public Enemy
  • Keep Ya Head Up

    Keep Ya Head Up

    Tupac Shakur
  • Let's Get Free

    Let's Get Free

    Dead Prez
  • Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star

    Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star

    Black Star
  • One For All

    One For All

    Brand Nubian
  • Strange Fruit

    Strange Fruit

    Nina Simone
  • This Is America

    This Is America

    Childish Gambino
  • To Pimp a Butterfly

    To Pimp a Butterfly

    Kendrick Lamar
  • We the People....

    We the People....

    A Tribe Called Quest
  • What's Going On

    What's Going On

    Marvin Gaye

Talking About Race: Children and Tween Reads

  • One Crazy Summer

    One Crazy Summer

    Williams-Garcia, Rita

    Three sisters make the trip from New York to California during the summer of 1968 to visit their mother.

  • Can I touch your hair? : poems of race, mistakes, and friendship

    Can I touch your hair? : poems of race, mistakes, and friendship

    Latham, Irene
  • Chocolate me!

    Chocolate me!

    Diggs, Taye.
  • Don't touch my hair!

    Don't touch my hair!

    Miller, Sharee (Illustrator)
  • Hands Up!

    Hands Up!

    McDaniel, Breanna J.
  • Happy in our skin

    Happy in our skin

    Manushkin, Fran
  • Honeysmoke : a story of finding your color

    Honeysmoke : a story of finding your color

    Fields, Monique
  • I am enough

    I am enough

    Byers, Grace
  • Let's talk about race

    Let's talk about race

    Lester, Julius
  • Magnificent homespun brown : a celebration

    Magnificent homespun brown : a celebration

    Doyon, Samara Cole
  • Mixed me!

    Mixed me!

    Diggs, Taye
  • New Kid

    New Kid

    Craft, Jerry
  • Not my idea : a book about whiteness

    Not my idea : a book about whiteness

    Higginbotham, Anastasia
  • Racism and intolerance

    Racism and intolerance

    Spilsbury, Louise
  • Shades of people

    Shades of people

    Rotner, Shelley
  • Skin again

    Skin again

    hooks, bell
  • Sulwe

    Sulwe

    Nyong'o, Lupita
  • The colors of us

    The colors of us

    Katz, Karen
  • The Day You Begin

    The Day You Begin

    Woodson, Jacqueline
  • The Undefeated

    The Undefeated

    Alexander, Kwame
  • This book is anti-racist

    This book is anti-racist

    Jewell, Tiffany
  • What's the difference? : being different is amazing

    What's the difference? : being different is amazing

    Richards, Doyin
  • Why am I me?

    Why am I me?

    Britt, Paige

Social Activism: Children and Tween Reads

  • A is for Activist

    A is for Activist

    Nagara, Innosanto.
  • All Are Welcome

    All Are Welcome

    Penfold, Alexandra
  • Counting on Community

    Counting on Community

    Nagara, Innosanto
  • Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

    Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

    Easton, Emily
  • If You're Going to a March

    If You're Going to a March

    Freeman, Martha
  • Let the Children March

    Let the Children March

    Clark-Robinson, Monica
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

    Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

    Harrison, Vashti
  • M is for Movement

    M is for Movement

    Nagara, Innosanto
  • Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights

    Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights

    Sanders, Rob, 1958-
  • Raise Your Voice: 12 Protests That Shaped America

    Raise Your Voice: 12 Protests That Shaped America

    Kluger, Jeffrey
  • Same, Same But Different

    Same, Same But Different

    Kostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue.
  • Strictly No Elephants

    Strictly No Elephants

    Mantchev, Lisa.
  • The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

    The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

    Deedy, Carmen Agra
  • The Underground Abductor (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #5)

    The Underground Abductor (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #5)

    Hale, Nathan, 1976-
  • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

    The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

    Levinson, Cynthia
  • We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration From Civil Rights Leaders

    We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration From Civil Rights Leaders

  • We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

    We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

  • What Can a Citizen Do?

    What Can a Citizen Do?

    Eggers, Dave

Las vidas negras importan

  • Americanah

    Americanah

    Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
  • Alfabeto del racismo mexicano

    Alfabeto del racismo mexicano

    Federico Navarrete
  • Angela Davis: Autobiografia

    Angela Davis: Autobiografia

    Davis, Angela Y.
  • Chocolate y merengue

    Chocolate y merengue

    Cie, Ricardo
  • Descolonizar la mente

    Descolonizar la mente

    Ngugi Wa Thiong'o
  • El color de la justicia: La nueva segregacion racial en Estados Unidos

    El color de la justicia: La nueva segregacion racial en Estados Unidos

    Alexander, Michelle
  • El dia en que descubres quien eres

    El dia en que descubres quien eres

    Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael Lopez
  • El ferrocarril subterraneo

    El ferrocarril subterraneo

    Whitehead, Colson
  • El odio que das

    El odio que das

    Thomas, Angie
  • Entre el mundo y yo

    Entre el mundo y yo

    Coates, Ta-Nehisi
  • La carcel del Feminismo

    La carcel del Feminismo

    Sirin Adlbi Sibai
  • Las venas abiertas de America Latina

    Las venas abiertas de America Latina

    Galeano, Eduardo
  • Leila

    Leila

    Hatibi, Miriam
  • Mi historia

    Mi historia

    Obama, Michelle
  • Mirame a los ojos: No es tan dificil entendernos

    Mirame a los ojos: No es tan dificil entendernos

    Miriam Hatibi
  • No te calles: seis relatos contra el odio

    No te calles: seis relatos contra el odio

  • Ojos azules

    Ojos azules

    Pérez-Reverte, Arturo,
  • Ojos negros

    Ojos negros

    Lluis Farre Estrada
  • Piel negra, mascaras blancas

    Piel negra, mascaras blancas

    Frantz Fanon
  • Prohibido nacer: memorias de racismo, rabia y risa

    Prohibido nacer: memorias de racismo, rabia y risa

    Noah, Trevor
  • Ser mujer negra en Espana

    Ser mujer negra en Espana

    Desiree Bela-Lobedde

Available Now on OverDrive: Social Justice for Adults and Teens

  • The Black history of the White House

    The Black history of the White House

    Lusane, Clarence, 1953-
  •  "Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other Peoples Children

    "Multiplication Is for White People": Raising Expectations for Other Peoples Children

    Delpit, Lisa D.
  • A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law

    A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law

    Ifill, Sherrilyn A.
  • American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

    American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals

    Black Rednecks and White Liberals

    Sowell, Thomas, 1930-
  • Black Skin, White Masks

    Black Skin, White Masks

    Fanon, Frantz, 1925-1961.
  • Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century

    Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century

    Morris, Monique W., 1972-
  • Brown Is the New White

    Brown Is the New White

    Phillips, Steve, 1964-
  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men

    Chokehold: Policing Black Men

    Butler, Paul, 1961-
  • Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity

    Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity

    Wise, Tim J.
  • Dear White America

    Dear White America

    Wise, Tim J.
  • El color de la justicia: La nueva segregacion racial en Estados Unidos

    El color de la justicia: La nueva segregacion racial en Estados Unidos

    Alexander, Michelle
  • El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America

    El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America

    Gibson, Carrie, 1976-
  • Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

    Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

    Abu-Jamal, Mumia
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

    Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

    Saad, Layla F
  • Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

    Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

    Edelman, Peter B.
  • One Story, One Song

    One Story, One Song

    Wagamese, Richard
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

    Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

    Morris, Monique W., 1972-
  • Rad American Women A-Z

    Rad American Women A-Z

    Schatz, Kate
  • Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America

    Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America

  • Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

    Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

  • Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls

    Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls

    Morris, Monique W., 1972-
  • So You Want to Talk About Race

    So You Want to Talk About Race

    Oluo, Ijeoma
  • Solitary

    Solitary

    Woodfox, Albert
  • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism

    Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism

    Loewen, James W.
  • The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

    The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

    Clifton, Lucille, 1936-2010.
  • The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

    The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

    Miles, Tiya, 1970-
  • The Ferguson Report: Department of Justice Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department

    The Ferguson Report: Department of Justice Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department

  • The Meaning of Freedom

    The Meaning of Freedom

    Davis, Angela Y. 1944-
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

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

    Alexander, Michelle.
  • The Yellow House

    The Yellow House

    Broom, Sarah M.
  • Thick

    Thick

    Cottom, Tressie McMillan
  • Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington

    Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington

    Houtman, Jacqueline
  • Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time

    Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time

    Kilgore, James William, 1947-
  • Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair

    Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair

    Sered, Danielle
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice

    Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice

    Kivel, Paul
  • Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought

    Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought

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