Family Resources for Talking about Race & Social Justice in the U.S.

Family Resources for Talking about Race & Social Justice in the U.S.

SFUSD staff have compiled a brief list of books, articles, videos, websites and other resources for families to explore race and social justice with children of different ages. 

Find more book suggestions on the San Francisco Public Library’s Be An Anti-Racist recommended reading list

For Adults

TED Talks, Radio Interviews & Webinars

Resources to Use with Children and Teens:

Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice from Teaching Tolerance

9 Books to Talk about Police Brutality from Feminist Books for Kids

Talking About Race from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Colorful Pages Organization

Black Lives Matters Instructional Library. Students and Families can click to hear the read aloud. Some books in Spanish as well.

For Children and Youth

Books for Younger Children

Something Happened In Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano PhD

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester 

In this acclaimed book, the author of the Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. A strong choice for sharing at home or in the classroom.

Antiracist Baby by Ibram Kendhi

From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist comes a fresh new board book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves. With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism, providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age.

Books for Middle School and Older

Novels

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

In an unforgettable novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens one black, one white grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes 

After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Graphic Novels

Six Days in Cincinnati: A Graphic Account of the Riots That Shook the Nation a Decade Before Black Lives Matter by Dan Méndez Moore

The graphic narrative history of the 2001 Cincinnati riots, told for the first time from the perspective of the participants. When Timothy Thomas, a 19-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police, the city broke out into nonviolent civil disobedience that was met with further police violence. This was the first major uprising of the 21st Century, matched only by the LA riots a decade before and the protests in Ferguson over a decade later.

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina

Named to the 2018 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list (Young Adult Library Services Association) and the New York Public Library's list of Best Books for Teens.

Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school's hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso. 

Nonfiction

This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work By Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand (Illustrator)

Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation. This book is written for everyone who lives in this racialized society—including the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life, the kid who has lost themself at times trying to fit into the dominant culture, the children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves, and also for their families, teachers, and administrators.

Find more book suggestions on the San Francisco Public Library’s Be An Anti-Racist recommended reading list