A huge part of the Black Lives Matter movement is centered on self-education, calling on people of all ages and backgrounds to empower and educate themselves on topics relating to identity, black history and racism in society. While you’re waiting for some of the newest #BlackLivesMatter books to arrive, here some items on our physical and virtual shelves you can checkout today.

Essays

“Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing”

Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing presents twenty-five brilliant essays spanning the experiences of black writers in America from Frederick Douglass to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Some of the authors you may have read previously, like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Langston Hughes. You may not know James Baldwin, Kwame Ture, Walter Dean Myers and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Yes, it is a temptation to skip to a well-known author in a collection of essays. Don’t do it! Every entry is a unique voice from black literary experience, and they are all excellent!

I read some of James Baldwin’s essays in college, and his writing is a potent presentation of soul stirring truth telling. One of his landmark pieces, Notes of a Native Son can be found in The Best American Essays of the Century, and his collection of essays published in 1998 is a recommended must read! The Fountaindale Public Library holds a collection of his fiction and non-fiction works, as well as the newly released If Beale Street Could Talk based on his well-known play.

Video

Use your Fountaindale library card and our online streaming video service Kanopy to watch I Am Not Your Negro, a 2016 documentary film based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House. Kanopy has also created a collection of films discussing Social and Systemic Injustice. Start watching those here.

If you haven’t seen James Baldwin’s 1965 Cambridge University Debate Speech, it is available to watch for free on YouTube.

Fountaindale Public Library’s Genealogy Club hosted a lecture last year with Gail Lukasik, author of “White Like Her”. She was featured in the 2019 Tribeca Award-Winning Short film The Secret Album, which you can watch for free online. (The Secret Album is part of HP’s original documentary project, History of Memory, which celebrates the power of printed photos.)

Memoirs

Memoirs hold a unique place in the #BLM conversation. Questioning personal identity and experiences within an unequal society has been shared in these books in previous best seller lists.

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

“My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me” by Jennifer Teege

“White Like Her” by Gail Lukasik

“Black is the Body” by Emily Bernard

The New Jim Crow

If you are on the wait list to read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, you will want to read Slavery By Another Name, which is available as a book and DVD. Also, the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University offers free interactive tours of their collection, and their main page is full of resources, lectures, book recommendations and other learning opportunities.

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

“Slavery By Another Name” by Douglas A. Blackmon


Our library staff are available to help connect you with books and resources you wish to request. Should you wish to suggest a book for our collection, please complete this online form at your convenience.

In Solidarity,
Debra