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  • Mariah Wilson

3 Books to Read this August

In a recent motion, the Federal Government unanimously voted to recognize August 1 as Emancipation Day nationally each year. This date was chosen since it commemorates when slavery was abolished across the British Empire on August 1, 1834. At the time, more than 800,000 people of African descent living across the British Empire were freed.

It's important that we understand the history our nation was built upon. Institutional racism — which is racism that's ingrained into the fabric of our laws and the inner-workings of our society — is something that we are still dealing with today through unfair laws, biases, and stereotypes. So, this month we're recommending three books that all age levels can read to help understand what racism is, how it looks, and what you can do to stop it.


Say Something (2019)

Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

"The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea... say something! If you see an injustice... say something!

In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are... what you are thinking... and what you believe. And how you'll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!" —Scholastic


The Hate U Give (2017)

Written by Angie Thomas

"Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life." —Angie Thomas


The Skin We're In (2020)

Written by Desmond Cole

"In The Skin We're In, journalist and activist Desmond Cole looks at what it's like to live in Canada as a Black person. The Skin We're In examines one year, 2017, and chronicles Cole's personal journalism, activism and experiences alongside stories that made headlines across the country, including refugees crossing the Canada-U.S. border in the middle of winter and the death of Somali Canadian Abdirahman Abdi at the hands of the Ottawa police." —CBC



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