Black Lives Matter | Reading to Learn, Support & Stand for Others

If you are neutral in situations of injustice

{Image from HERE}

When You Know Better, Do Better…

I know I frequently share that I read to escape or distract myself. While I often do this to deal with hard things in my own life, now is not the time to escape from the reality that recent events in our country have brought to light for so many of us. And staying silent is not the answer.

when you know better, do better

I have felt sad and hopeless and also disappointed in myself that it took something like the recent tragedies of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd for this to really be on my radar. This is a reality that so many people do not have and I want to do better. I understand that these events are not sharing something new. As a white person, it is a privilege to choose when I think about this and when I can turn it off.

I know I have a lot to learn and that I definitely don’t always know the right thing to say, but I want to try.  I want to be a better ally and I want to make sure our kids are too. I recognize that while we may not ever truly understand, we can learn, support, and stand up for others.

Own Voices Authors…

This blog is a very small platform in terms of sharing online, but even still, I can use this space proactively, knowing it might reach just a handful of readers. While I don’t and won’t always know the exact right things to say, I do know it is important to say something. In this space I can share what has been helpful to me, hoping it might impact you too.

own voices

One of the things I appreciate about reading is the ability to see perspectives of people outside our own smaller circles. I have always loved that books have been able to connect me to people and places I might not encounter in my everyday life. Over the last few years, I have prioritized incorporating Own Voices authors into my reading and I know I can do this even more.

Some of my favorites include:

With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Mothers by Brit Bennett


I just started Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo as a “buddy read” with some of my reading friends @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf @kristinasbookishlife & @pocketsized_pageturner.

The Vanishing Half  by Brit Bennett masterfully takes on issues of race, gender, self-doubt, identity, and family relationships. I loved how many important and timely topics were personified and just part of each character’s overall storylines. This one will be released tomorrow and you can also grab it through Book of the Month (referral link) now!

Reading to Learn through Nonfiction…

books on racism

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Me and White Supremacy by Layra F. Saad

How to be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Many of these books are currently sold out online in hard copy but are available as ebooks or through LibroFM as audiobooks. Just Mercy was one of the most eye-opening and profound books I have ever read and it has stuck with me over the years.


Just Mercy has adapted for young adults a couple of years ago and I just purchased it for our almost 10-year-old. We have been having a lot of important conversations in our house this week and I am realizing how much more we need to be incorporating this into our everyday dialogue.

I listened to So You Want to Talk About Race this past week and am starting Me and White Sumprecy next. White Fragility and How To Be An Antiracist are books that have been recommended to me that are now on my reading list for this next month.

librofm playlist

LibroFM put together a  “required reading playlist” that also includes some other recommendations that haven’t been on my own reading radar yet…

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn

This is certainly not a comprehensive list but I hope it helps inspire some of your upcoming reading. If you have any other suggestions, I would appreciate it so much as I continue to listen, learn, and grow. 

Disclosure: Whenever possible, I will use a LibroFM bookstore link. These are not commission based but allow you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores. Thank you for your support. 

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