A lot of people are looking for antiracist reading lists right now. And it's important, in the face of systemic oppression and police brutality, to stand up for what's right, seek education, and learn to change. But right now, when it feels like so many Americans are looking for the same handful of titles, it can be hard to find what you need.
Professor Ibram X. Kendi's books Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, its young adult version Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You and How to Be an Antiracist seem to be sold out and backordered everywhere. (You can listen to the audiobook of Stamped from the Beginning on Spotify for free, at least.) Same with Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. And Ijeoma Oluo's So You Want to Talk About Race. And James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, originally published in 1963. And Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, the nonfiction winner of the 2011 NAACP Image Award.
So if you aren't able to get your hands on educational titles like this and want to learn, what should you do? The answer is simple: read anyway. Invest in diverse books for the children in your life. Antiracism is a practice, not a fad, and learning a journey. Read Black authors like Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Be intentional about the stories and ideas you bring into your life. Because Black lives matter, and so do Black stories.
For: Adult readers
Price: Starts at $19.00/every 3 months
About the Box: Founded and run by a librarian at Purdue University's Black Cultural Center, this quarterly subscription box features a thoughtfully selected fiction or nonfiction book by a Black or African-American author every 3 months, plus a "library packet" (a catalog card, spine label, label protector, and logo sticker) for each title. We need diverse books now more than ever, and founder Jamilah has the expertise to curate books that may be harder to find in mainstream publications. Subscribers can choose whether they would like the book only or an additional 2-4 products curated to go along with the featured book, like art prints, notebooks, and more.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. by the 28th of the month
For: Kids and adults
Price: Starts at $25.00/month
About the Box: Every month, BlackLIT sends subscribers a mix of lifestyle items and a featured book by Black authors and entrepreneurs. Choose between fiction; nonfiction like memoir, self-help, social science, and business; Christian books; books specially curated for male readers; and children's books (even board books like Woke Baby) to support Black creators and businesses! You'll also receive 3-5 high-quality lifestyle products from independent Black-owned small businesses, for a total value of over $100+ in every box. And best of all? BlackLIT is owned and curated by an educator, so each box comes with 5 thoughtful questions about the book to foster discussion. We think BlackLIT is well on their way to their goals of increasing representation in literature and closing the literacy gap.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. on the 7th of the month
For: Girls in 3rd-8th grade
Price: Starts at $39.95/month
About the Box: Black Girl MATHgic is the only subscription box based around instilling math confidence in girls. Founded by a math tutor with 15+ years experience, this small business aims to shrink the prevalence of math anxiety in girls and women -- particularly Black girls -- and narrow the racial and gender gaps when it comes to STEM. "Math is the foundation of STEM," founder Brittany explains. And while Brittany makes clear that the box is for all girls, "no matter their racial or ethnic background," math anxiety hits women and girls of color the hardest. Girls who subscribe to Black Girl MATHgic will receive real-world math lessons in each box, as well as related games and activities to drive home what they learn, fun bonus items, and a "Caring Adult Guide" to help parents support their children in learning.
Shipping: Ships within the U.S. between the 8th and the 13th of the month
For: Babies to 13-year-olds
Price: Starts at $24.00/month
What's Included: Jambo Book Club features carefully-chosen, diverse children's books for readers young enough for storytime and old enough for chapter books, with different box options for kids 0-13 years old. Every month, children receive two brand-new books appropriate for their age level, featuring a child of color as the protagonist, and a personalized letter about the books. For families with children at different ages, Jambo offers an option to receive books for two different age ranges in their monthly box as well. Previously featured picture books have included stories as varied as Lucia the Luchadora, named one of 2017's best books by NPR; the beloved board book I Like Myself; and Last Stop on Market Street, winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. by the 10th of the month
For: Kids and teenagers
Price: Starts at $10.00/month
What's Included: This diverse book subscription focuses on stories for young children and young adults that educate readers on life lessons like bullying or instill positive role models and images like strong female protagonists, nontraditional family structures, and different cultures. Families can choose to receive 1, 2, or 3 thoughtfully-curated picture books in each box, or 1 young adult novel, from titles both modern and classic. Previous picture books selected by Momo include the #1 New York Times bestseller Ada Twist, Scientist; popular baby-shower pick The Peace Book by Todd Parr; and immigration story Mama's Nightingale by Edwidge Danticat.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. by the 21st of the month