Recent national events have ignited dialogue surrounding the role of race in establishing power and privilege for some and oppression for others. The fight for racial justice and equity requires both self-awareness about our own biases and a deeper understanding of the experiences of others. In the coming weeks, JMRL will be sharing curated lists of titles for children, teens, and adults that explore the diverse experiences of African Americans to encourage empathy, self-reflection, and action. As James Baldwin once said, reading “taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or whoever had been alive.” When members of the community begin to understand the history of racism in America, recognize their own implicit biases, and acquire the tools to put antiracism into practice, we can foster constructive dialogue surrounding race and become better neighbors.
JMRL is currently operating at Tier 4 of their COVID-19 Response with limited services and operations. JMRL branches (with the exception of Nelson Memorial Library due to ongoing construction) are providing contactless curbside pick-up only option for library holds from Tuesdays-Saturdays between 10am and 2pm. For more information, please visit this blog post from May 18.
JMRL continues to update the COVID-19 Response & Available Online Resources page with the latest information, including resources related to racial justice and equity work. Below are other resources to jumpstart or complement your own journey:
- Talking About Race: Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture
- “Determined” Series by Vinegar Hill Magazine and Charlottesville Tomorrow: Community storytelling project on the local impact of COVID-19 in African American communities
- Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids: The Center for Racial Justice in Education
- Resources for Race, Equity, and Inclusion: We Need Diverse Books
- RACISM 101: Showing Up for Racial Justice
- Zinn Education Project: Free lessons and resources for teaching people’s history in K-12 classrooms. Includes topics such as African American history, Criminal Justice and Incarceration, Racism and Racial Identity, and Slavery and Resistance