An Introduction to Black Lives Matter Books For Teens

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Over the past few weeks, thousands of people across the country have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement through various protests and virtual activism. However, participating in these actions is just a small part of the work in creating long-term change. Reading has long been a big part of activism. It helps to share the different theories and ideas that shape movements like Black Lives Matter and allows the conversation to continue long after the initial actions end.

Why Do Black Teens Need to Read?

Reading these books can help to deepen the connections you feel to your community and contribute to fueling social justice in your school and neighborhood. Even those who aren’t directly involved in activism can help to spread social change by educating themselves on the issues of racism and discrimination. The more we understand what is happening around us and why, the more likely we are to be part of the change. Black Lives Matter is a grassroots movement that is accessible to all and doesn’t require taking to the streets. There are several positive changes you as a reader can make in response to the movement, including:

Getting back to reading – Just as there are many articles and academic papers written every day that fight against the false narratives about race and highlight the realities of the system, there are also a number of great books that do the same. Black Lives Matter Books For Teens are a substantial part of our history and can help to give us a stronger sense of where we can better contribute to making positive change and increasing understanding.

As an individual, you can encourage others – With all the craziness of social media, it can be hard to balance all the voices and information out there. However, if you have access to the books below or others that touch on the voices in the movement, you can lend them to your friends and family either through reading aloud, excerpts in text messages, or talking about them in one-on-one or small group settings.

There are ways you can effect change in your communities – This movement has been a long time coming and you can play a part in doing something to further the work. Local governments are often eager for community members to be study groups or to attend events that bring awareness to issues. For black teens, this is a chance to interact with law enforcement and community leaders who are geared towards making community safer. See if there are other movements that are taking places in your city or town, such as marches, vigils, or other forms of activism.

Why is it important for Teenagers to Read?

Thinking about the long-term impact and complex issues that the Black Lives Matter movement covers, it’s important to consider the role that media and education has in its success. Finding the best way to spread a message can be challenging, but the more authentic ways the message can be shared, the better chance it has of being received. If you’re not part of a racial minority, you may not be able to fully understand what it feels like to live and navigate that system of oppression by race. For that reason, it’s important to let the voices of the people sharing their stories, as well as the movement’s more seasoned scholars and scholars have a chance to speak to you.

How Can You Get involved?

Fortunately, with all the accessible platforms, taking part in the movement has never been easier. Social justice culminates in the way communities and people connect over their shared challenges and differences. Breaking those barriers is something that anyone can help with. Whether it’s donating money, organizing events and campaigns, reading books, or starting online conversations, there are ways to contribute. Take a look below!

Keep Your Eyes on the Movement

Don’t forget to keep up with the movement and continue to share what you learn, especially if it has an impact on a friend or family member. Often, showing to others that you are aware of and care about the issues are enough to get them to take part. But you can also start a conversation about the things you have learned.

Put in The Work

Ultimately, you can continue to improve your education and take a deeper dive into the things you learn. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to share the books on this list. Drawing from your experiences to illustrate the realities of racism is just as important as an academic study. Testimony and first-hand experience are also valid forms of knowledge, so don’t be afraid to learn and share your knowledge with others.

How do you Motivate Black Teens to Read?

The work is ongoing and if you want to be a part of the long-term change, you can do so in a way that is suited to you. Whether it’s reading the books on this list or using your own voice, there are many ways you can participate. Just think about how a labor organizer may use a different tactic than a law enforcement officer, but the end goal is the same. These books can provide the chance to develop your own voice and continue to build awareness and empathy about the realities of racism in America. There are no simple solutions, but there are ways to make a difference.

Ways to Encourage Black Teens To Read

If you want your teen to start reading about the Black Lives Matter movement, there are a few things you can do to make that possible. You can do some studying of your own to be able to talk about it with them:

Be engaged – One of the best ways to learn about topics and to persuade others is to be passionate. Understand what the movement is about and learn about the writers from the book list that your teens may like to read.

Be curious – If you already have an understanding of the movement, ask your children questions to get them thinking more about the movement. This can also be done when you are reading books together and can be an added opportunity to get to know your kids better.

Ask them what they think about it – Discussing social justice topics with young people can be intimidating, but when you ask them what they think about some of the ideas within the movement, it may help your child to see that they aren’t the only one who feels passionately about certain issues.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

This product was recommended by Ali Rizvi from Dream Superhero

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

The Hate U give by Angie Thomas

This product was recommended by Ali Ubaid Rajput from Decrum

This book is the best book for black lives matter. In this book, there is a 16 years old girl story and their scarifies.

Until We Are Free by Rodney Diverlus

This product was recommended by M. Ammar Shahid from SuperHeroCorp

In 2012, the killing of Trayvon Martin spiked the movement of Black Lives Matter, which spread across the world, leaving the US borders behind. This book contains several similar stories that revolve around the injustice that the black community has been facing for decades. Reading this piece of hottest issues would make you able to craft your own opinion on modern-day injustice.

My Life Matters: Black Lives Matter by Rachael Reed

This product was recommended by Rachael Reed from RachaelReed

I am recommending this book because I self publish self improvement and personal growth books. I wrote and published this book to uplift children and teens to Be a leader. To encourage them not to let the negative circumstances of the world influence them on their journey. To let them know they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. And to remind them that their lives matter, their dreams matter, their goals matter that they matter. That they are smart, beautiful and important. Black Lives Matter.

Lilbeebye Stings Bully by Theresa Shields

This product was recommended by Lauren Dickerson from Lilbeebye

Lilbeebye appears to be a regular girl but has a secret power to sting honey love into the hearts of those who bullied and picked on others too afraid to defend themselves. Readers of all ages who have been victims to bullying will be inspired by Lilbeebye’s bravery and those who have been bullies themselves will learn how to treat everyone with love and respect through the examples provided by Lilbeebye. The book also teaches readers that if they care for one another they can help make the world a better place, to treat people how they want to be treated and to always be kind and love one another. Lilbeebye presents an underrepresented character in children and teen pop culture as a black female superhero and action star. Author Theresa Shields, a woman of color herself, wrote the book to help with the bullying issue and wanted to develop a character anyone could relate to and learn from.

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

The beauty of this book is it does not focus on a single race, i.e., the first step to eliminating racism. It is a reason every child can connect to this book as it talks about “all.” It teaches children about social harmony and acceptance. Moreover, it encourages them to practice these concepts through different activities. Often parents find it challenging to make these complex racism-related conversations, but this masterpiece provides a wonderful venue to discuss social concepts through fun and vibrant images. The message is visible in simple phrases with comparative language that young readers can comprehend. It offers kids a positive, new way to look at the world.

Stay Woke by Tehama Lopez Bunyasi

This product was recommended by James Gascon from Rxtooler

This book sheds light on the suffering of black Americans who have to fight for racial injustice. The message that black lives matter widely spread all over the country but unfortunately most of the political, social, and economic culture is still associated with the racial differences, policies, and with all those activities which directly or indirectly devalue the lives of black. This book provides a vision about a society that really needs to see the reality of injustice to Black Lives or racial inequality and research to see what the reality is about. Stay Woke is true empowerment for everyone, including students, an ordinary citizen who should play their role in the future of Black lives.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

This product was recommended by James Gascon from Rxtooler

The media have widely covered racism, and it’s been in the spotlight, but people still find it difficult to discuss this issue or talk on this topic as it’s a really sensitive issue. This book opens up honest conversations on racism and how they infect society. So it would be a wonderful read for the teens.

A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

A thought-provoking book that deals with the murder of Emmett Till and the injustice that happens to America every day to African Americans that is written poetically by the author. It reminds people of why a lot of Black leaders fought for equality in the United States.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

A book that is adapted into a movie tells the story of an unarmed teenager gunned down by police offices. It narrates the story of a teenager witnessing her friend killed in front of her and she copes with the loss of her friend.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

An amazing book that tells the story of Will wanting to avenge his brother’s shooting and how seven ghosts persuaded him to change his mind. It books shows that there is nothing that comes about revenge and senseless shootings.

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