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Read, Reflect & Discuss

“After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues.— ALA President Julie B. Todaro’s statement on Libraries, the Association, Diversity, and Inclusion

It’s important, now more than ever, to continue reading, reflecting, and engaging in open dialogue about the issues facing us all as a nation. Here are our picks of new and forthcoming titles to help do just that:

TEARS WE CANNOT STOP: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
As the country grapples with race with anguish and anger at a level not seen since the 60s, one of America’s leading black voices speaks out honestly and provocatively to white America. “University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and a leading public intellectual once ranked among the 100 Most Influential African Americans by Ebony magazine, Dyson here expands on his editorial, challenging white America to do its part in improving race relations. Brief yet pointed; with comparisons to James Baldwin’s THE FIRE NEXT TIME and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang
A provocative and timely collection of essays from a celebrated cultural critic on race, diversity, and resegregation. “Readers seeking remedies to racial discord will instead find a multifaceted history lesson coupled with troubling updates on recent urban upsets within the author’s interconnected discourse. With his galvanizing message, Chang reiterates that while there is much work to be done on the inequality front, the opportunity to ‘get it right’ has not passed us by. A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

I’M JUDGING YOU by Luvvie Ajayi
“Ajayi, known in the social-media sphere as Awesomely Luvvie after her blog, which attracts 500,000 readers a month, has crafted a smart, vividly humorous handbook for the social-media generation, which is all of us. Her ‘do-better’ calls for us to reclaim common sense, compassion, and critical thinking, in both personal and online interactions. Astute and timely advice, wittily presented.” — Booklist, starred review

WHITE RAGE: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
From the end of the Civil War to our combustible present, an acclaimed historian reframes the conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America. “A book that provides necessary perspective on the racial conflagrations in the U.S.” — Kirkus Reviews

UNWARRANTED: Policing Without Permission by Barry Friedman
As the debate about out-of-control policing heats up, an authority on constitutional law offers a provocative account of how our rights have been eroded. “Drawing on landmark court cases, extensive history, and incisive analysis, Friedman takes a hard look at current problems and proposes astute and well-researched solutions in favor of more ‘democratic and constitutional’ policing. This book is the definitive guide to contemporary policing and its necessary reforms.” — Publishers Weekly

LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.
Yale legal scholar and former public defender James Forman Jr. provides an original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law, weighing the tragic role that some African Americans themselves play in escalating the war on crime. “A decidedly different look at the subject.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert 

POLICE STATE by Gerry Spence
Now in trade paperback! Legal legend Gerry Spence issues a stinging indictment of the American justice system. Demonstrating that the way we select and train our officers guarantees fatal abuses of justice, he prescribes a challenging cure that stands to restore the promise of liberty and justice for all.

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