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Activism / Social Justice

Cover of As Good As Anybody
by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Raul Colon
9780375833359
2008

Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.

Cover of The Book Itch
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
9780761339434
2015

Relates the story of the National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux in 1939, as seen from the perspective of Louis Michaux Jr., who met famous men like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X while helping there.

Cover of Claudette Colvin:  Twice T
by Phillip M. Hoose
9780374313227
2009

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle , the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.  Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

Cover of Counting on Community
by Innosanto Nagara
1609806328
2015

Counting up from one stuffed piñata to ten hefty hens--and always counting on each other--children are encouraged to recognize the value of their community, the joys inherent in healthy eco-friendly activities, and the agency they posses to make change. A broad and inspiring vision of diversity is told through stories in words and pictures. And of course, there is a duck to find on every page of this sturdy board book!

Cover of Delivering Justice: W.W. L
by James Haskins, illustrated by Benny Andrews
0763625922
2005

"Grow up and be somebody," Westley Wallace Law's grandmother encouraged him as a young boy living in poverty in segregated Savannah, Georgia. Determined to make a difference in his community, W.W. Law assisted blacks in registering to vote, joined the NAACP and trained protestors in the use of nonviolent civil disobedience, and, in 1961, led the Great Savannah Boycott. In that famous protest, blacks refused to shop in downtown Savannah. When city leaders finally agreed to declare all of its citizens equal, Savannah became the first city in the south to end racial discrimination.

Cover of Dolores Huerta: A Hero to
by Sarah Warren, illustrated by Robert Casilla
9780761461074
2012

An illustrated look at the life and accomplishments of Dolores Huerta, who fought to ensure fair and safe work places for migrant workers. Includes a timeline and resources for teachers.

Cover of Farmer Will Allen and the
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin
0983661537
2013

The story of former basketball star and current urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, whose vision of gardening from abandoned urban sites has led to powerful grassroots organizations in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Cover of Fred Korematsu Speaks Up
by Laura Atkins & Stan Yogi
9781597143684
2016

Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends--just like lots of other Americans. But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. This included Fred, whose parents had immigrated to the United States from Japan many years before. But Fred refused to go. He knew that what the government was doing was unfair. And when he got put in jail for resisting, he knew he couldn't give up. Inspired by the award-winning book for adults Wherever There's a Fight, the Fighting for Justice series introduces young readers to real-life heroes and heroines of social progress. The story of Fred Korematsu's fight against discrimination explores the life of one courageous person who made the United States a fairer place for all Americans, and it encourages all of us to speak up for justice.

Cover of I Am Rosa Parks
by Rosa Parks, James Haskins and Wil Clay
0803712065
1997

The black woman whose acts of civil disobedience led to the 1956 Supreme Court order to desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama, explains what she did and why.

Cover of A Is for Activist
written and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
160980693X
2013

The bestselling ABC book for families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that we believe in and fight for.

Cover of Mama's Nightingale
by Edwidge Danticat
9780525428091
2015

When Saya's mother is sent to jail as an illegal immigrant, she sends her daughter a cassette tape with a song and a bedtime story, which inspires Saya to write a story of her own--one that just might bring her mother home.

Cover of Martin & Mahalia: His Word
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
9780316070133
2013

Explores the intersecting lives of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson at the historic moment when their joined voices inspired landmark changes.

Cover of New Shoes
by Susan Meyer, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
9780823425280
2015

In this historical fiction picture book, Ella Mae and her cousin Charlotte, both African American, start their own shoe store when they learn that they cannot try on shoes at the shoe store. Winner of the 2016 Jane Addams Children's Book Award for younger readers.

Cover of Separate Is Never Equal:
by Duncan Tonatiuh
9781419710544
2014

Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education , Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Cover of Sit-in: How Four Friends S
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
9780316070164
2010

This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement

Cover of Sojourner Truth's Step-Sto
by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
9780786807673
2009

Born into slavery, Belle had to endure the cruelty of several masters before she escaped to freedom. But she knew she wouldn't really be free unless she was helping to end injustice. That's when she changed her name to Sojourner and began traveling across the country, demanding equal rights for black people and for women. Many people weren't ready for her message, but Sojourner was brave, and her truth was powerful. And slowly, but surely as Sojourner's step-stomp stride, America began to change.

Cover of The Story of Ruby Bridges
by Robert Coles, illustrated by George Ford
0590439677
1995

For months six-year-old Ruby Bridges must confront the hostility of white parents when she becomes the first African American girl to integrate Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.

Cover of Streetcar to justice: how
by Amy Hill Hearth
9780062673602
2018

Amy Hill Hearth uncovers the story of a little-known figure in U.S. history in this fascinating biography. In 1854, a young African American woman named Elizabeth Jennings won a major victory against a New York City streetcar company, a first step in the process of desegregating public transportation in Manhattan. This illuminating and important piece of the history of the fight for equal rights, illustrated with photographs and archival material from the period, will engage fans of Phillip Hoose's Claudette Colvin and Steve Sheinkin's Most Dangerous. One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings's refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in the Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan set into motion a major court case in New York City.

Cover of A Sweet Smell of Roses
by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
0689832524
2005

A stirring yet jubilant glimpse of the youth involvement that played an invaluable role in the Civil Rights movement.

Cover of These Hands
by Margaret H. Mason, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
9780547215662
2010

An African American man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the wonderful things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder Bread factory. Based on stories of bakery union workers; includes historical note.

Cover of We March
by Shane Evans
9781596435391
2012

Radiant illustrations and beautiful, brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a historic speech.

Cover of We Rise, We Resist, We Rai
Cheryl Willis Hudson, Wade Hudson, Ashley Bryan
9780525580423
2018

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

Cover of We Shall Overcome: A Song
by Stuart Stotts, illustrated by Terrance Cummings
0547182104
2010

In clear, accessible language Stuart Stotts explores the roots of the tune and the lyrics in traditional African music and Christian hymns. He demonstrates the key role “We Shall Overcome” played in the civil rights, labor, and anti-war movements in America. And he traces the song’s transformation into an international anthem

Cover of When Marian Sang: The True
by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick
0439269679
2002

An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.

Cover of The Youngest Marcher: the
by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
9781481400701
2017

The story of how nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks became the youngest known child to be arrested for picketing against Birmingham segregation practices in 1963.