I’ve been struggling with what to post lately, so I’ve just been sort of frozen with indecision. Posting randomness as if nothing horrible is happening in our world feels wrong. And disappearing seems strange too. (Especially in light of the fact that silence=being complicit in racism. I went to a local protest, but being silent here still isn’t right. I want to do more!)
I feel like I should be supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in some way, but suddenly pulling out all my Black books and showcasing them seems icky somehow. (I’m very honestly not judging anyone else who’s chosen to do this—for me, it just doesn’t feel right. Instead, I’d rather focus on making sure I’m covering diverse books all the time and be as mindful as possible of that.)
But one thing I DO feel good about doing is spreading the word about Black-owned bookstores and amplifying Black voices where I can.
Check out this list of Black-owned bookstores. I was excited to see this list and buy a couple of books from Semicolon Bookstore in Chicago! They didn’t have a huge number of kids books available online, but I found two that I’d had my eye on for quite a while. I’ll probably be donating both of these to Bernie’s Book Bank when I’m done reading them too, and I feel great about that since Bernie’s supports many diverse communities!
Also, Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, and Jason Reynolds organized the KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives. It was up on Facebook Live, but you can watch the recording if you click on the link. They’ve also posted a fabulous list of resources for the bookish community.
For now, I’ll share those and keep trying to walk that fine line of supporting without being showy about it. At least I hope that’s what this post is doing.
It should go without saying, but Black Lives Matter. It’s sad that the world needs to be reminded of that fact, time and time again.
Thanks for raising awareness, Nicole! Everyone has different ways they are contributing to the cause, and it’s been great to see. Especially during a time where a lot of local businesses are struggling, it’s so important to support businesses from people of colour!
Yes, supporting local Black businesses is definitely a way to help—I just need to make sure that I continue to make an effort to do that.
Thanks for the links! I’m struggling with how to help too, especially because my money situation is always unpredictable. I’ve been keeping track of new releases by Black authors and making sure my library plans on ordering them. I can’t spend a lot of money right now, but I can nicely request that the library spends their money. 🙂
Library requests are a great way to support these authors!
I’ve been feeling the same. I know that I always try to read any book that sounds good, and that has been a lot of black authors these days. I really read them even more now with the school where I am a librarian being an inner city school and so it is good to be able to share these books with my students. I do feel like I want to do some sort of post celebrating black authors and maybe bloggers as well.
It’s great that you’re trying hard to read books that the kids in your district will relate to!
“It should go without saying, but Black Lives Matter. It’s sad that the world needs to be reminded of that fact, time and time again.”
Perfectly said. ❤️❤️❤️
I agree 100% with what you said. I think the important thing right now is to keep listening, keep learning, and keep lifting up black businesses, authors, and bloggers. Well said! <3
Yes, listening and learning are incredibly important right now!
Lovely post, Nicole! I’m thankful that you have put this on your blog–I love the idea of supporting the black community in this way. 🙂
It’s one small thing we can do.
I know what you mean. I don’t normally post about politics on the blog either, so I wasn’t sure if I should say anything. But I also decided that staying silent was being complicit, so I scheduled a post with a bunch of links that I found helpful in my search for things to do to help. Thank you for your links!
It’s hard to know exactly what to say or do, but it definitely feels wrong to do nothing.
Couldn’t agree more and I am glad you spoke up about it, and have been to a protest and have been showing your support in the ways you can. I am so happy to see people protesting and talking about it and having those difficult conversations with friends or family who don’t seem to agree.
I’ve wanted to help in whatever ways I can, even though it never feels like enough.
I’m having similar thoughts about what I can or should do on my blog. It feels like trying to grab attention on myself to suddenly start posting links to black-authored bookss I’ve read in the past, but to not put anything out feels wrong too.
Yes, this was exactly the way I was feeling. I didn’t want to be all showy about suddenly flaunting all the POC books I own, but I also didn’t want to ignore the issue.
Nicole, this is wonderful, thank you so much for posting it! It IS hard to know how to help, and I think these are some great suggestions! I really want to get to a protest as well, but it’s very hard with the kids. If they were a little older, I’d bring them, but Idk if I feel able to take both of them by myself at their ages, you know? I am so glad that you were able to go! And you are SO right- we should NOT need a reminder, but yep, the world CLEARLY does.
Yeah, I agree that it would definitely be hard to bring young kids to a protest.
Thanks for posting these links and for sharing your thoughts. I’ve struggled with how best to use my blog during this time, but I think this a wonderful way to show your support.
It really can be hard to say the “right” things, but saying nothing doesn’t feel like an option right now.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the links, Nicole. I can tell you put thought into this post, and I respect how you’re using your platform. I’ve also struggled with how to speak up on my blog and social medial platforms. I agree that we should support diverse books all the time and not just during times like this.
I know, it’s such a delicate balance between showing support and feeling showy about it.
Thank-you for sharing your thoughts on ‘walking the fine line’! I think this internal debate about what to post right now is common to us white folks, especially when we know we shouldn’t be silent. I included information to support Black Lives Matter in my May wrap-up, but I had to spend a few days reflecting before I decided to post a booklist of titles by Black authors. As you note, I try to be mindful of covering diverse books all the time and I think my content reflects that. So I can relate to that ‘icky’ feeling! I worried for a bit if posting that list would imply “Ooh, look, I read books by Black authors, I’m a great ally”. For me, though, I decided that the list I created (which features MG speculative fiction) was a way to use my own specialized knowledge to boost Black authors. Anyway, all that is to say I appreciate that you took some time to reflect and share your thoughts when writing this post (which I think you’ve done great in writing).
You make a great point about using your own specialized knowledge to boost Black authors—sounds like a perfect solution to the dilemma.
Thank you for this post! I bookmarked that last resource link!
I’ve also felt awkward about jumping in on it all but also realized that so many people I know don’t understand why this movement even exists so speaking out seems extra important! <3
Yes, so many people have made the point that silence is agreement with the oppression going on, even if we don’t mean it that way.
I absolutely understand your point about having to find a balance, and I think you did the right thing. I have to admit not reading enough non-White books, though it’s not a conscious choice – I tend to gravitate towards sci-fi and supernatural novels as opposed to contemporary and fantasy ones, and it looks like most of the Black stories are in the latter departments. I will keep looking!
Yeah, I agree that there aren’t as many books by black authors in those genres—though it’s starting to get a bit better!