Resources on antiracism; Cooking at home
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Antiracism Begins at Home
By the LJ & SLJ Editors

When we launched this newsletter several weeks ago, our goal was to help support readers and library users sheltering at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. As so many (including librarians and library workers) were forced to quickly transition to working remotely—while many others were furloughed or laid off—we aimed to help ease the transition and provide engaging, mostly lighthearted content that librarians could pass along to their communities: reading recommendations, ideas for family activities, and tips on organizing one's home library. And while those goals remain, this week our nation grapples anew with so much more than simply how to safely pass the time while staying indoors. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor—and too many other Black Americans—at the hands of police, and the protests they sparked this past week, have brought to the forefront, once again, the centuries-old inequities and biases that run through the core of our nation.

We grieve with our Black colleagues and readers for the lives cut short by the pandemic and the police alike. That both disproportionately affect Black Americans is a searing indictment of our societal priorities. Libraries and publishing cannot help but be part of these systemic problems. As a team, we recommit to examining our own actions and inactions, to holding up a mirror to both fields to see where we can all do better together, and to highlighting the books and programs that can spur crucial community conversations.

Many white and non-Black Americans are asking what they can do. Many parents are wondering whether and how they should address these current events and historical realities with their children. At School Library Journal's recent Day of Dialog virtual event, keynote speakers Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi discussed the need for individuals to move away from the passive, nebulous idea of being "not racist" and instead move toward the active state of being antiracist. Antiracism is an active form of seeing and being in the world, with the aim of transforming the systems that privilege white people at the expense of people of color. Some antiracists are on the front lines, protesting and utilizing their First Amendment rights to speak out against injustice. But not all action has to take place on the public stage. In fact, some of the most critical work can—and must—happen at the individual level and in the private spaces where families, friends, and loved ones interact every day.

Start by educating yourself about the history of racist ideas and policies and how they impact the ways in which we view ourselves and others in the present. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning is an excellent place to start. Or check out Reynolds' "remix" version for younger readers, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You—an ideal book to read with middle or high schoolers. Consider listening to the audiobook as a family and discussing each chapter.

None of this is easy, and there are no simple solutions. Start by learning the history. Engage in tough conversations with the people you know. Don't be afraid to bring children and teenagers into your discussions, perhaps while cooking a meal together.

Take care of yourselves and each other.
image Antiracism: A Starter Booklist
By LJ Reviews
The following 11 titles, a mix of history, social science, and memoir, offer facts and reflections on systemic racial injustice as well as ways to channel feeling into action.
image Discussing Race with Young Kids
By Rachel G. Payne and Jessica Ralli
Research shows that from infancy, children categorize visual attributes and assign meaning to them. If we don’t talk about race from a young age, we miss a critical window.
image Stay Woke from Home with these Books, Resources, and Articles
By Cicely Lewis
10 books, resources, and articles to feed your spirit.
image Cooking with Kids: Best Sites and Videos for Young Home Chefs and Their Grown-ups
By Melanie Kletter
As schools remain closed because of the pandemic, kids who help in the kitchen are also getting an educational boost as they learn math lessons and scientific concepts. In addition, making food at home saves money and creates meaningful family memories in an uncertain time. Here are eight of the best sites for kid-friendly cooking videos.
image Podcasts To Inspire Young Chefs
By Anne Bensfield and Pamela Rogers
Is cooking during quarantine becoming a chore? Food-inspired podcasts for kids can help them get in on the action.
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image Calling All True Crime Fans: Documentaries To Distract You in Your Isolation
By Mahnaz Dar
True crime is more popular than ever; fans of Tiger King or Making a Murderer looking to escape the stress of self-isolating will appreciate this list of lesser-known selections.
image Virtual Events Calendar | SLJ’s Eclectic Round-up of Weekly Book-ish Things
By Kimberly Olson Fakih
From a June 1 Back-to-School initiative to virtual visits to San Francisco's Exploratorium to folk music, read-alouds, and Dav Pilkey doodle sessions, you’ll find familiar names and perhaps some new activities.
image What the HEROES Act Would Mean for Libraries—and How You Can Help
By Allister Chang
On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 208 to 199 for a $3 trillion aid package called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, some of which would help libraries close the digital divide. Library supporters can help advocate for the passage of this crucial legislation by reaching out to their members of Congress.

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