Black Futures Month Book List 2022

Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
Just Us disrupts the false comfort of our spaces where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices. This brilliant arrangement of essays, poems, and images includes the voices and rebuttals of others alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complements Rankine’s own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
How do we speak honestly about the Asian American condition — if such a thing exists? Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively confronts this subject, blending memoir, criticism, and history to expose the truth of racialized consciousness in America.
Like A Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes
Local Seattle writer Angela Garbes has created a resource rooted in science and real-life stories. She shares information about the physical and mental health of pregnant people, as well as issuing a call to action to be a more informed and equitable society around the issues of reproductive health and justice, and ongoing care for families after pregnancy.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The genocidal program of the U.S. settler-colonial regime has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the U.S. empire.
Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami
In this illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Laila Lalami recounts her journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship.
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner
A story of fighting to belong, and of one woman’s activism — from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington — Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in a world that wasn’t built for all of us.
Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us About Policing and Race by Frank R. Baumgartner, Derek A. Epp and Kelsey Shoub
Throughout the war on drugs, police have used traffic stops to search drivers, with large numbers of stops needed before an officer might discover a significant drug shipment. The key in this strategy was that middle-class white Americans were largely exempt from its consequences. Tracking these police practices, Suspect Citizens documents the rarity of drug busts and reveals troubling racial disparities.
Become America: Civic Sermons on Love, Responsibility, and Democracy by Eric Liu
What does it mean to be an engaged American in today’s divided political landscape? How do we restore hope in our country? In a collection of “civic sermons,” Seattle-based author Eric Liu, a popular advocate for active citizenship, takes on these questions and provides inspiration and solace in a time of dismay over the state of the Union.
The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
The End of Policing reveals the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. Drawing on research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.
Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts
As a thought leader, educator, healer, speaker, and writer, Rachel Ricketts hosts intersectional racial justice workshops worldwide. Her revolutionary guide offers mindful, embodied, and practical steps for all humxns to dismantle white supremacy on a personal and collective level.
Not A Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America by Peter Edelman
Through money bail systems, laws against behavior that largely affect people experiencing homelessness, and the substitution of prisons and jails for mental hospitals, we have effectively made it a crime to be poor in the United States. Edelman connects the dots between these policies and others that seal whole communities into cycles of poverty.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Claude is five years old, loves peanut butter sandwiches, and wearing dresses, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Claude’s parents want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world...From Seattle author Laurie Frankel comes a novel about transition, transformation, fairytales, and family.
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall, Illustratons by A. D’Amico
Mikki Kendall, renowned author of Hood Feminism, brings us a fun and fascinating graphic novel covering the key figures and events that have advanced women’s rights. Examining where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going, it is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.

Hood Feminism – Mikki Kendall
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. 

Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement – John Lewis w/ Michael D’Orso
In 1957, a teenaged boy named John Lewis left a cotton farm in Alabama for Nashville, the epicenter of the struggle for civil rights in America. Lewis’s adherence to nonviolence guided that critical time and established him as one of the movement’s most charismatic and courageous leaders. Lewis’s leadership in the Nashville Movement—a student-led effort to desegregate the city of Nashville using sit-in techniques based on the teachings of Gandhi—set the tone for major civil rights campaigns of the 1960s. Lewis traces his role in the pivotal Selma marches, Bloody Sunday, and the Freedom Rides. Inspired by his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis’s vision and perseverance altered history. In 1986, he ran and won a congressional seat in Georgia, and remains in office to this day, continuing to enact change.

Featured Books for Kids

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles
In this endearing picture book, tender watercolor portraits and lyrical verse underline an important message: “You, dear child, matter.” All Because You Matter is a love letter to Black and Brown children everywhere: reminding them how much they matter, that they have always mattered, and they always will.
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali; Illustrations by Hatem Aly
Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council and Carolyn Choi; Illustrations by Ashley Seil Smith, foreword by Kimberlé Crenshaw
IntersectionAllies is a gleeful entry into intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justice. 

The ABCs of Black History – Rio Cortez, illustrated by Lauren Semmer
Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy. It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.

I Am Perfectly Designed – Karamo Brown & Jason “Rachel” Brown, illustrated by Anoosha Syed
An exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix's hit series Queer Eye, and Jason Brown—featuring illustrations by Anoosha Syed. In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.