Find Anti-Racism Reads at The Seattle Public Library, Including an ‘Always Available’ List of 50+ E-books and E-audiobooks on Race
release date: 06/19/2020
As books on race, anti-racism and policing top national nonfiction bestseller lists, they are also in demand by Seattle Public Library patrons, with numerous holds placed on titles such as Ibram X. Kendi’s “Stamped From the Beginning” and Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility.”
But while these titles are deservedly popular, the Library also has an “Always Available” “Readings About Race” digital collection that is a mix of classics and newer books and even a few bestsellers such as the e-audiobook version of Ijeoma Oluo’s “So You Want to Talk About Race.” That means that patrons with a Library card can check out any of these titles right now, with no wait. Highlights of this collection include:
- Popular anti-racist titles: “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo (always available in e-audiobook) and “Me & White Supremacy,” by Layla F. Saad (available as e-book and e-audiobook) are among the most cited books on anti-racist booklists. The e-audiobook of “So You Want to Talk About Race” has been checked out more than 8,000 times since 2018.
- Recent award winners: “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke,” by Jeffrey C. Stewart and “The Yellow House,” by Sarah M. Broom won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and are both always available as e-books. Tressie McMillan Cottom’s “Thick: And Other Essays” (e-book) was a National Book Award finalist in 2019, and “Solitary” (e-book), a memoir by Albert Woodfox about his four decades in solitary confinement, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction in 2019.
- Classics: “The Narrative of Sojourner Truth” (e-audiobook) by Olive Gilbert, “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. DuBois (e-audiobook) and “The Wretched of the Earth” by Franz Fanton (e-book) are seminal works of African-American nonfiction.
- Black women: A number of works by influential Black women are always available, including “Freedom is a Constant Struggle,” by activist Angela Y. Davis (e-audiobook); Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen: An American Lyric,” a book-length poem about everyday racism (e-audiobook); and “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women & Feminism,” by scholar bell hooks (e-audiobook). Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s “How We Get Free” profiles the Combahee River Collective, the radical black feminist organization that challenged the mainstream feminist and Civil Rights movements during the 1970s (e-audiobook). “Motherhood So White,” by Nefertiti Austin (e-book), is a memoir of a Black mother’s experience of taking the almost unheard-of path of adoption.
- Reconsidering policing: Two books explore the massive interest in policing in the time of the George Floyd protests. “Choke Hold: Policing Black Men,” by Paul Butler (e-book) and “The End of Policing,” by Alex S. Vitale (e-audiobook).
Patrons are also encouraged to explore the Library’s “Toolkit for Anti-racism Allies” and the Black Lives Matter e-collection, which include digital versions of bestsellers such as Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow.” Parents and educators can explore the children’s e-book collections for fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors from our kids’ e-book portal.
Patrons can also use our collections to discover books for their own purchases, in support of Black authors during #BlackoutBestsellerList week.
More ways to explore titles include the Library’s Your Next Five service, which delivers customized book recommendations within four days. You can also get a quick e-book related question answered through the Library’s reference service at spl.org/ask.
The Library is able to create its “Always Available” e-collections” on OverDrive because some publishers allow libraries to purchase unlimited access to titles. Find more Always Available e-books and e-audiobooks on OverDrive.
If you don’t have a Library card, no problem. Seattle residents can sign up for a digital Library card in minutes at spl.org/card.
All physical locations of The Seattle Public Library are closed in accordance with public health guidelines, but the Library is offering many virtual programs and services. Find out more about our phased plan for activating services such as no-contact pick-up at spl.org/ChiefLibrarian.