Recommended Reading
List for Republicans

During Black History Month, Republicans push to erase the Black experience from the American history taught to our students.

    About Our Recommended Books

    The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow:

    A fictional story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a Black father, spent most of her life in Europe, where, it’s implied, the color of her skin never mattered much. In Portland, however, she discovers that it does. Society is divided into two categories — Black and white — and she doesn’t quite fit in either one.

    Challenged in Mecklenburg County, NC for "disgusting" content


    Dear Martin by Nic Stone:

    Depicts the life of a fictional Black teenager who struggles to deal with racism in his community while trying to follow the teachings of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

    Banned in Haywood County, NC for explicit language


    Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard:

    The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

    Challenged in Minnesota for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views 


    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

    Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.”

    Challenged / banned in Texas for profanity and because it was thought to promote anti-police views


    New Kid by Jerry Craft:

    New Kid is a 2019 graphic novel by Jerry Craft. The novel tells the story of a 12-year-old black boy, Jordan Banks, who experiences culture shock when he enrolls at a private school

    Banned in Texas as part of an effort to stamp out Critical Race Theory in schools. 


    Class Act by Jerry Craft:

    The sequel to New Kid, the story is about an eighth grade African American student at Riverdale Academy Day School, Drew Ellis.

    Like it’s prequel New Kid, Class Act is banned in Texas for supposedly teaching Critical Race Theory. 


    Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi:

    This book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

    Challenged in Texas for “making white children feel bad”


    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou:

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has received numerous challenges due to its “bitterness and hatred toward white people” and encouragement of “deviant behavior because of references to lesbianism, premarital sex and profanity.”

    Angelou has been on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Banned Authors every year for the past decade


    The Color Purple by Alice Walker:

    “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker is a novel set in 1900s Georgia and is narrated by Celie, the main character and protagonist as she details her experiences with her family including her mother, her abusive father and her sister Nettie. Though the story teaches women that they can be resilient in any situation with support from other women, the book was pulled from the shelves due to homosexuality, violence and explicit language. Between 1984 and 2013, the book was banned from school libraries across the United States. Then, Texas State Prisons banned the book for profanity and violence in 2017.


    Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall:

    Hood Feminism is a 2020 non-fiction book by Mikki Kendall about intersectionality and feminism.

    Banned in Texas as part of broad efforts to censor discussions of race and sexuality.


    The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones:

    Long-form journalism endeavor developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, writers from The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine which "aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States' national narrative."

    Banned in Florida for supposedly teaching Critical Race Theory.


    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison:

    Bluest Eye tells the story of a girl named Pecola Breedlove who comes from a family considered to be troubled, unhappy and ugly due to the color of their skin. Many of the characters in the novel are Black or of Mixed ancestry who long to be White. Though this novel was banned due to racism, treatment of women and obscenity, it is important for students who deal with the same insecurities as Pecola to read this story.

    First banned in Montgomery County in Maryland, then banned in Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and California. This book was added back to some curriculums in California, but is overall still heavily debated / challenged regularly.


    This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges:

    Ruby Bridges is a civil rights activist who is better known for being the first Black child to attend a predominantly White elementary school in New Orleans, LA. Bridges wrote “This is Your Time” in the form of a letter to the reader. Her letter lists and describes the experiences that Bridges went through as a child as she attends her newly integrated school. “This is Your Time” was banned for racism even though the purpose of her story was to encourage readers to take action in standing up for their community. 

    Challenged / banned in Texas.


    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston:

    “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by author and educator Zora Neale Hurston focuses on the roles of men and women. The story is set in early 20th Century Florida and it follows the story of Janie Mae Crawford who is described as an independent Black woman. 

    Banned in Virginia for explicit language and sexual content. 


    Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. 

    Challenged / banned in Texas.