As we take in the atrocities that have befallen members of our black community over the past few weeks, and consider the prevalence and persistence of these atrocities, the DS staff members, like many of you, are feeling grief, anger, and helplessness.  The peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country, and the violence in some cities, all provide precious opportunity for us to push ourselves to explore what it means to be black, both historically, and currently, in this country. This experience can be deeply personal and painful as we confront new truths about our own roles in racial injustice.  As educators, we are also mandated to help our students on a parallel learning journey, so that they might become the activists and allies that can build communities and institutions that are free of both overt and systemic racism. 

Our team has collected resources that we feel strongly about, that can help you on your personal learning journey, and the journey that you facilitate for students. Please explore below……..

Bounty of Instructional Materials

Research based books on the impact of racism (High School and Adult): 

  • How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X.  Kendi
  • Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson:
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

Nonfiction for High School and Adult:

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Waking Up White by Debby Irving
  • Black is  the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time and Mine by Emily Bernard
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Adult and High School Fiction

  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
  • Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • The Bluest Eye, and Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan 
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Play: “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry” 
  • The Turner  House by Angela Flournoy
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Young Adult Fiction

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow
  • Dear Martin by Nick Stone
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  • Black Enough, edited by Ibi Zoboi
  • Monster: A Graphic Novel by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims
  • Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Resources for Young Readers

Resources on how to dialogue about race with students and your children:

Documentary Films

  • 13th (documentary by Ava Duvernay): 13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the "intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States;"[3] it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery throughout the United States and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.
  • When They See Us - Ava Duvernay (Netflix) When They See Us is a 2019 American drama web television miniseries created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix, that premiered in four parts on May 31, 2019. It is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City.
  • All American (Netflix series based on true story) All American is an American sports drama television series, created by April Blair that premiered on The CW on October 10, 2018. The series is inspired by the life of professional American football player Spencer Paysinger with Daniel Ezra in the lead role.
  • Eyes on the Prize: Eyes on the Prize is an American television series and 14-part documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States that first aired in 1990. 


  • Seeing White” tells stories exploring human experience and American society. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University and is distributed by PRX. Season 1 featured a mix of stand-alone and multiple-episode stories; in Season 2, the Peabody-nominated Seeing White, Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika explored the history and meaning of whiteness; in Season 3, Biewen and co-host Celeste Headlee delved into sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny.
  • Teaching While White (TWW):  More than 80% of teachers in the U.S. are white. But most don’t know that their whiteness matters. Teaching While White (TWW) seeks to move the conversation forward on how to be consciously, intentionally, anti-racist in the classroom. Because "white" does not mean a blank slate. It is a set of assumptions that is the baseline from which everything is judged; it is what passes for normal. TWW wants to have conversations about those assumptions: what they are, how they impact our students, and how we can confront our bias to promote racial literacy.  

Voices to Follow 

  • Trevor Noah: At the following link: Trevor Noah, late night talk show host and author of “Born a Crime”,  offers us a sensitive and articulate context and response to the current racial events:
  • DeRay Mckesson ​ is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds honorary doctorates from The New School and the Maryland Institute College of Art.  DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and a co-founder of Campaign Zero, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools, and provide citizens and policy makers with commonsense policies that ensure equity. He has been praised by President Obama for his work as a community organizer, has advised officials at all levels of government and internationally, and continues to provide capacity to activists, organizers, and influencers to make an impact.
  • Dr. Ibram X. Kendi IBRAM X. KENDI is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC. A professor of history and international relations, Kendi is a contributor at The Atlantic and CBS News. He is the author of THE BLACK CAMPUS MOVEMENT, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. He grew up dreaming about playing in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and ironically he ended up joining the other NBA.
  • Ijeoma Oluo:  Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and Internet Yeller.  She’s the author of the New York Times Best-Seller So You Want to Talk about Race, published in January by Seal Press. Named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society, Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, the arts, and personal essay. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle Magazine, TIME, The Stranger, and the Guardian, among other outlets.