Ann Arbor Weather:
Wednesday July 28, 2021
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
illustration of a stack of books

Reading and Racism

In a time of turmoil, books are a resource, not a refuge.

by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds

From the July, 2020 issue

"We can't keep books on racism and antiracism in stock--they're flying off the shelves," says Linda Goodman, who handles children's books at Nicola's. As protests spread around the world in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, parents snapped up titles such as Innosanto Nagara's alphabet book A is for Activist and the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander. A book for middle-years readers, Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America, by Emily Easton and Ziyue Chen, sold out almost immediately.

Grown-ups are reading, too. "We've had amazing numbers of requests for suggestions about antiracism books and a gratifying number of orders," says Jack Gillard, who handles adult titles at Nicola's. "We're waiting for the publishers to reprint quite a few titles. There's definitely a major buzz."

When Barnes & Noble reopened in June, "we were hit with a deluge of requests for antiracism books right out of the gate," says manager Gabrielle, who requested her last name not be used. "Almost immediately, we sold out our inventory of a number of titles," among them So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo), How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi), and White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo).

"Antiracism books are definitely what people are looking to buy right now," agrees Literati co-owner Hilary Gustafson. "But people are also ordering fiction by black authors," such as Brit Bennett's new novel The Vanishing Half, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.     (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2020.]

 




 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Painting in Saline
Gunnar Birkerts' Brutalist Church
I Spy: May 2021
Sally Bjork
Tragedy at Barton Dam
A fatal outing in 1913
James Thomas Mann
Mohammed Hassan's New Direction
A fitness push leads to a juice bar.
Micheline Maynard
Pointless Brewery and Bookbound Say Goodbye
June 2021 Marketplace Closings
Micheline Maynard
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Getting In
The pandemic scrambled the rules for applying to college, and for deciding who to admit.
Jan Schlain
Daycares and Preschools
Films
Nightspots: Live
a2view the Ann Arbor Observer's weekly email newsletter
west end grill