Welcome back to month six of the 2021 RPL Teen Reading Challenge. How’s it been going to far? I don’t know about you, but historically this is about the time that I start falling behind in a challenge, reading or otherwise. And, that is definitely true for this one. Never fear! We are only halfway through June, and there is still time to get your prompt read this month. To help you find just the right read, I’ve curated a list of fantastic books and resources.
This month’s reading prompt is to read something about Juneteenth or the legacy of slavery in the United States. I struggled with the wording on this one when I was putting the challenge together. To me, the word legacy tends to make me think of something positive. But we all know there is nothing positive that can be said about slavery or the far-reaching repercussions it has had on Black Americans. However, Oxford’s dictionary defines legacy as “a thing handed down by a predecessor,” and I think this accurately describes this situation. Nevertheless, one positive outcome in recent years is that there have been an abundance of wonderful works published about this topic. So many, in fact, that I could never name them all in one blog post. But, I will bring a few of my favorites to your attention.
- Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
- My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter
- Dream Country by Shannon Gibney
- The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
- This is My America by Kim Johnson
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
- This Side of Home by Renée Watson
- 145th Street: Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
- Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock & Susan Buckley
- We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden
- Troublemaker for Justice : The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, & Michael G. Long
- The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
- Things That Make White People Uncomfortable (Young Adult Edition) by Michael Bennett
- March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals
- The March Against Fear: The Last Great Walk of the Civil Rights Movement and the Emergence of Black Power by Ann Bausum
If you’re looking for a shorter read or want to find out more about Juneteenth celebrations in RVA, check out these sites!
- If you’d like a super brief overview of Juneteenth, check out this Teen Vogue article.
- For a more in-depth look at the historical legacy of Juneteenth, visit The National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s website.
- If you’d like to read about why activists are pushing to make Juneteenth a national holiday, read this Time magazine article.
- Henrico County, VA is also hosting a Juneteenth Celebration this Saturday, June 19th. Visit their website for more info.
- Elegba Folklore Society in RVA is holding a Juneteenth Freedom Festival on Sunday, June 27th. Get all the details here.
- For information about Juneteenth events across the state, visit the Pressroom website.
- And, finally, read our Shelf Respect blog post from 2020 all about Juneteenth.
I hope one of the resources I mentioned in this list will peak your interest and get you reading about Juneteenth and Black History this month…and every month! If you are a teen, you can join the conversation taking place on our Discord server. We have a designated channel for readers to chat all month. Not a member of the server yet? Fill out this form and we’ll send you an invite. Also, feel free to tag us on social media and share what you’re reading #2021rplteenreadingchallenge
To visit (or revisit) my previous posts on the 2021 RPL Reading Challenge, follow these links:
The original post with info on how the challenge works.
Prompt 1 – Immigration in the U.S.
Prompt 2 – Teen Activism
Prompt 3 – Body Positivity
Prompt 4 – Protecting Our Environment
Prompt 5 – Shared Talents
Check back next month for suggestions to fulfill Prompt 7, “Something that will make you laugh!”