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‘Anti-Racist Library' Keeps Conversation About Racism Going

A group of East Bay mothers trying to help their neighbors better understand the Black experience have turned to what they call the “anti-racist library.”

Jenny Roy, Sarah Foster and Meg Honey are filling a book box in their Walnut Creek community with various works in hopes of keeping the conversation about racism going.

“If you don’t name it, if you don’t read about it, if you don’t talk about racism, then it’s never going to go away,” Roy said.

Last summer, the moms watched the world take to the streets to denounce the racism that continues to persist in society — racism they struggled to explain to their children.

“People in our community don’t even like to talk about racism,” Foster said. “I think that’s why it’s so important in a community like ours is just to kind of spark some curiosity.”

The moms decided they could spark that curiosity with the mini library.

The books are purchased at a store miles away in Oakland at a place filled with Black history lessons.

“Marcus Books is right in our backyard — the oldest Black-owned bookstore in the United States,” Honey said.

The moms visit the bookstore quarterly to buy books about people of color.

“Being there in that same space where Maya Angelou and Cornel West and Nikki Giovanni and others have spoken, it feels sacred and amazing,” Honey said.

Blanche Richardson, the owner of the bookstore, said their mission is to “get positive images of children of color in their hands and in the hands of others so they’re not ignorant about who we are and our culture.”

There are four “anti-racist libraries” in Walnut Creek right now. More are coming soon to other neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area.

“We’re really intentional with the books that we choose for our curated anti-racist collection and we’re really proud of what is in our libraries,” Honey said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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