Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri took the initiative to create a window display and a reading list for people wanting to explore #BlackLivesMatter. If you are interested in getting some context for Ferguson and all that followed, this is a great place to start. (More)
Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.
The owners of the book store and the staff have a strong activist streak. They wanted to shape unrest into education.
Jarek Steele: Early on we talked about Ferguson in our staff meeting. We talked about how Left Bank Books has always been more than just a bookstore, and that we had the opportunity (and responsibility) to use it to facilitate a public conversation about race, policing, and St. Louis’s history and current practice of segregation. We wanted to celebrate the courage it takes to openly talk about race, make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Our staff is about ¼ non-white at the moment and very queer, so this message was not unwelcome.
We noticed that many people (mostly white) didn’t have any context, and even some who wanted to be allies didn’t have the language to do so. We started by putting together a window with some relevant titles. Then I started an online list using books that the group of us thought of off the top of our heads. Realizing the list was sort of a living thing, I opened it up to the public and vetted hundreds of suggestions and came up with what is now called “Black Lives Matter: A Reading List.”
The Left Bank Bookstore’s #BlackLivesMatter reading list is here.
Other book stores around the country are featuring Black Lives Matter book displays. I recognized some of the titles and many more were new to me. If you are a member of a book club or a reader in search of context and empathy, this list is a great place to start. There is a wide enough selection to stop any of us from thinking we have “the answer.”