#OwnVoices at Richland Library is a way for African American staff to provide thoughtful and well written book reviews, book lists and blog posts to promote African American authors and their work about the African American experience. The series invites our customers to learn one more way we are continuing the conversation in our community and speaking our voice. Find more resources on race, equity and inclusion, here.

 

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Sorrowland - A Review

"Going against tended to end more rightly, more justly, than going with. People were wrong. Rules, most of the time, favored not what was right, but what was convenient or preferable to those in charge."

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Richland Library Main

#OWNVoices: Shady Baby

From the New York Times Bestselling Duo Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwayne Wade Jr. 

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Richland Library Main

#OWNVoices: Blackout Book Review

Are you looking for #Blackgirlmagic for Black History Month? If so, Blackout is the book for you! Take a look at my review of the novel and see if entices you to read it.  

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Children's Books Reflection of 2021

Missed out on 2021 book releases? Don't worry, you can find #OwnVoices books published in 2021 for both younger and older children here. I don't forget to look out for what's to come in 2022!

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Mistress of Spices (Book Review)

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s bestselling book, The Mistress of Spices is an evocative classic; a magical, mystical tale of a clairvoyant who sells spices that can soothe your soul. The author says that she wrote this novel “in a spirit of play, collapsing the divisions between the realistic world of twentieth century America and the timeless one of myth and magic” in her “attempt to create a modern fable."

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The City We Became - A Review

What we are, what we’re made of, is many worlds coming together. Reality and legends. This world where we’re just people, and that world, where we can be miles-wide cities that just happen to be sitting a couple of feet across from each other because the laws of space, physics, don’t work the same way.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: Me & Mama

In Cozbi A. Cabrera's Coretta Scott King Award-winning Me & Mama, the day begins with Mama sings "bright as sun" to welcome her young child to a brand new, exciting day.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Death of Vivek Oji

"The Death of Vivek Oji is a propulsive, titanic book. Emezi doesn't simply tell stories; they create genres, making new stories, new characters, feel as forever as thunder, clouds, and betrayal." -Kiese Laymon

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Clean Getaway by Nic Stone (A Review)

How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
    Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
    Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
    Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.

What Not to Bring:
    A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

To some, 1967 seems like it was so long ago, but that was only fifty-four years ago. Only fifty-four years ago, Richard and Mildred Loving were fighting the state of Virginia to recognize their marriage. Only fifty-four years ago, two people (who just happened to be different races) had to fight to legally show their love to the world. 

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Richland Library Lower Richland

#OwnVoices: The Impact of Mispronouncing a Name

A child's socioemotional well-being and worldview can be negatively impacted by someone's failure to pronounce their name properly and can even lead them to shy away from their own cultures and families. 

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Take a journey with Bree Matthews, in this OwnVoices read, as she struggles with life after her mother's death, and prepares to embark on a journey at the University of North Carolina in their Early College program--a journey that will alter how she views the world and herself.

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Richland Library Eastover

#OwnVoices: Say Her Name

In this YA non-fiction, Elliot graced us with a beautiful collection of poetry that showcased the intersectionality of being black and a woman.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: Between the World and Me

Angry. Scared. Tired. These are only a few of the words to describe how the Black community is feeling right now and how it has felt for the past four hundred years.

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Class Act

New Kid, the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal, is now joined by Jerry Craft’s powerful Class Act.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: The Undefeated

Unforgettable. Undeniable. Unflappable. Unafraid. These are just a few of the words that can be used to describe this Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-Winning book by author Kwame Alexander and illustrator Kadir Nelson.

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Black History Is American History

Black History Month should not be just a time to celebrate African Americans who have paved the way for us all to thrive. It should be a time to challenge the stubbornly persistent tendency to teach Black History as a footnote to American history.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Bring On the Blessings (Book #1 of Blessings series)

When a post-Reconstruction African-American community succumbs to a desperate need for funds and purpose, its mayor puts the small town up for sale and finds a buyer in Bernardine Brown, who believes the town's sale to be a sign from God. 🏠🏠

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Women of Brewster Place - A Review

Weaving together the truths and the myths of their lives, Gloria Naylor creates a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in today's America. - Penguin Publishing

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Richland Library Main

#OWNVoices: Hip-Hop Lollipop

Teeth brushing

Music crushing

Bass thumping

Shoulders pumping

Head rotation

Jubilation!

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Celebrating Differences

It is our job as parents and caretakers to ensure our children know that everyone deserves respect, regardless of differences. We all were uniquely crafted and it is our differences that makes the world so interesting.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions.

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Richland Library Eastover

#OwnVoices: Monday's Not Coming

Friends are like family. So, when your best friend goes missing what do you do. If you are anything like Claudia, you go looking for answers.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Sunny and Lu

Imagine finding the sound of rhythm in everything that goes on in the world. Now imagine doing it with Swag. That’s what Sunny and Lu bring to you as the last two books of Jason Reynolds Track Series. They both work to find the right rhythm on the team but Lu adds a dab of Swag to the mix. 

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Black Female Illustrators Spotlight

When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part. - We Need Diverse Books 

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: Toning the Sweep

If you've visited the library, you've likely had one of our library staff emphasize the importance of not only reading but that reading builds empathy.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

This autobiography lets us know that we do not have to remain in our circumstance. If we want better, we can work to achieve better. It is OK to get help from others along the way. 

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Richland Library Northeast

#OwnVoices: When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

 I don’t often read the comment sections on social media anymore. I even stopped myself for a while after George Floyd’s murder. A simple Black Lives Matter comment on my part in support of the fact the Black lives do indeed matter caused quite a few people to come and try and educate me on the facts as they saw them about BLM, the organization not actual lives. My course of action was to recommend a memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, a memoir by one of the Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Khan-Culllors. 

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Crown

Derrick Barnes captures one of the most pivotal moments of a black boy’s life: his first haircut.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Children of Blood and Bone

Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Vanishing Half - A Review

The Vanishing Half is a bittersweet look into the lives of twin sisters and how they deal with separation, betrayal, abuse, and a changing world. The sisters deal with the oppressive weight of being black in a time where lynchings were still commonplace as children, where light skin is seen as preferential and passing for white is as taboo as it is desirable.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Ghost and Patina

In my opinion Jason Reynolds's work connects to everyone but especially kids in the same type of urban background that he himself is from. His style of writing draws people in regardless of age or race and that is something that I love in an author.

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Colorism in Genesis Begins Again

While there are lots of books, articles, and videos that highlight how to talk about race, Genesis Begins Again brings forward a new conversation surrounding the topic of colorism.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: The March Trilogy

On Friday, July 17, 2020, the world felt a little dimmer, as we lost Civil Rights leader and hero Congressman John Lewis. This was an immense loss that seemed to take away a light that shined so brightly, but we will always have this light.

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: New Kid

It is difficult to find books featuring black protagonists that kids today can relate to and that somewhat mirrors their everyday reality. I implore anyone that has or knows of a young person in middle school to share this book with them.

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Richland Library North Main

#OwnVoices: Ghost Boys

The present and past collide in this children's novel about race, fighting for justice, and how the two impact young people.