Weston Public Library Has Children’s Books About White Privilege, Drag Queens, and Illegal Immigrants

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/08/23/weston-public-library-has-childrens-books-about-white-privilege-drag-queens-and-illegal-immigrants/

What types of children’s books are on display at the Weston Public Library?

Books that deal with white privilege, drag queens, and illegal immigrants.

That’s what a NewBostonPost reporter saw during a visit to the library late last week.

Standing atop book shelves in the children’s section on the afternoon of Thursday, August 19 were The Black Friend:  On Being a Better White Person, by Frederick Joseph; Racial Justice in America:  Topics for Change, by Kelisa Wing, Hedreich Nichols, and Leigh Ann Erickson; RuPaul, by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara; and Hear My Voice: T he Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States, compiled by Warren Binford.

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person touches on a wide array of racial topics. Amazon offers a description of the book and the various voices featured in it:


Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.



Jemele Hill, who has a chapter in the book, was suspended by ESPN in 2017 after she called on supporters to boycott the Dallas Cowboys after team owner Jerry Jones said that they would bench any players who refused to stand for the national anthem. Hill also called President Donald Trump a white supremacist that same year. 

The other book about race featured on display was Racial Justice in America: Topics for Change. The book deals with what it describes as systemic racism in American society.

“Topics on race in America have been avoided in children’s education for too long — allowing racist systems to continue to thrive,” the book’s description on Amazon reads. “Racial Justice in America: Topics for Change explores current questions around race in comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate ways. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach race issues with open eyes and minds.”



The book RuPaul is a children’s book about the life of the well-known drag queen before he was famous.

Here is Amazon’s description of the book: 

Even before little Ru was born, a fortune teller told his mom that he would one day be famous … It was only a matter of time before he figured out how. Playing dress-up was his favorite game, and that’s where he felt most comfortable. Ru went on to study performing arts and then moved to New York to mix things up in a punk band. Later, drag was a way to express himself as an artist. He found success for himself, then wanted to help others find theirs. He inspires us to do what feels right and love ourselves. This witty and wise book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring performer’s life.



Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States presents experiences of minors detained while attempting to cross into the United States.

The Amazon description of the book says that it “shares the stories of 61 these children, from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Mexico, ranging in age from five to seventeen — in their own words from actual sworn testimonies.” It also notes:  “Befitting the spirit of the project, the book is in English on one side; then flip it over, and there’s a complete Spanish version.”



Project Amplify produced the book. The about section on the organization’s Facebook page says that “through sharing the words of the children detained in U.S. border patrol facilities & shedding light on the abuse & neglect they experience, we can garner support & pressure for U.S. reps to make meaningful protections for migrant kids.”

Weston Public Library director Jennifer Warner, asked about the display of these books, told NewBostonPost in an email message on Friday, “I would like to point to our mission which reads (in part), ‘… the library serves the entire community by making available collections on a broad array of subjects of interest to its patrons.’ The books you identified are a few of the many new books in our new books section.”



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