race

Widows

By Steve McQueen
5
Rated by Zachary C
Feb 15, 2019

To call Widows a heist film is reductive.  It revolves around a heist, but that doesn't do the film justice.


Veronica Rawlings, played by Viola Davis, has an adoring husband and seemingly loving marriage.  Her husband, Harry (Liam Neeson), is also a successful criminal, but when a job goes bad and he along with his entire crew are killed, a large number of puzzle pieces fall into the laps of those left behind.  Interconnected are the people Harry stole from and those he stole for.   Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell play the aging patriarch and future of the Chicago political dynasty Mulligan

Out of Darkness

By Ashley Hope Perez
5
Rated by Emily D.
Jun 30, 2017

Out of Darkness is a heartbreaking and powerful read. This is a story about racism, disaster, love and hope.


Naomi is a 17-year-old Mexican living with her half siblings and white stepfather in New London, Texas, in 1937. Naomi is in danger of her stepfather's wrath and abuse, but she'll do anything for her siblings.


Wash is a black teen who's been living with racism his whole life; he goes to a inferior black school while the white kids go to the state-of-the-art school down the road, and he's tired of keeping his eyes to the ground. Naomi and Wash fall in love. It's against the rules-

May 9, 2017

LaToya goes to a mostly white school. She has no friends and even the other black kids make fun of her. One night she prays to be anything but black, and she wakes up with white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. Then the real fun begins in this journey of self-discovery that takes shocking and hilarious twists and turns.


This was an interesting book about putting oneself in someone else's shoes. It was not as hard hitting as I might have liked. There were some good moments that got you thinking, but overall, things turned out as expected. I'm not sure what this book was trying to accomplish

Bear Witness Writing Contest Winner

By Victoria Fries
5
Rated by Helen H.
Aug 4, 2016

The Read Local committee is very pleased to announce Victoria Fries has won our Bear Witness contest in the open category for her piece "Racism in America." The piece garnered passionate discussion; the universal message, which can be applied to any dehumanized and disenfranchised group, lends power to the topic and we appreciate the call for unity. Structurally, we like the repeated thread of standing tall.


We read it aloud several times, and when we found the right reader, with the right tone, voice, and passion, we knew we had found our winner. It's power is definitely as a performance

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other. The story takes place during the week Rashad recuperates in the hospital. Quinn comes to terms with the fact that he saw the beating that put Rashad there--and that the police officer is his

The House You Pass on the Way

By Jacqueline Woodson
5
Rated by Becky C.
Dec 18, 2015

The House You Pass on the Way is a short novel--less than 100 pages--but it contains unusual depth and beauty. It's a pre-sexual love story about two fourteen-year-old cousins who don't yet know where they fit in. One girl, Staggerlee, is biracial--black and white. One girl, Trout, is adopted. Both girls are struggling with their budding sexuality. Are they gay? Are they straight? Does it matter? Woodson gracefully captures the confusion these two feel as they explore what it means to grow from girls to women. 


Their intense, platonic relationship reminds me of the two girls in Woodson's

Nov 13, 2014

This fall, Johnson County Library has been looking at race: stereotypes, self-awareness, and what it means to look beyond the surface. We’ve invited you to tell us how you have been affected by race. Justin Carter, in the following essay, shares his experience. As a suburban white woman, it’s easy to subconsciously, or otherwise, believe that issues of race don’t happen in my community, my city, or even my state. My country, sure, but that’s Missouri. That’s the other United States. But he dispels the myths I accept as truth and exposes the subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways race is still an

42 (DVD)

0
Rated by Robin D.
Aug 28, 2013

If you are not a baseball fanatic (and I am not) then you may not realize that 42 is about Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to be signed to a major league team.  The title of the movie was Robinson’s jersey number and is the only number to have ever been retired from the entirety of Major League Baseball to this day.

The movie takes us back in time to 1946 when Branch Rickey, portrayed wonderfully by Harrison Ford, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, decides to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball and sign Jackie Robinson.  The part of Jackie Robinson is

The Confession by John Grisham

0
Rated by Jane R.
May 11, 2011

This is not a “sit back in your recliner and relax” kind of book. Grisham’s opposition to the death penalty is evident in his previous work, but in this one he brings the gavel down and spares the reader no detail. There is suspense and very edgy moments in this no-holds-barred opinion piece. The novel begins when Keith Schroder, a mild-mannered Lutheran pastor in Topeka, Kansas is visited for counsel by Travis Boyette, who has a history of multiple felony convictions that only scratches the surface of his evil. Travis tells the pastor that an execution scheduled within a few days in Texas

Liar

By Justine Larbalestier
4
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 3, 2010

Micah live in New York City and attends a fancy private school, she is on scholarship. She lives with her parents in a small apartment and she doesn't seem to have a lot of friends. The drama starts when a boy from school, Zach is found murdered in Central Park. Micah, who narrates the story, says she barely knew Zach, just had a few classes with him but as the story goes on it is uncovered that Micah and Zach were actually secretly dating, secretly because Zach was actually dating another girl.


Turns out that Micah is a compulsive liar. She loves to see what she can get you to believe, and