High School Media
We have curated titles from a collection of reliable review sources. We know our list can never be complete. If you have additional suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page is only MEDIA titles. Fiction and Nonfiction titles can be found on the linked pages. There is an additional page for Upper High School books, mostly nonfiction and intended for advanced students.
Scroll down to see the MEDIA included here:
Lu, Denise et al. “Faces of Power: 80% Are White, Even as U.S. Becomes More Diverse.” NYT, 9 Sep 2020. A photographic essay. “These are 922 of the most powerful people in America. … 180 of them identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, multiracial or otherwise a person of color.”
Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook COLORLINES is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning in-depth reporting, news analysis, opinion and curation. Published by RaceForward.
1619. New York Times,. "Four hundred years ago, a ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. A new audio series from the New York Times examines the long shadow of that fateful moment."
Code Switch. NPR, 2013-present. “What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between.”
The Diversity Gap. The Diversity Gap, 2019-present. “Over the course of the next two years, I, Bethaney [Wilkinson], will be listening to stories of the people most impacted by diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. I want to know: what will it take to close the gap between our good intentions and the outcomes we hope for?
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast. RaceForward.org, 2020. “Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.”
“Bryan Stevenson on why the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth, but justice,” episode on The Ezra Klein Show, Vox Media Podcast Network, 2017. Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. He and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release for more than 115 wrongly convicted prisoners on death row. He’s the author of the power book Just Mercy, and a winner of a MacArthur “Genius” grant. EPISODE
Adichie, Chimamanda. “The Danger of a Single Story.” TEDGlobal 2009. “Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
Crenshaw, Kimberle. The Urgency of Intersectionality. TEDWomen, 2016. Following 2016, ‘intersectionality’ became quite the buzzword, yet gets used out of context often by both the Right and Left alike. Hear from the black woman who coined the term in the ’80s as to how we use intersectionality to defend Black women.
Ellis, Traci. “The Exceptional Negro: Fighting to be Seen in a Colorblind World.“ TEDxHarperCollege, 6 July 2018. “America works overtime to create a colorblind society, but does this colorblindness perpetuate, rather than resolve, racism?”
Gordon, Rayna. Don’t Be A Savior, Be An Ally TEDxPineCrestSchool 2019. Sometimes with the best intentions we still fall short. Hear from Rayna about thoughtful allyship that seeks to uplift and support not take over or “save.”
Hobson, Mellody. “Color Blind or Color Brave?” TED 2014. “Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring -- makes for better businesses and a better society.”
McGhee, Heather. Racism Has A Cost for Everyone. TEDWomen 2019.My liberation is bound in yours. This is not a feel good statement but a reality when it comes to how racism impacts policy, budgets, and prevents us from achieving a society that works for us all.
McIntosh, Peggy. How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion. TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26), 5 Nov, 2012.
Meyers, Verna. How To Overcome Our Biases? Walk Towards Them. TEDXBeaconStreet, 2014. #AllLivesMatter is the new color blind and both terms are proof that people fear being accused of biases more than they feel committed to addressing them. Let’s lose the shame and take bold steps deeper into your allyship.
Myers, Verna. “How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them.” TEDxBeaconStreet, Nov 2014. “… makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.”
Smooth, Jay. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race. Tedx Hampshire College, 15 Nov 2011. “ Jay Smooth is host of New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, the Underground Railroad on WBAI 99.5 FM in NY, and is an acclaimed commentator on politics and culture. In this talk, he discusses the sometimes thorny territory of how we discuss issues of race and racism, offering insightful and humorous suggestions for expanding our perception of the subject.
Stevenson, Bryan. We Need to Talk about an Injustice. TED 2012. “In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system.”
Stevenson, Howard C. “How to Resolve Racially Stressful Situations.” TEDMED 2017. “Through racial literacy -- the ability to read, recast and resolve these situations -- psychologist Howard C. Stevenson helps children and parents reduce and manage stress and trauma. In this inspiring, quietly awesome talk, learn more about how this approach to decoding racial threat can help youth build confidence and stand up for themselves in productive ways.”
Tatum, Dr. Beverly Daniel. Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk? TEDxStanford, 2017. “When her 3-year-old son told her that a classmate told him that his skin was brown because he drank chocolate milk, Dr. Tatum … knew that preschool children often have questions about racial difference, but she had not anticipated such a question. [S]he came to realize it is the things we don’t say and the matters we don’t discuss with our children that find their way into racist dialogue and thinking.’
Thurston, Baratunde. How To Deconstruct Racism, One Headline At A Time. TED, 2019. Racism isn’t funny, but in this TED talk you’ll learn about the pervasive nature of racism and laugh out loud way more times than you’ll be able to count.
Williams, David R. “How Racism makes Us Sick.” TEDMED 2016. “David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. “
13th. Ava Duvernay, 2016. In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
Croteau, Jeanne. “21 Anti-Racism Videos To Share With Kids.” We Are Teachers, 9 June 2020. “These videos help to explain complex topics to young audiences.” From a variety of sources including Sesame Street and Atlantic Magazine.
“26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students.” New York Times, 15 Mar 2017. “How do we get students to consider perspectives different from their own? How do we get them to challenge their own biases and prejudices? If, as Atticus Finch famously said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” how do we get our students to do that?”
A Conversation on Race — This series of short films features everyday people as they discuss issues of race and identity in America. NYT 2015.
A Conversation With My Black Son (5 min.)
A Conversation About Growing Up Black (5 min.)
A Conversation With White People on Race (5 min.)
A Conversation With Police on Race (7 min.)
A Conversation With Black Women on Race (6 min.)
A Conversation With Latinos on Race (7 min.)
A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race (7 min.)
A Conversation With Native Americans on Race (6 min.)
Who, Me, Biased? -- This series takes a closer look at the unfair effects of our subconscious. NYT 16 Dec 2016.
Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism (2 min.) Implicit Bias.
Check Our Bias to Wreck Our Bias (3 min.)
The Life-Changing Magic of Hanging Out (2 min.)
Why We’re Awkward (3 min.)
Snacks and Punishment (2 min.)
High Heels, Violins and a Warning (1 min.)
Confronting Racist Objects — Millions of racist objects sit in the homes of everyday Americans. What is their place today? This series features stories about reconciling, reclaiming and reinterpreting racist objects. NYT, 9 Dec 2016.
America After Ferguson. PBS, 2014. “This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores events following Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri.“ Available through KANOPY at many public libraries and universities.
The Children's March. A film by Teaching Tolerance (TT) in association with HBO. The TT film kit includes the film, a Teacher’s Guide, a Question Handout with Answers, and the relevant standards. “The Children's March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. Their heroism complements discussions about the ability of today's young people to be catalysts for positive social change.”
I Am Not Your Negro. Raoul Peck, 2016. “Based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript Remember This House. [T]he film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history.” Available on Kanopy through your public library. Available through KANOPY at many public libraries and universities.
P.S. I Can’t Breathe: Black Lives Matter. Rochelle White, 2015. “This documentary welcomes dialogue around racial inequality, policing, and the Criminal Justice System by focusing on Eric Garner’s case.“ Available through KANOPY at many public libraries and universities.
Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel and Regents of the University of California, 2003, reissued 2018-19. 3 episodes
episode 1, "The Difference Between Us."
episode 2, "The Story We Tell.”
episode 3, "The House We Live In"
Demby, Gene. Race and Redlining: Housing Segregation In Everything. NPR Codeswitch podcast, 18 Apr 2018. “Housing segregation is in everything. But to understand the root of this issue, you have to look at the government-backed policies that created the housing disparities we see today.”
Under Our Skin: What Do We Mean When We Talk About Race? Seattle Times, 20 June 2016. Local people respond to prompts about race.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT for Librarians
“Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth”, UNC SLIS and Wake County Public Schools. Foundations offers 13 modules; Transforming Practice offers 11 more modules; Continuing the Journey offers 3 modules.
Lambert, Nancy Jo. “Texas School Librarians, Whiteness, & Showing Up for the Work. “ KQ, AASL, 7 July 2020.
Image in right column top from
Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Black Women's Blueprint envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully EMPOWERED and where gender, race and other disparities are ERASED. BWB also offers a blog.
BlkLivesMatter - Twitter - Instagram - Facebook Black Lives Matter is a global network that serves as both a call to action and response to anti-Black racism, across all platforms. This movement campaigns against violence, organizes protests, and actively speaks out against racial issues such as profiling, police brutality, institutionalized racism, and more.
BYP100 - The Black Youth Project 100 - Twitter - Instagram - Facebook - YouTube -is an African American youth organization in the U.S. that focuses on community organizing, voter mobilization, and campaigns prioritize and fight for social justice. Their campaigns support Black, feminist, and queer people and issues.
Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook -helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook COLORLINES is a daily news site where race matters, featuring award-winning in-depth reporting, news analysis, opinion and curation. Published by RaceForward.
The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook An education, research, and policy organization dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth. We support organizations, families, and educators in taking action to disrupt racism in young children. K-12.
Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Also see Bryan Stevenson, Founder & Author of Just Mercy.
Know Your Rights Camp - Twitter - Instagram - Facebook Funded by Colin Kaepernick, the Know Your Rights Campaign is a free campaign for youth that strives to raise awareness on self-empowering Black people by working with law enforcement. The Know Your Rights Campaign is currently teaming up with defense lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota to provide legal resources to anyone in need.
The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook - the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, committed to the protection and advancement of civil and human rights for every person in the United States.
NAACP (National Assn for the Advancement of Colored People): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.
United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook UWD is the first & largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation.
American Son. Netflix, 2019. Based on the Broadway play of the same name. “On a stormy night in a Miami police station, Kendra Ellis-Connor is waiting for a report on the whereabouts of her son Jamal, who has suddenly disappeared. … [T]three black males were taken into custody in connection with the traffic stop, unable to tell if one of them was Jamal.” DRAMA
Clemency. Neon, 2019. “Bernadine Williams, a prison warden, oversees the execution of an inmate that goes awry when the medical staff can't find a vein. Eventually a vein is found and the inmate is executed. One of Bernadine's inmates is Anthony Woods, a quiet man who continues to maintain his innocence and refuses to talk to Bernadine.” DRAMA
Dear White People. Justin Simien, 2014. “The film focuses on escalating racial tensions at a fictitious, prestigious Ivy League college from the perspective of several black students.” COMEDY-DRAMA
Dear White People. Justin Simien/Netflix, 2014. In 2017, the
film was adapted into a Netflix series of the same name, also
with Simien's involvement. TV SERIES
Do The Right Thing. Directed by Spike Lee,1989. Eric Garner and George Floyd have both drawn connections to a fiction character who preceded them both: Radio Raheem of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing. “The story explores a Brooklyn neighborhood's simmering racial tension, which culminates in violence and a death on a hot summer day.” COMEDY DRAMA
Fruitvale Station. Directed by Ryan Coogler, 2013. “based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed in 2009 by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale district station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland.” BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA
The Green Book. Peter Farrely, 2018. “Set in 1962, the film is inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South by African American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley and Italian American bouncer Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga who served as Shirley's driver and bodyguard. … The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers.” BIOG COMEDY DRAMA
Higher Learning. Directed by John Singleton, 1995. Since 2016, many have become hyper-aware of the deep rifts that exist in American society and others have always known that we have very different experiences of this country. Higher Learning will surprise you in how relevant it is to today and showing some of the hurdles to achieving a “post-racial” society. “[It] follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams, a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor, a shy and naive girl; and Remy, a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment.” DRAMA
If Beale Street Could Talk. Annapurna Pictures, 2018. “Based on James Baldwin's 1974 novel of the same name. The film follows a young woman who, with her family's support, seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.” ROMANTIC DRAMA
See You Yesterday. Netflix, 2019. “After her brother is killed in a miscarriage of justice, aspiring inventor Claudette 'CJ' Walker uses her scientific mind to create two time machines, one for her, and the other for her friend Sebastian.” ACTION SCIFI
Selma. Ava Duvernay, 2014. “It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches initiated and directed by James Bevel and led by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams, and John Lewis.” HISTORICAL DRAMA
Fitzgerald, Toni. “PBS’s ‘And She Could Be Next’ Spotlights Women of Color In Politics.” Forbes, 24 June 2020. “It’s fitting, and fortunate for PBS, that And She Could Be Next, a new documentary premiering Monday on the public broadcaster’s POV, focuses on the women of color reshaping American politics. It’s a subject that should interest a lot of people right now.”
Dear White People. Justin Simien/Netflix, 2014. “In 2017, the film was adapted into a Netflix series of the same name, also with Simien's involvement.”
The Kalief Browder Story Netflix, 2017. “This series traces the tragic case of Kalief Browder, a Black Bronx teen who spent three horrific years in jail, despite not being convicted of a crime.” 6 episodes. MINISERIES
Pose. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals: FX, 2018. The Black LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to over-policing and brutal violence and Pose gives us a front row seat to the resilience and ingenuity of Ballroom culture and the fight for autonomy and safety. DRAMA
Queen Sugar. Ava Duvernay with Oprah Winfrey: OWN, 2016-2019. Queen Sugar shares the beauty and complexity in family, legacy, and justice through the warmth of a Black family. Over the course of the seasons, we become even more exposed to Black rural advocacy and the power in land ownership. DRAMA
Seven Seconds. Netflix, 2018. “[B]ased on the Russian film The Major written and directed by Yuri Bykov. …[F]ollows the people involved in investigating the death of a young black boy and the boy’s family as they reel after the loss.” Only one season. CRIME DRAMA
When They See Us. Ava Duvernay/Netflix, 2019. “[B]ased on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City.”
Duvernay, Ava. “Learning Companion for Students,
Teachers and Everyone Who Wants to Learn: When They
See Us.” ARRAY 101. “In a new online education initiative
called ARRAY 101, launched by DuVernay's multiplatform
media company and arts collective ARRAY, learning guides
will be created for the company's films and television series.
The first to receive a guide is DuVernay's Netflix miniseries
recounting five teenagers — Kevin Richardson, Antron
Mccray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam
— who were wrongfully convicted of a Central Park rape in
1989.” See Array101.org for more.
for ADULTS with STUDENTS in their charge
“10 Antiracist Books for Young Adults.” Kirkus Reviews. Respected book review magazine's starred and/or award-winning anti-racist titles for young adults (MS and US).
Canerow Book List, titles featuring children of color as central characters in their own stories, curated by Bay Area mom, activist and author Mia Birdsong for children of color to see themselves and their histories reflected in literature.
Films for Action. Welcome to the largest learning library for social change online. Searchable by topic, language, and country.
Oakland Public Library. Talking to Kids About Racism and Justice: A List for Parents, Caregivers & Educators.
Penn, Farrah. “23 Phenomenal YA Books by Black Authors from the First Half of 2020.” A Buzzfeed list, June 2020. Listed in order of publication release date, January 7-June 9 2020.
Podcasts in Color, the largest directory of Podcasts by People of Color.
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching. Sample lesson plans and resources.
#RaiseUpJustice Diverse Books Starter Kit from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Solly, Meilan. “158 Resources to Understand Racism in America.” Smithsonian Magazine, 4 June 2020. “These articles, videos, podcasts and websites from the Smithsonian chronicle the history of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States.”
Teaching for Change. Resources by theme, including Racial Identity and Fairness and Activism.
Thomas, Desiree. “17 Middle Grade and YA Books That Spotlight #BlackJoy.” SLJ, 1 Sep 2020. “To be a Black teen or tween in America is to live in a carefully constructed crucible. White supremacy peddles the falsehood of Blackness as synonymous with trauma and suffering. However, the Black experience is not limited to pain, tragedy, and struggle. The following titles for middle and high school readers celebrate joy in the lives of Black teens and tweens. The characters in these stories laugh honestly, love fiercely, and exist wholly.”
#WeNeedDiverseBooks envisions a world where all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. Get involved with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign by tweeting and contacting publishers. http://diversebooks.org
The Zinn Education Project teaching materials on racism, civil rights and other social issues.