5 Youth activism books
By Abisha Sooriyathas
Posted on December 20, 2021
It is no secret that today’s youth serve as hope for the future. With the boom of social media, young people today are more aware of current events and social justice issues than ever before. With that being said, there is always room to learn more and to do more. Social media can be a great tool to instigate passion for certain issues. However, individuals can take a deeper dive into activism through reading about history and learning how to take action today. Listed below are five books that young people can read in order to learn more about social justice.
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewel
Written by educator and activist, Tiffany Jewell, this book teaches young people about identities, true histories, and anti-racism works. It is targeted at young people of colour who have felt unable to speak up against the racism they experience in their lives. It touches on experiences like spending time and energy trying to fit into a dominant culture and losing oneself in the process. The purpose of this book is to empower young adults to hold their head high as they fight against racism and microaggressions experienced in their life.
How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation by Maureen Johnson
This young adult book consists of a series of essays from many different brilliant authors. The purpose of this book is to show readers that they are not helpless and that they are essential in making a change in the world. This book is for anyone who’s heard about and is angered by the injustices of the world. It’s for individuals who frequently ask themselves, “What can I do? How can I help?”
Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It by Jamie Margolin
Written by climate change activist Jamie Margolin, this book is essential for young people who want to play a role in the global climate action movement. In this book, Margolin provides a guide to changemaking, with tips on organizing successful events and peaceful protests as a student. This book gives young people the tools to raise their voice, because their voices must be heard. Margolin herself is proof of this. She has been protesting since she was 14 years old and is now a co-founder of Zero Hour, an organization that is active in the fight against climate change.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Written by Jason Reynolds with the assistance of Ibram X. Kendi, the book provides young people with an engaging narration that describes the basis of the racism that exists in the world today. Specifically, it includes an in-depth retelling of slavery in America and how the construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, and to separate and silence. With that being said, Reynolds is adamant that this book is not a history book. It is a book about the here and now. It is a book that will hopefully inspire an anti-racist future.
Residential Schools: With Words and Images of Survivors by Larry Loyie, Wayne Kenneth Spear, and Constance Brissenden
In this book, Larry Loyie, Wayne K. Spear, and Constance Brissenden recount the stories of survivors and former students of Canada’s residential schools. It shares the memories of more than 70 survivors from across Canada, including quotes and images. When combined, they paint a picture of the harsh realities and the horrors that exist in Canadian history. Although the contents of this book are heartbreaking, it is an important read as it gives a voice to individuals who have for so long been silenced.