Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Des Moines Book Club Picks

By Storyhouse Bookpub

By Storyhouse Bookpub

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

Resmaa Menakem

$17.95 $16.51

Saturday, January 23 at 10am: Part I

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Jesmyn Ward

$16.00 $14.72

Saturday, September 19 at 10 am: Part I Saturday, October 17 at 10 am: Part II Saturday, November 14 at 10 am: Part III The Fire This Time is a response to SURJ's summer read, James Baldwin's searing analysis of racism in America, The Fire Next Time. In her introduction, Ward speaks about putting this collection together and reflecting on the killing of Trayvon Martin and so many others. This short anthology includes 18 of the best thinkers and writers of our time revealing how very far we are from a post-racial society, uplifting Black stories that must be told, and pointing to the work ahead.

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

$27.00 $24.84

Saturday, June 27 In How to be an Antiracist, acclaimed historian Ibram X. Kendi illuminates the myth of being “not racist.” Instead, he offers a framework for antiracism in our daily private and public actions. The terms racist and racism must no longer be avoided as “bad” words, but must be faced honestly as the unjust reality of our daily lives, particularly those of us with white privilege have participated in. He details real-life examples and delves into history, offering a fresh paradigm for how to swim against the current of racism that is and actively work for justice and equity with antiracism. The title suggests the personal and public challenge our shared history is calling for throughout these pages, and the transformation the author hopes for will also encourage and inspire you along the way.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning

Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

$18.99 $17.47

Saturday, July 25 Stamped is a young adult remix of the National Book Award-winning, Stamped from the Beginning written by the historian Ibram X. Kendi with the acclaimed middle-grade author, Jason Reynolds. We know that racism is inappropriately taught in American school systems; Stamped uses a fresh relevant style to walk young people through the country’s racist origins and follows them through implications on our present day. But it’s not just a history book. Stamped brings those obscured narratives that work hide these truths about whiteness into the light by not only deconstructing false narratives about race and racism in America, but highlighting the work of antiracists throughout history. This is an important resource, full of vibrant text and unique voice, to actively educate middle grade and teen students in the work of becoming antiracists.

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

$13.95 $12.83

Saturday, August 15 Released in 1963, James Baldwin’s poetic and powerful words to America about the soul of the country and his concerns about its citizens losing the fight against racism are as poignant today as they ever were. This slim book consists of two letters written on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation; Baldwin addresses his young nephew and details some of his own childhood in Harlem to reflect on the country’s terrible legacy of racism. It is at once an exhortation and a vision. Urgently, Baldwin calls us to account for the racism of our nation with a clarity so piercing that it must be both immediately revered and acted upon.


Yaa Gyasi

$16.95 $15.59

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas

$18.99 $17.47

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Bryan Stevenson

$17.00 $15.64