Celebrate Black History Month with a great read and help local groups

Sno-Isle Libraries is celebrating Black History Month in February and honoring Black achievements with diverse book lists for readers of all ages and recommendations to help local organizations.

“While keeping safe during the pandemic prevents us from offering in-building programs, Sno-Isle is honoring Black History Month by spotlighting local Black organizations and institutions,” said Shannon D., Children’s Librarian at the Monroe Library.

The Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees has updated the organization’s equity policy, which expresses the commitment of Sno-Isle Libraries to equity, diversity and inclusion through the adoption of library policies and practices that provide opportunities for every person in the Sno-Isle Libraries service area.

“Our Racial Inclusion, Social Justice and Equity Steering Committee recently issued a written message in support of our library equity policy,” Edmonds Library Circulation Supervisor Isaac H. said. “The message affirms our support of Black lives and our vow for continued support for equity work. Sno-Isle is also issuing systemwide equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training for all staff that will work towards this goal.”

Instead of traditional in-person events this year to celebrate Black History Month, Sno-Isle Libraries librarians have created several recommended reading lists to honor Black History Month.

Library on Wheels Library Associate Kristi S. offers Unsung Heroes of Black History, 25 biographies and autobiographies on Black Americans who made significant contributions to American life.

Marissa B., a Library Associate at Mariner Library, suggests 21 titles for teens inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement that protests racial injustice and systemic racism.

Stanwood Library Library Associate Alex W. suggests these 18 picture-book titles for kids and 25 Black History, Black Futures titles for teens.

Edmonds Library Librarian Kat C. recommends 16 titles for Black History Month Fiction for School-Age Kids. The books are written by or about Black people.

Public Services Library Associate Julie T. at the Mill Creek Library has 23 motivating, galvanizing titles on self-care specifically for Black women and 23 other Mysteries & Thrillers by Black Authors. She also recommends “An Illuminated Life,” Heidi Ardizzone’s account of banker J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle Da Costa Greene.

Staff also suggests several websites for organizations in Snohomish and Island counties that promote the Black experience.

“One way of showing support is to explore these local organizations and learn about the work they do,” Shannon D.

Snohomish County

blackhealingfund.org: Based in Snohomish, this non-profit supports POC and healing from the impacts of racism.

Snohomish County Office of Social Justice: Countywide funding opportunities directed at equity, health and technology.

Blacksnoco.com: Provides a directory of Black-owned businesses and artists. Highlights the work of the Black Heritage Committee that, since 1993, has organized the Nubian Jam and a MLK Jr. Event.

NAACP Snohomish County: A longstanding national organization working on equal rights and anti-racism.

Snohomish for Equity: Snohomish based organization actively working to dismantle racism.

Snoco Equity Alliance: Provides information about current advocacy campaigns in Snohomish County.

Communities of Color Coalition: The Communities of Color Coalition is a nonprofit in Snohomish County focusing on social justice education and supporting communities of color.

United Way Snohomish County: The organization offers suggestions for who to follow, what to watch, listen to, and do to become more aware of systemic racism.

Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee: Local organization aimed at enhancing and educating the community about the heritage and contributions made by African Americans within Snohomish County.

Black-Owned Business Excellence Seminar: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 2. The Washington Small Business Development Center will celebrate Black History Month with this virtual workshop designed to inspire, educate, celebrate and generate excellence in Black-owned businesses in Washington. Additional events are planned during February.

Island County

Readiness to Learn: Readiness to Learn's RACE (Real Actions Create Equity) was formed in the spring of 2017 to educate the community about effective responses to racial and ethnic biases.

Whidbey Institute: The Langley City Council passed a racial justice resolution on July 6, 2020. The linked story provides the background and details on the council’s decision.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Sno-Isle Libraries