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Understanding Racial Literacy in the U.S.

Resources for High School-Level Students

Infobase has authoritative, unbiased material to help your patrons understand the history of race relations and civil rights and to inform discussions about racial justice, equality, freedom of speech, and more. Sign up for a free trial today to see any or all of these resources. For more information, contact us at (800) 322-8755 or

Access Video On Demand

Access Video On Demand offers public libraries an expansive, patron-friendly collection of thousands of high-quality videos, including the following relevant titles that give context and background to the racial discussions of today. Here is a selection of content related to racial literacy, diversity, social activism, and more.

  • Black Lives Matter
  • #BlackLivesMatter
  • Target: Philadelphia
  • Baltimore Rising
  • America After Charleston
  • Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
  • TEDTalks: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi: An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter
  • TEDTalks: Sally Kohn—What We Can Do About the Culture of Hate
  • TEDTalks: Howard C. Stevenson—How to Resolve Racially Stressful Situations
  • TEDTalks: David R. Williams—How Racism Makes Us Sick
  • Anatomy of Prejudice: Jane Elliott's Seminar on Race
  • Racial Facial
  • Confronting Discrimination and Prejudice
  • Overcoming Prejudice
  • King in the Wilderness
  • For My People: The Life and Writing of Margaret Walker
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • From The Library of Black History: The Longest Struggle
  • Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural Address
  • Emancipation Proclamation Celebrates 150 Years and an Enduring Power to Inspire
  • Race: The Power of an Illusion
  • Ethnic Notions
  • Policing Is Racially Biased: A Debate
  • True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality
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World News Digest

World News Digest includes balanced resources on the civil rights movement, past and present:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • Los Angeles Riots
  • U.S. Race Riots
  • Race Relations and Racial Profiling
  • Law Enforcement and Police Brutality
  • Civil Rights and Minority Rights
  • MLK Assassination
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Detroit Race Riots
  • Brown v. Board of Education
  • March on Washington
  • Malcolm X Assassination
  • Million Man March
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Issues & Controversies

Issues & Controversies features timely, in-depth articles covering the complex issues of race relations, protests, politics, and more. Designed to inspire thought-provoking debates, each of these key articles presents both sides of an issue clearly and without bias:

  • Politics in Sports
  • Identity Politics 
  • Social Media and Free Speech
  • 2016 Presidential Race
  • Police Brutality
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African-American History

Covering more than 500 years of the African-American experience, African-American History offers unique Topic Centers featuring specially selected content—including articles, sharable slideshows, videos, primary sources, and more—that provides a study guide for a particular subject or era. Two key Topic Centers include:

  • Civil Rights Protest and Progress: 1955–1971
  • Expansion of Opportunities: 1972–Present
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Bloom’s Literature

“There are a lot of kids now who feel that [violence] is a normal part of their everyday life. I remember the writer I.W. Gregorio saying that we as authors have a chance to provide mirrors and windows. I thought, OK, that’s it: I wanted to provide a little bit of both. If nothing else, what was going on in the news gave me more motivation to get it done.”—Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, in Q&A with Angie Thomas

Bloom’s Literature highlights Black authors who have fearlessly explored racism and extolled equality and the human spirit, along with important literary works centering on race, freedom, identity, oppression, and justice. Look for these featured articles, sections, and more:

  • “Empathy Is Not Enough (on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas)”
  • The Most Studied Authors features comprehensive coverage—including biographies, criticism, sample essay topics, and more—of Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. Other major authors covered extensively include James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Richard Wright, Claude McKay, Jesmyn Ward, August Wilson, and many more.
  • The Most Studied Works section features comprehensive coverage, including topics and themes, of Beloved, The Color Purple, Invisible Man, and A Raisin in the Sun.
  • The Literary Movements section includes the Black Arts Movement and Harlem Renaissance, which is also the subject of a major Topic Center.
  • Thousands of articles—including Publishers Weekly interviews and podcasts—on contemporary voices, such as Tomi Adeyemi, Edwidge Danticat, N. K. Jemisin, James McBride, Terry McMillan, Walter Mosley, Jason Reynolds, Tracy K. Smith, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, and many others.
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