This week on The House that Lars Built we’re getting ready for Juneteenth by celebrating some of our favorite Black creators, artists, and thinkers. We put our heads together as members of Team Lars and came up with this (definitely NOT comprehensive) Juneteenth reading list of books, movies, and shows.
We’ve included materials for kids and for adults, and we also recognize that some of the material here might not be for all audiences. Because our world’s history of oppression and violence against Black people is challenging, it would be disingenuous not to include challenging materials in our Juneteenth reading list. While we urge you to use your judgement in finding something from this list that is a good fit for you, we also want to underscore how important it is to take in media that stretches us, even if we sometimes feel uncomfortable.
We hope you take the time to read or watch something from our Juneteenth reading list and that in addition to learning you also bask in some beautiful Black joy. Black lives matter, Black joy matters, Black futures matter, and Black art matters!
Books for Kids
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
- Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
- Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima
- Bunheads by Misty Copeland
- Thank you, Omu! By Oge Mora
- Saturday by Oge Mora
- Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration by Samara Cole Doyon
- The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey
- A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory
- A Kids Book About Systemic Racism by Jordan Thierry
- Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO by Tamara Pizzoli
- Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry
- You Matter by Christian Robinson
Books for Adults
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Color of Water by James McBride
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
If you can’t fit in time to read a book this week, consider watching one of these shows by Black creators.
Movies and Shows for Kids and Teens
- Reading Rainbow by Lavar Burton
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air by Andy and Susan Borowitz
- Sister Sister starring Tia and Tamera Mowry
Movies and Shows for Adults
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (based on the book listed above!)
- Atlanta by Donald Glover
- High on the Hog hosted by Stephen Satterfield
- Pose by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy
- The Last Black Man in San Francisco
- BlacKkKlansman directed by Spike Lee
- The Underground Railroad directed by Barry Jenkins
- Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins
- Lovecraft Country by Misha Green
- Mr. Church by Bruce Beresford
As we’ve put this list together we keep realizing that we know we’re going to miss things and leave glaring holes in this list. Still, we wanted to share some of our favorites. I would love to hear what your favorite books and movies by Black creators are, so let me know in the comments.
If you like this article, you may also like:
- a few of our favorite Black creatives
- this essay, which contains a few lists of places to learn more and donate.
Have you heard of bookshop.org? It’s a great place to buy books and support small, independent booksellers! As an affiliate partner of bookshop.org, The House that Lars Built will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you buy any books from this list.