For over 100 years, Trenton Free Public Library has existed to break down educational barriers. Every day, we work to provide free educational resources to all, not only because knowledge helps us to better ourselves, but because it builds shared understanding to help us grow as a community. In pivotal moments such as this, we see more than ever the need to share our knowledge to grow understanding. This is the work that opens minds and opens hearts.

We realize that this is often the work that is most difficult to engage in. It demands a high level of emotional labor that is often placed upon those who are hurting the most. It requires those who are unaffected to confront the reasons why that is and and work to dismantle the culture that has created unlevel playing fields in the name of promoting justice. As a long standing community institution that prides itself on being a trusted source of education, it is our duty to provide resources for individuals to learn. It is our job to provide resources that reflect our communities needs and help our patrons feel heard, understood, and supported.We have curated a list of reading materials discussing civil rights, anti-racism, self care, and Black positivity from trusted authors for readers of all levels. Fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, we hope these titles can provide newfound understanding, a spark for constructive conversation, messages of support, or a message of hope. This is the first step in our growing efforts to help Trenton heal and come together.

Most of these titles are accessible either via a Youtube read aloud video or ELibraryNJ. ELibraryNJ books can be digitally checked out with your TFPL library card. If you do not have a card, you can email to have a temporary card created.

We understand that education also comes from communicating with one another. In the coming weeks, we will be opening our digital doors so that we may hold some online sessions for self care, community care, and community conversations; where residents of Trenton can discuss their thoughts and provide words of care and support. More information of these upcoming events will be shared on our website and social media as the information becomes available.

For over a century, Trenton Free Public Library has served the residents of Trenton fairly, but most importantly compassionately. Our pride is nested in this city’s creativity, love, and resilience. Providing a safe environment for our community will always be our top priority, and until our doors reopen to the public we will continue this mission online. If you would like to reach out to us for any reason, please email We are always happy to hear from you.

Readings for children:

The Undefeated, by Kwame Alexander


Read aloud found here: Kwame Alexander reads The Undefeated

Hardcopy call number: J 811.6 ALEX

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham

Read aloud found here: Not My Idea : a book about whiteness

Woke Baby, by Mahogany L. Browne

Read aloud found here: Woke Baby 

A is for Activist, Innosanto Nagara

Hardcopy call number: J 303.372 NAGA

Hey, Black Child, by Useni Eugene Perkins

Read aloud found here: Hey Black Child

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes

Read aloud found here: Crown An Ode To the Fresh Hair Cut 

Hardcopy call number: E BARN

Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel

Read aloud found here: Hands Up!

Let the Children March, by Monica Clark Robinson

Read aloud found here: Let The Children March

A Kid’s Book About Racism, by Jelani Memory

Read aloud found here: A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

Wings, by Christopher Myers

Read aloud found here: Wings

Read aloud plus lesson here: Woke Read Alouds: Wings

Hardcopy call number: E MYER

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Lynne Thigpen


Hardcopy call number:  J F TAYL

The Watsons Go To Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis



Hardcopy call number: YA F CURT Part: pbk.

Surviving this: Books to help cope and care

The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health, by Rheeda Walker


Acts Of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color, by Iyanla Vanzant

Hardcopy call number: 291.43 VANZ

Rock My Soul : Black People and Self-Esteem, by Bell Hooks

Hardcopy call number: 158.1 HOOK

Black Pain, by Terrie Williams

Hardcopy call number: 616.8527 WILL

Willow Weep for Me: a Black Woman's Journey Through Depression, by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Hardcopy call number: B DANQ DANQ

For Black women

Womanish : A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life, by Kim McLarin

Hardcopy call number: B MCLA MCLA

This Will Be My Undoing, by Morgan Jerkins


Hardcopy call number: 305.4889 JERK

Eloquent Rage, by Brittney Cooper


Hardcopy call number: B COOP COOP

Sister Citizen, by Melissa V. Harris-Perry


Memoirs and biographies

Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward


Hardcopy call number: B WARD WARD

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: a Memoir in Essays, by Damon Young

Hardcopy call number: B YOUN YOUN

Protest and civil rights

How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance, by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin

Hardcopy call number: 323.1196 HOW

Justice While Black : Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System, by Robbin Shipp and Nick Chiles

Hardcopy call number: 345.73 SHIP

Teaching and learning: understanding Whiteness, history, and the road to true justice

Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad


Hardcopy call number: 305.809 SAAD

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander


Hardcopy call number: 364.973 ALEX

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, by Luvvie Ajayi

Hardcopy call number: 818.602 AJAY

White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo


Hardcopy call number: 305.8 DIAN

How to be an Anti Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi


Hardcopy call number: 305.8009 KEND

Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi


Hardcopy call number: 305.8009 KEND

Stamped - Racism, Antiracism, and You, byJason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi


Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates


Audiobook: ://

Hardcopy call number: 305.8009 COAT

Your Black Friend, by Ben Passmore



A Kind of Freedom, by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton


Hardcopy call number: SPANISH F SEXT

The Revisioners, by Margared Wilkerson Sexton


Hardcopy call number: F SEXT

Beloved, by Toni Morrison



Hardcopy call number: F MORR

Young adult novels

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston



Hardcopy call number: YA F HURS

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas



Hardcopy available at Trenton Free Public Library for curbside pickup. Call 609- 392-7188 to place a hold.

Dear Martin, by Nic Stone


Hardcopy available at Trenton Free Public Library for curbside pickup. Call 609- 392-7188 to place a hold.

For Black Girls Like Me, by Mariama J. Lockington


All American Boys, by Brendan Kiely

Piecing Me Together, by Renee Watson


Hardcopy available at Trenton Free Public Library for curbside pickup. Call 609- 392-7188 to place a hold.


Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine


Hardcopy available at Trenton Free Public Library for curbside pickup. Call 609- 392-7188 to place a hold.’s Black Lives Matter Poetry Collection:

#blacklivesmatter, A Poetry Reader: