By Sherry DiBari

"It's not racist to talk about race," Alicia Garza, co-creator of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, said at an Old Dominion University lecture in 2016.

"Racism isn't about people being mean to each other. It's about systems and patterns and practices and policies that privilege some at the expense of others."

Recent national protests for racial justice, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, have prompted many to look for answers about racial equity.

In response, the University Libraries have curated a list of 22 books, along with Garza's lecture, to explain the history and status of race today.

The book list is "designed to seek out diverse perspectives on the history of racial injustice, racial divide and anti-racism activism across the country," said Jennifer Hoyt, head of Libraries' Engagement.

Contributors included Roderick Graham, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice; Robert Holden, professor of history;and Michael Clemons, associate professor of political science and geography.

"Such detailed bibliographies are only possible when we seek the assistance of ODU's prominent and dedicated professors," said James Rhoades, University Libraries social sciences liaison librarian.

The books encompass a variety of titles dealing with both human and civil rights and include subjects such as mass incarceration, social movements, African American history and contemporary race issues.

With the list, the Libraries hope readers will gain well-rounded insight based on the research, education and experiences of others.

Most of the books on the list are available electronically through the library. Physical books became available on July 6, when Perry Library's Learning Commons reopened to students, faculty and staff.

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