Topical Term

Five days

the fiery reckoning of an American city
"When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an 'illegal knife' in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated 'roughly' as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma he would never recover from. In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw--it led to a week of protests and then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge, and caught the nation's attention . . . tells the story of the Baltimore uprising. Through both [the author's] own observations, and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans . . . Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of one of the most consequential moments in our recent history--but also an essential cri de coeur about thedeeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath"--Provided by publisher.

The beautiful struggle

a memoir
"A memoir from Ta-Nehisi Coates [adapted for young adults], in which he details the challenges on the streets and within one's family, especially the eternal struggle for peace between a father and son and the important role family plays in such circumstances"--Provided by publisher.

Black boy smile

a memoir in moments
"At nine-years-old, D. Watkins has three concerns in life: picking his dad's lotto numbers, keeping his Nikes free of creases, and being a man. Directly in his periphery is east Baltimore, a poverty-stricken city battling the height of a crack epidemic just hours from the nation's capital. Watkins, like many boys around him, is thrust out of childhood and into a world where manhood means surviving by slinging crack on street corners and finding himself on the wrong side of pistols. For thirty years, Watkins is forced safeguard every moment of joy he experiences, or risk losing himself entirely. Now, for the first time, Watkins harnesses these moments to tell the story of how he matured into the D. Watkins we know today-beloved author, college professor, editor-at-large of, and devoted husband and father. Black Boy Smile lays bare Watkins' relationship with his father and brotherhoods with boys around him. He shares candid recollections of early assaults on his body and mind and how he coped through stoic silence disguised as manhood. His harrowing pursuit for redemption, written in his signature street style, pinpoints how generational hardship, left raw and unnurtured, breeds toxic masculinity. Watkins discovers a love for books, is admitted to two graduate programs, meets with his future wife-an attorney-, and finds true freedom in fatherhood. Equally moving and liberating, Black Boy Smile is D. Watkins' love letter to Black boys in concrete cities, a daring testimony that brings to life the contradictions, fears, and hopes of boys hurdling headfirst into adulthood. Black Boy Smile is a story that proves that when we acknowledge the fallacies of our past, we can uncover the path toward self-discovery. Black Boy Smile is the story of a Black boy who healed"--.

Strong in the broken places

[a memoir of addiction and redemption through wellness]
"Quentin Vennie shouldn't be alive. He has walked a path that many don't live long enough to write about. Growing up in Baltimore, he was surrounded by nothing but dead ends. Statistics mapped out his future, and he grew hostile toward a world that viewed him with suspicion and disdain. He's been shot at, sold drugs up and down the East Coast, lingered on the brink of incarceration, and stared down death more than once. Haunted by feelings of abandonment and resentment, he struggled with chronic anxiety and depression and battled a crippling prescription drug addiction. The day he contemplated taking his life was the day he rediscovered his purpose for living. Vennie's survival depended upon his finding a new path, but he didn't know where to turn. His doctor was concerned only with prescribing more medication. Vennie refused, and in a desperate attempt to save his own life, decided to pursue a journey of natural healing. After researching a few self-healing methods, he immediately bought a juicer from an all-night grocery store. He started juicing in the hopes that it would help him repair his body and clear his mind. He jumped headfirst into the world of wellness and started incorporating yoga and meditation into his life. This 'wellness trinity' helped him cut back on and then quit the many medications he was on, overcome his addictions, and ultimately, transform his life while inspiring others to find their own unique path to wellness. Strong in the Broken Places is the harrowing story of Vennie's life, the detours that almost ended it, and the inspiring turns that saved it. The odds were stacked against him, but he was able to defy expectations and claw his way out on his own terms"--Provided by publisher.


Marcus is a star basketball and football player at his athletically prestigious Baltimore high school, with his choice of Division 1 schools clamoring to give him a scholarship--however, at the state football championship, Marcus gets in a fight. Racial tensions are high, and Marcus' anger could ruin any chance he has at a collegiate future.

A ride to remember

a civil rights story
Tells the story of Sharon Langley and her family, who were the first African Americans to visit the rides at the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore, Maryland after the park became desegregated in 1963. Includes additional information about Sharon Langley, the carousel, and the Civil Rights movement, as well as a timeline and resources for further reading.

Sasha Masha

High school junior Alex has just begun dating when he begins to realize his true identity as a young woman named Sasha Masha.

A ride to remember

a civil rights story
"When Sharon Langley was born, amusement parks were segregated, and African American families were not allowed in. This picture book tells how a community came together--both black and white--to make a change. In the summer of 1963, because of demonstrations and public protests the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland became desegregated and opened to all for the first time. Sharon and her parents were the first African American family to walk into the park, and Sharon was the first African American child to ride the merry-go-round. This was on the same day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Sharon's ride to remember demonstrated the possibilities of King's dream ... The carrousel, fully functional, now resides on the National Mall, near the Air and Space Museum"--Provided by publisher.

The flag maker

Relates events of the 1814 Battle of Baltimore as seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old Caroline Pickersgill, who had worked with her family and their servants to sew the enormous flag which waved over Fort McHenry.
Cover image of The flag maker

Discovering Wes Moore

The author, a Rhodes scholar and combat veteran, analyzes factors that influenced him as well as another man of the name and from the same neighborhood who was drawn into a life of drugs and crime and ended up serving life in prison, focusing on the influence of relatives, mentors, and social expectations that could have led either of them on different paths.
Cover image of Discovering Wes Moore


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