Harris County Public Library firmly believes that only knowledge, understanding, and positive engagement can combat hate. Everyone has a constructive part to play in the fight. Our role as a library is to provide you with the materials and resources from a variety of perspectives to help you grow, learn and talk about these issues so that we can all live lives that produce positive change.
Own Voices and Reading Diversely
Reading opens up worlds to us. It allows the reader to see, feel, and ultimately understand experiences they otherwise could not. Reading allows us to see what we have in common with others as well as to celebrate the range of human experience beyond our own. In short, reading builds empathy and empathy cancels hate. It is that simple.
Own Voices: Mirrors and Windows
HCPL recommends exploring the work of authors with whom you might not seem to have much in common. “Own Voices” refers to books by writers from marginalized and traditionally under-represented groups. Own Voices authors give an inside perspective on their own communities while offering a view from the outside of the larger social structures that have pushed them to the margins. Reading books with diverse, complex characters is important because they represent the world as it is. Own Voices books take that several steps further. On one hand, they offer hope to those readers who do not often see themselves and their lives reflected in popular culture, and on the other, they provide insight and understanding to those whose experiences and backgrounds may be vastly different.
Own Voices Are Exactly That
Own Voices also individualizes experience. Through the singular voices of own voices authors and their characters, readers come to see under-represented groups and communities as collections of individuals rather than a single set of attributes, lifestyles, and beliefs. Own voices short circuit stereotypes.
Own Voices Books
Reading Against Hate: Knowledge
If Own Voices authors make us feel the struggles of others, Reading Against Hate will give you a deeper and broader knowledge of the issues and social structures that make racism and inequality such tenacious realities. The resources found here provide tools to engage with the issues proactively.
Read Against Racism - Books
Read Against Hate - eBooks & More
A better world starts in our hearts and minds.