Resist. Insist. Persist.

More than three decades ago, Politics and Prose was founded as a local independent business dedicated to civic discourse, the rigorous exchange of ideas, and the strengthening of community through books and collective learning. Today, as our nation convulses with pain and anger, we express those foundational values by grieving for George Floyd and his family and countless others who have been brutalized, dehumanized, and murdered at the hands of police because they are black.

Every life lost, every act of degradation experienced by a person of color, whether through historic inequities in our health care, criminal justice, political, or economic systems, is a tragedy that demands a response from each and every one of us. At P&P, we stand in solidarity with the protesters in DC and around the country who are demanding rightfully that all Americans be afforded equal justice under the law. Let us seize this moment and make it a catalyst for an enduring movement for change. Let us live up to our nation’s ideals and fight for reforms that finally can erase systemic and institutional racism. Let us strategize, organize, and mobilize our communities to elect responsible, thoughtful, compassionate leaders committed to change. And let us promote conversations about racism at all levels, from city councils to statehouses to the White House.

We also acknowledge that we must do more to address systemic racism within our own walls. As much as we have sought at P&P to foster inclusion, additional action must be taken. By further diversifying our staff, we hope to become even more representative of our community. By continuing to broaden our book inventory and programming to reflect a wider range of voices, experiences, and perspectives, we hope to enrich all who browse our shelves and participate in our author events, book clubs, trips, and classes. And by continuing to expand our partnerships with schools, non-profits, independent businesses, and other local organizations, we hope to build stronger bonds of cooperation and caring throughout the community.

Today, we are more certain than ever that independent bookstores can play an important role in helping to soothe, heal, and unify our country. At P&P, we are determined to do our part.

Because we believe that books cross all boundaries by speaking to our common humanity, we have assembled a list of book titles and video links with special relevance at this challenging, uncertain time.

We share with all of you our hopes and prayers that our nation can emerge from this moment of outrage, grief, and tragedy with greater empathy and compassion and with confidence that we can finally fulfill the promise of equality and justice for all.

— Lissa and Brad