This summer, as many Old Southers took to the streets in protest and solidarity, one of our Old South families teamed up with neighbors to create a Little Free Library (LFL) in their West Roxbury neighborhood! Kristen Lee-Armandt was inspired in particular by an Anti-Racist LFL that she saw being started in Arlington. She points out that West Roxbury is 77% white, and so will continually need access to anti-racist resources if the hope of an anti-racist reality is to come about. The non-profit Little Free Library, who considers itself the world’s largest book-sharing movement, resources local groups who want to start a LFL and recommend resources. Kristen connected with some like-minded neighbors, and they got in touch with LFL to get started.
In her own words:
For children, books are such an important place where they can build their self-confidence and self-worth, start conversations, and create change. Children of color deserve to see themselves represented in books and all children deserve access to seeing/reading about a broad variety of topics. We want[ed] to expand this opportunity in West Roxbury.
Adults also deserve access to books which encourage critical thinking and understanding. The Little Free Library community has pledged to work harder to diversify the contents of their little libraries as a way to promote education and understanding. At the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, inclusion and representation are central tenets and so we want to create a space where children and adults can specifically have access to inclusive material.
The Lee-Armandt’s neighborhood anti-racist little library was launched over Indigenous People’s Holiday weekend, complete with a rainbow ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebrations. The library boasts diverse books that include “books about LGBTQ+, books where people with disabilities are represented, books that discuss and highlight different religions/beliefs, books featuring people from different countries, books featuring People of Color and Indigenous POC, and more.”
You can still support this important project – as books are flying off of the shelves, in particular the adult anti-racist texts like White Fragility and Hood Feminism! They have hopes and goals of replenishing resources regularly – as well as providing compensation to the local queer artist who donated her work to help them get started in style.