In my lifetime, the world has never been as heart-breaking or felt as heavy as it does right now. The time of turmoil we are currently experiencing is reminiscent of events we used to read about in history books during grade school. A global pandemic, costing unprecedented numbers of hardworking people their jobs and sending many into a severe loneliness has become the backdrop for an inhuman, systemic issue. 


The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers is a story amplified by the countless others we’ve heard just like it over the last decade or so. The weight of this injustice seems even heavier when presented on a political and economic canvas already causing many to feel unrest. It has exposed a deep divide within our country we’ve all known to be waiting to boil over.  


Undoubtedly, media attention has been directed toward this issue. Spreading awareness and providing a platform for those whose voices who need to be heard is crucial for anything resembling a change to occur. However, enacting successful change in an historically broken system is going to take more than that. I believe it is through returning to our books, and educating ourselves on the issue that people seeking to support the cause will become the most valuable allies. And sometimes that takes some good-old fashioned reading. Being reduced to the walls of your home can feel isolating, yet it has provided us with the unique opportunity to lift one another up and connect us. 


By creating a collaboration between my two places of work, ANMLY cafe and Village Books & Paper Dreams, I hope many feel encouraged to take action. For every online purchase of one of the books listed below placed through Village Books, you can redeem a free drink at ANMLY by showing your receipt at the cafe. Through deep pain and sadness, there lies the possibility of creating greater clarity and a common ground. Educating ourselves on a complex history and listening to the words of those who desperately need us to listen is essential to creating a true understanding.


  • McKenna Cardwell

Book List: 

“So You Wanna Talk About Race” - by Ijeoma Oluo (Seattle-based author)

“How to Be an Antiracist” - Ibram X. Kendi

“Hood Feminism” - Mikki Kendall

“Unapologetic” - Charlene Carruthers

“Me and White Supremacy” - Layla Saad