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Buffalo Strong: Mother-son duo combating racism one book at a time

"It's important because the world that we live in is not all one color."
Zeneta and Zaire book donation.jpg
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 01, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Combating racism one book at a time.

That is the mission Zeneta Everhart and her son, Zaire Goodman are hoping to spread across Western New York.

Last week, dozens of boxes filled with children's books were bought off of an Amazon Wishlist and were arriving in Buffalo.

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This list was created by Zaire, a Tops shooting survivor and his mother to includes books about race, racism and Black history.

Goodman, and his mother have now moved into the next phase of this grassroots mission, getting these educational tools out to local schools and community centers.

"It's important because the world that we live in is not all one color. We're all different. My son was injured in that shooting, but he's still here today. He's still alive," Zenete Everhart said. "My reason for starting this book drive is first to give me and my son a purpose from this tragedy, and then to help our children and help our community and help adults too."

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Through generous donations Zeneta and Zaire's book wish list has collected more than 4,000 books from not only Buffalo, but from across the country from places like Minnesota, Massachusetts, Kentucky, California.just to name a few.

"All over the country, people are mailing us books and it is absolutely amazing," Zeneta said.

The mother-son duo is nor doing this alone.

Buffalo bookstores like Zawadi Books and Alice, Ever After Books are helping this vision come to fruition, by housing those collected books for resale.

Zawadi Books, located on 1382 Jefferson Avenue, is home to a few of the books being donated for resale.

"Books inspire you to imagine. As a young person, I always use books to travel because I grew up in the South and we didn't travel a lot, but I could read a book on China and I'm there." Zawadi Books co-owner, Sharon Holley said, "Books allowed me to expand my imagination. Books allowed me to travel. Books gave me explanation for things that might not ordinarily been readily available where I was at that particular time."

"These books are going to be so important for not just kids here in Buffalo, but kids who don't see diversity where they live and help them imagine other experiences and other live," Alice, Ever After Books, Meg Howe said.

Additionally, Zeneta hopes to inspire the next generation of educators or school leaders to change curriculum in schools to go into depth about human diversity.

"Yeah, we spend a lot of time at school but we spend a lot of time at home. When you get that type of direction from your parents, it's a trusted source," Zeneta said. "We need to change the way children are learning in schools. It's really, really important that children know their history, and then they know other people's history."

Zeneta asked teachers, community centers, etc. across Western New York, to reach out to her if they are in need of books for their children. Her contact info is

Contact information, the organization you are with and the ages of the children you work with are required. You will then be added to the list to get books donated to your organization.