Resources to discuss race, racism and our society today

I have privilege. I continue to work towards educating myself and learning more about my privilege, what to do with that privilege and how I can be an ally. 

I also understand that my voice is not as important or needed as those who are directly impacted by the discussions and acts of racism of the past week and generations before this. 

I feel that it is important to lead you to these voices, to show you resources that have brought me to understand my privilege greater and do what I can to be an ally. 

Education is crucial. In order to be a part of these conversations, in order to have opinions, we have to be open to new information and continue to challenge ourselves to gather information to be educated on institutional racism and its impacts in our community.

We will never know everything, it is important to remember we must gather information from the people that are directly impacted by this, the people who live this day in and day out, we must not deny their experiences and their realities because we do not face them. 

Here are some resources and some people to follow: 

Rachel Elizabeth Cargle. Rachel is a writer who is “building an intellectual legacy through teaching, storytelling and critical discourse.”

The 13th – Netflix Documentary 

  • Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Books to Read: 

The Fire Next Time: James Baldwin 

  • James Baldwin writes two essays to discuss racial tensions in America, how religion plays a role in this and how to embrace and encourage change. 

Minor Feelings: Cathy Park Hong

  • Cathy Park Hong discusses vulnerability of how she engaged in her relationship to the English language, shame and depression. Cathy discussed her experience as an Asian American and uncovering and speaking her truth. 

America’sOriginal Sin: Jim Wallis 

  • Jim Wallis discusses racism in America and how we can work towards racial justice and healing. 

The New Jim Crow: Michelle Alexander 

  • Michelle Alexander outlines how after Jim Crow Law was abolished, a new system was created that resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and how this has fed into today. 

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race: Reni Eddo-Lodge

  • Reni Eddo-Lodge discussed the long history of racial injustice that has been creates within America and discusses a new framework on how to discuss and counter racism. 

Good Talk: Mira Jacob

  • Mira Jacob discusses, through conversations, about race, how that impacts her son and herself. Her book is filled with honest stories and conversations around race that are often uncomfortable, and necessary. 

Blindspot: Mahzarin Banaji & Anthony Greenwald

  • Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald discuss hidden biases that come from our lifetime of experiences that feed into our attitudes around, gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status and nationality. 

Me and White Supremacy: Layla F Saad

  • Layla Saad discusses how to combat racism, recognize our own privilege through a 28 day challenge. 

So You Want to Talk About Race: Ijeoma Oluo

  • Ijeoma Oluo discusses unlearning beliefs and tendencies around race and supporting you in becoming a person who can engage in conversations around race. This does not mean that these conversations will be easy, and they are crucial. 

How to be an Antiracist: Ibram X. Kendi

  • Ibram X. Kendi discusses what an antiracist society could look like and how we all can be apart of building that. 

The Fire This Time: Jesmyn Ward

  • Jesmyn Ward utilizes discussion around James Baldwin’s book The Fire Next Time in creation of a collection of different essays and poems about race from the voices of her generation and our time. 

White Fragility: Robin DiAngelo

  • Robin DiAngelo discusses why it is challenging for white people to talk about racism, the misconceptions and misunderstandings around racism and discusses how damaging racism can be to a society as a whole on the individual level. 

I’m Still Here: Austin Channing Brown 

  • Austin Channing Brown discusses her own story with understanding racialized America and what it meant for her to learn to love blackness. She also discusses her experiences in navigating racial divides in America. 

Stamped From the Beginning: Ibram X Kendi

  • Ibram X Kendi discusses racism in our current society and how we must understand the history of racism and how deep they run in American society today. He offers different tools to expose these things and reasons towards hope. 

The Color of Law, A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America: Richard Rothstein 

  • Richard Rothstein discusses how the different segregations in today’s society is directly from government policies at local, state and federal levels. 

Mindful of Race: Ruth King 

  • Ruth King outlines how race is often left out of the discussion within meditative instructions and discusses “ourselves as racial beings, the dynamics of oppression and our role in racism”  

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