Anti-Racism Reading

I've always loved to learn. I would do extra homework at school and fill in additional workbooks simply for fun, because I hated the idea of not having more to learn. Whether it's coding techniques to better improve this website, how to embroider the best patterns or all the financial knowledge nobody teaches you, I'm constantly learning more everyday. And in the past 2 weeks I've learnt SO much more about oppression and race issues across the globe, the history of colonialism and slavery in the United Kingdom and how being non-racist is simply not enough. Things that I knew of, but didn't know enough about, simply because my white privilege allowed for such ignorance. Learning should never finish when you leave formal education and this latest wave in the BLM movement has been a prime example of why. 
Simply logging onto Facebook and seeing people posting vitriol about what Anthony Joshua has (rightly) said and proceeding it with 'I just hate racism' is exactly why we all must continue learning. Because newsflash! Reverse racism is not a thing. It has never been a thing. And if you still can't acknowledge that at 27 years old, PLEASE pick up a book.

Some things to acknowledge!
  • Social Media truly is one of the most powerful tools we have access to right now. Without it, we wouldn't be seeing the truth in the #BlackLivesMatter protests (because we all know traditional media only shows an edited fraction), heck these protests wouldn't even be happening on such a large scale without it. Without the ability to share videos around the world instantly, get petitions pushed to reach millions and have a simple and direct way to donate to the cause. It gives us the ability to educate both each other and ourselves, to share resources and organise protests in solidarity from various other countries.
  • Resources are there are if you just take the time to look. Fiction and non-fiction books will teach you a lot, but there are podcasts we need to be listening to and movies/TV shows that make for hard-hitting learning too. They've always been there, we just haven't always made the effort to look. Everyone and their mum has been compiling lists of where you can start and I'll share some at the end of this post.
  • It's not just the educational resources we need to be paying attention to. It might be unconscious, but the majority of the shows you watch, the books you read and the businesses you support will have white people at the centre. Be aware of this! Support Black-owned businesses, read the work of Black authors simply because the story sounds interesting, watch TV shows with Black actors/writers/directors because they look damn good. Don't only seek out the work of Black people when you want educating on race. That isn't on them, it's on us.
  • Diversifying your social media feeds is essential. This not only stands for Black people, but all POC, plus-size people, trans and non-binary people, disabled people and those simply from different backgrounds. I like to think my following list has been diverse for a long while but there's always more we can be doing, to listen to their voices and uplift them. If you only follow people who look like you, you'll be existing in a bubble unaware of what others are facing.
  • There's always something you can do to help. Even if you think you can't make a difference, even if you're not able to go to protests or donate financially, you can still help. You can sign and share petitions, you can educate yourself further and challenge those around you, you can support and uplift Black voices. Because together we're stronger.
  • There is no excuse for ignorance. This is a lifetime commitment for me to not only make sure I'm as fully educated as I can be, but to use that knowledge and my white privilege to make a difference where possible. To speak up, to show up, to stand up. If you're not making the same commitment, why? 
And some resources for further education?
  • Books: (FYI these aren't all anti-racism books, some are simply fiction books by Black and POC authors which cover the subject of race)
    • Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge
    • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
    • Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
    • The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
    • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
    • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem
  • TV Shows/Movies:
    • 13th (Netflix)
    • When They See Us (Netflix)
    • Dear White People (Netflix)
    • Moonlight
    • Get Out
    • American Son (Netflix)
    • The Color Purple
    • I Am Not Your Negro
    • Who Killed Macolm X? (Netflix)
    • The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson (Netflix)
  • Podcasts:
    • 1619 by New York Times
    • About Race with Renni Eddo-Lodge
    • Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
    • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
    • Yikes with Mikaela Loach & Jo Becker
Loves. Emma.