Learn About Anti-Racism

Dear White Friend Who Wants to become Anti-Racist,

Essential to anti-racist action is recognizing and understanding racism. Duh, right? The problem: a lot of people are misinformed on what racism is, who it effects and what is required for its eradication. So – the first rule in Anti-Racism Club is that People of Color are the experts on, and recipients of racism – not White people.

“But I’m White and I’ve experienced racism at the hands of People of Color!”

Not so, my friend. You may have experienced prejudice and/or bigotry, but you did not experience racism. The term “racism” is often used colloquially to mean, “harming someone else because you don’t like them because of their race” and I understand why many people use the word that way – because that’s how many of us grew up using it and grew up understanding it. It is important, though, to differentiate between prejudice, bigotry and racism.

A simplified explanation of racism is that racism = racial prejudice/bigotry + racial power. Even if one White person does not have the power to impact all or most People of Color (though quite a few individuals do have immense power of this type), bigoted thoughts, words and actions from them toward a person of color are rooted in a history of lopsided power with Whites on top and everyone else below. Conversely, an individual Person of Color’s bigoted thoughts, words and actions toward a White person may be rooted in bigotry but the power to impact all or most White people just isn’t there. One might think that this is simply an issue of semantics, but it is actually central to understanding racism and how to dismantle it. If we ignore the power structure we ignore the reality that everyone does not have the same amount of power to do harm or to effect positive change. Promise – if People of Color had the systemic power to eradicate racism in the U.S., it would have happened by now. This hasn’t happened because systemically, White folks are in power and until White folks collectively decide to get rid of their racism (in partnership with People of Color), it will remain. That is why it is the responsibility of White folks to become informed about anti-racism and to do this WORK. Wishing that we could all just get along is not going to get the job done.

So what can you do? First, you need to become informed. Take some time – take a lot of time, in fact – to be quiet and listen to the stories and experiences of People of Color. Choose to believe them. Develop relationships with them. Until you do these things you will not be able to fully recognize racism for what it is, you will not be able to fully recognize racism in yourself and your environment and you will not be effective in action against racism. When it comes to racism and anti-racist action, you, my White friend, must be the student and People of Color are your teachers.

Sincerely,
The White Girl Giving You Years Worth of Shortcuts

Study Guide – My Personal Selections
*Most, but not all of the resources below are  works of People of Color. I included a few resources by White people, which typically address the White experience. Consider that when White authors write about People of Color and Race, the same work has usually already been done by a Person of Color who did not get much credit or compensation for their work. Go to the original source whenever you can! To find the original source, look to the footnotes and endnotes in the White author’s piece of work.

**I’ll update this with more resources as time goes by – have a suggestion? Let me know!

Terms to Google and Watch for in the Resources Below
·         Microaggression
·         Intersectionality
·         Ethnicity
·         Gentrification
·         Jim Crow
·         Black Codes
·         Redlining
·         Covenant (law)
·         Patriarchy
·         Restorative justice
·         Prison Industrial Complex
·         White privilege
·         White supremacy

Most of the resources below have links to other resources so have fun in the rabbit-hole. You can follow most of the blogs/people on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/elsewhere and I highly recommend that you do, especially if you live in an area which is all or mostly White (which understandably makes it difficult to develop relationships with People of Color). Social media is an incredible resource for developing relationships with all kinds of people near and far. You could also consider moving to a neighborhood or city that is more racially and ethnically diverse.

Blogs/Websites
Afroculinaria – Exploring Culinary Traditions of Africa, African America and the African Diaspora (this blog is about so much more than food!!)
Andrea366 - The 18 year plan to end global oppression
The Angry Black Woman - Race, Politics, Gender, Sexuality, Anger
Are Women Human? – Debunking gender myths
Austin Channing -Racial justice and reconciliation + Christianity 
Black Girl in Maine – Shay’s blog, the musings of a black woman living in the nation’s whitest state
By Their Strange Fruit – Christianity’s role in racial justice and reconciliation: successes, failures, lessons
Caris Adel - Creating and curating content to disrupt the status quo
Christena Cleveland – social psychology + faith + reconciliation
Clutch Magazine - The digital destination for the smart, stylish and sexy woman
Colorlines – News for Action
The Cooper Project – Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South
Crunk Feminist Collective – You gotta read their Mission Statement!
Culture Shock – innovative and groundbreaking program intended to expose cultural stereotypes using a method of Diversity Education and Entertainment
Debby Irving - Author of Waking Up White
Dispatches from the Underclass – Amplifying the voices of the voiceless
The Feminist Griote – your go-to feminist on all things pop-culture and critically relevant
Gradient Lair – black women + art, media, social media, socio-politics and culture
Hood Feminism – Life at the intersection
Kelly Wickham (aka Mocha Momma) – advocate for education, social good and responsible living
Love Isn’t Enough – a blog on raising a family in a colorstruck world (there haven’t been new entries for a while but there are years worth of archives that I consider invaluable)
Mychal Denzel Smith – Writer. Social Commentator. Mental Health Advocate.
Nicole SooJung Callahan – writer, editor, grad student, parent, adoptee
NPR’s Code Switch – Frontiers of race, culture and ethnicity
Post Bougie – running, semi-orderly conversation about race and gender and class and politics and media and whatever else we can think of
Polite Conversation – It's not about coming together, it's about hearing each other.
Prison Culture – How the Prison Industrial Complex Structures Our World
Project NIA - Building Peaceful Communities
Racialicious – a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture
Ramou Sarr – Ramou’s blog: she likes podcasts, wine and 90s R&B. She does not like poor public transit etiquette, khakis, or people who call it Sex In The City. Ramou cracks me up and sets me straight and you need her in your life.
Roopika Risam – Writer, Educator, Postcolonial Digital Humanist
The Root – digital magazine that provides thought-provoking commentary and news from a variety of black perspectives
Showing Up for Racial Justice - SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice
Still Furious and Brave: Who’s Afraid of Persistant Blackness? – sociologists’ and activists’ commentary on current events in racism
Surly Urbanism – trapped in Portland working on a PhD on urban studies and planning, by way of DC and North Carolina
Ta-Nehisi Coates – senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics and social issues
Tressie McMillan Cottom – Tressie’s blog which looks at racism in higher education, organizations and the workforce
The Urban Scientist – A hip hop maven blogs on urban ecology, evolutionary biology & diversity in the sciences

Individual Blog Posts and Articles
Daily Kos Article – White Feminist Privilege in Organizations – detailed example of how racism and privilege work, even though no one burned any crosses!
How White People Shouldn’t Talk About Race: Part Two – follow up to the ally-phobia piece
The Case for Reparations - Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, American will never be whole.

Podcasts
Black Girls Talking – pop culture podcast wherein 4 Black women discuss representations of people of color in various forms of media (and make me silent laugh/cry)

Video Blogs
Chescaleigh – Franchesca Ramsey’s YouTube channel where you’ll find comedy, music and commentary – you may remember her massive hit, Shit White Girls Say…to Black Girls, which teaches us all about microaggressions
Ill Doctrine – everyone’s favorite, Jay Smooth, founder of New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad – you have likely seen one of his videos on your Facebook or Twitter feeds, lucky you!

Films

Books (tip – look any of these up in at Amazon or Goodreads and follow “people who liked this also liked . . . “)

Authors/Academics/Activists
James Baldwin
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Frank Chapman
Chris Crass
Kimberle’ Crenshaw
Angela Davis
Joy DeGruy
Junot Diaz
Diane Goodman
Janet Helms
bell hooks
Mariame Kaba
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Paul Kivel
Audre Lorde
Toni Morrison
Andrea Smith
Derald Wing Sue
Alice Walker

Conferences
White Privilege Conference
NCORE - National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education
Facing Race
Race, Ethnicity and Place
Black Male Summit
Winter Roundtable


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