How do we talk about racism? How can we truly make a difference? I don’t have all the answers but I’m focusing on learning and listening right now. Maybe you are looking for resources too. That’s why I’ve put this post together. I hope you’ll find it helpful or share it with someone who would.
A little background. I’m a middle-aged white woman currently living in rural America. My background is diverse with grandparents, second cousins, and extended family members who are people of color. I’m very proud of my diverse background and often guilty of the color of my skin and the privilege that it offers. I don’t have the struggles that some members of my family have. I do, however, have a strong conviction to do my part to make a change in the racial injustice in America. I can make a difference by speaking up, standing for equality, and continue to listen and learn.
Below I am sharing resources for you and your family to listen and learn more with me. It is a simple post – I did this on purpose to offer a starting point for people who may be feeling overwhelmed.
I compiled this list from trusted friends and family, I have not read or researched each item listed below. Many are based on true events but may not be historically accurate. No book, movie or article is perfect, but this is a good starting point. If you have any suggestions or resources to add please let me know.
Add Some Diversity to Your Children’s Library:
Find more books listed on the Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners List at Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is an excellent place to start looking for Books that promote tolerance and diversity.
Social Justice Books has a great lists of books here: Social Justice Booklist
I love these Little Leaders Books from Vashti Harrison
Books for Adults
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – This is the first book on my to-read list
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism – and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes listeners through a widening circle of antiracist ideas – from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities – that will help listeners see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
With racial tensions as high within the church as outside the church, it is time for Christians to become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. This power-packed guide helps readers deepen their understanding of historical factors and present realities, equipping them to participate in the ongoing dialogue and to serve as catalysts for righteousness, justice, healing, transformation, and reconciliation.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – “Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”
I’m Still Here – Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown “I’m Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.“
Raise Your Voice by Kathy Khang – You have a voice. And you have God’s permission to use it.
In some communities, certain voices are amplified and elevated while others are erased and suppressed. It can be hard to speak up, especially in the ugliness of social media. Power dynamics keep us silent and marginalized, especially when race, ethnicity, and gender are factors. What can we do about it?
Activist Kathy Khang roots our voice and identity in the image of God. Because God created us in our ethnicity and gender, our voice is uniquely expressed through the totality of who we are. We are created to speak, and we can both speak up for ourselves and speak out on behalf of others. Khang offers insights from faithful heroes who raised their voices for the sake of God’s justice, and she shows how we can do the same today, in person, in social media, in organizations, and in the public square.
Be silent no more. If you have wondered when and how to speak, hear God’s invitation to you to find and steward your authentic voice, whether in word or deed, to communicate the good news in a messed-up world. As you discern God’s voice calling you to speak, you will discover how your voice sounds as you express God’s heart to others. And the world will hear you loud and clear.
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby – The Color of Compromise takes readers on a historical journey: from America’s early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War, covering the tragedy of Jim Crow laws and the victories of the Civil Rights era, to today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Author Jemar Tisby reveals the obvious—and the far more subtle—ways the American church has compromised what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality.
About the Course: Anti-race/ism Curriculum Specialist, Dr. Lucretia Berry and Team Brownicity designed the What LIES Between Us series to guide, support, and equip ‘new comers’ with an analytical framework for examining race and racism in the United States.
Here are two recent movies that you might find helpful:
Just Mercy (PG-13) Just Mercy is now free to watch on most streaming services.
Harriet (PG-13) –
I’ve watched this movie with our 13-year-old two times now. It’s a powerful account of Harriet Tubman and has encouraged many good, thoughtful conversations about race and injustice.
Instagram Accounts to Follow:
- Osheta Moore (Author of “Shalom Sistas”
- The Conscious Kid @theconsciouskid
- Black Coffee with White Friends @blackcoffeewithwhitefriends
- Morgan Harper Nichols @MorganHarperNichols
- @lucretiaberry founder of Brownicity @brownicity – Anti-racism education through online courses and events – See course above.
- MoeMotivate: @MoeMotivate
- PrivToProg: @PrivToProg
Podcast Episodes to listen to:
Smartest Person in the Room with Laura Tremaine – The Bias Series – Yasmin Dunn discusses inherent racial bias with Laura Tremaine addressing honest questions that many of us don’t know how to ask.
1619 – New York Times – I’m currently enjoying this series. This podcast examines how slavery has transformed America.
The Liturgists – Black and White Racism in America – Michael Gungor and Science Mike talk with Propaganda and William Matthews about race, racism, white supremacy in America.
While this is a simple, short list, I wanted to share a few things that I’ve been reading and listening to. I would love to hear how you are doing? How are you feeling and what have you been doing to listen and learn? We have such a long way to go, let’s keep moving forward and show love and support to our community and stand up for what is right.