A lot more people than normal seem to be exploring anti-racism, which is good.
What is important is that this momentum continues. This cannot be a fad or a flavour-of-the-month or a dabble. This move towards being less racist personally and working in the spaces you find yourself to help them become less racist will likely keep us busy for the rest of our lives. This work needs to be sustained.
But it really needs to start [and continue] with listening. Trying to learn. Leaning into empathy which comes with understanding and story-telling as we start to develop greater compassion for those who have generally not had it as easy as we have.
To that end i have put together five anti-racism resources in the form of videos which i found super helpful and challenging.
My encouragement is to listen to these without preparing a response. Listen to understand. Listen to hear. The moment any defensiveness starts to rise – and it likely will – stop the video and interrogate it. Just watch each of the videos and then maybe find a way to reflect on what you’ve seen. Write something down.
If you have a friend on a similar journey, invite them to watch at the same time as you and then reflect with each other what you have heard.
What you have learned.
Do you disagree with anything?
Was anything new to you?
Is there something that was said that you were undecided about?
Did anything shock you? Give you a wake-up call?
First up there is a video by actress America Ferrera, which is a TED talk she did titled, ‘My Identity is a Superpower’ and covers a concept we talk about over here called ‘The Better Black’ or in her case ‘The Better Latino’ – the notion of having to change yourself to fit in more with and be more acceptable to whiteness.
Next up is this short piece by UK rapper Akala who i have a lot of respect for. Check out his book ‘Natives’ which is a super helpful read:
Next up is a recently started video series titled ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’ led by former NFL player, Emmanuel Acho. Please go and find the other episodes of this and watch them as well. He has a very gentle approach and covers a number of super helpful topics in easy to understand ways.
Then we have blogger and author Reni Eddo-Lodge who wrote an excellent piece that went viral, titled, ‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race’ which then became this book which she speaks about here:
Finally a conversation with Robin DiAngelo, author of the super helpful book, ‘White Fragility’ [order it!] who speaks here about racism and how ‘Being nice is not going to end Racism’
This journey away from racism is really one we will be on for the rest of our lives. These five videos are not all you need to combat it, but hopefully they have helped give you a start. i have a series of practical tips for white people who are genuinely finding themselves asking, “But what can I do?” which a lot of people have found helpful and so if you have not read them, take a look [although click on the first link in the post and work through them slowly rather than just the summary] and if you have read them, maybe skim through the summary and see if there is anything you still need to work on.
If this anti-racism resource post has been helpful for you, please SHARE it on your social media platforms and directly via Whatsapp to people you think might benefit and be open to listening and possibly learning.
[For a post with 40 different ideas on how you can practically continue working on your anti-racism, click here]