A year after George Floyd was murdered and the Black Lives Matter movement spread across the world, it is clearer than ever that Floyd’s death – along with so many others – is not an isolated incident. Systemic and institutional racism is centuries in the making and exists not only in America but throughout the world.
Being ‘not racist’ is not enough – we must be actively anti-racist in our personal lives, our work environments and our communities. We have collated a small selection of the incredible resources available that help to foster an anti-racist mindset and involve everyone in the conversation on race. Collectively, we can all contribute to building an equal, just and anti-racist society.
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
“The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.” Alexander unconvers the continuation of mass systemic racism within the legal and judicial systems in America that manifests as a more evolved version of slavery and Jim Crow in the 21st century.
Women, Race and Class, Angela Davis
“For suffragists and clubwomen alike, Black women were simply expendable entities when it came time to woo Southern support with a white complexion.” A powerful examination of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the US and how it intersected with class and racism.
How To Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist’, it’s ‘anti-racist’. “What’s the difference? One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist.” Kendi explores why passivity is not enough, and why antiracism is essential.
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
“Sometimes your historical selves, her white self and your black self, or your white self and her black self, arrive with the full force of your American positioning.” A provocative meditation on race, exploring the mounting racial aggressions within 21st century life and media.
Code Switch, Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby
Frank and head on conversations on race and how it impacts every part of society – from politics and pop culture, to sports and history. Meraji and Demby try to make everyone a part of the conversation, because everyone is a part of the story of racism.
About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race, takes the conversation on race a step further. Featuring key voices from anti-racist activism, Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that is informing the politics of today.
1619, The New York Times
Just over 400 years ago, a ship carrying enslaved African people arrived in the British colony of Virginia. 1619, hosted by Nikole Hannah Jones, explores the long shadow cast by that moment and how not a single year in the subsequent four centuries of American life have been untouched by the impact of slavery.
The Nod, Brittany Luse and Eric Dennings
The Nod is a podcast exploring the complexities, dimensions and facets of being black in America and around the world. Luse and Dennings tell stories of what it means to be black, and celebrate the genius, innovation and resilience of the black community.
Who Gets to be Afraid in America? Ibram X. Kendi in The Atlantic
Kendi examines how black people, and particularly black men, are perceived in America, and questions who has the luxury to be afraid. He traces the steps of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed, former high-school football standout, who was shot and killed while jogging around his own neighbourhood.
What the Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed, Yuliya Parshina-Kottas et al. in The NY Times
In 1921, a white mob burned over a thousand homes in the Black community of Greenwood, Tulsa, killing hundreds of residents and destroying Black prosperity, possibilities, livelihoods and vibrancy. This article memorializes what was lost and demonstrates how the events of a single day have had an impact spanning an entire century.
Inheritance, The Atlantic
A project focusing on American history, the resilience of memory, Black life and unburying the past in order to create a better future. In a series of articles, poems, and live events, Black history is revived and given its due reverence.
13th, dir. Ava DuVernay
Scholars, politicians and activists reveal the systemic racism that underpins the U.S. prison boom, the historic ‘war on crime’, and the mass incarceration of African Americans.
Watch on Netflix.
Just Mercy, dir. Destin Daniel Cretton
This biographical drama charts the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a defense attorney who worked tirelessly to try to prevent Walter McMillian’s execution for a crime didn’t commit. Based on Stevenson’s memoir of the same name.
Watch on Amazon.
Injustice, dir. Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood
Though released in 2001, Injustice is still relevant 20 years later. It tells the story of those who died in British police custody in the 1990s. Beginning with Nigerian asylum seeker Shiji Lapite’s death in a police van by asphyxiation, the documentary charts a tragic pattern of police brutality, lies and systemic racism. After its release, the Police Federation threatened to sue anyone who showed the film, and Fero struggled to find work. In 2020, Fero made a follow up, Ultraviolence.
Watch on Vimeo.
When They See Us, dir. Ava DuVernay
Based on the true story of the Central Park 5, this documentary charts the judicial failure that saw five black teenagers accused, charged and convicted with the sexual assault of a white woman. Despite no DNA or evidence, the group still served sentences ranging from six to 13 years in prison. When They See Us offers a tragic picture of the systemic racism within the American judicial system.
Watch on Netflix.