Maybe you read a news article on your Facebook feed or listened to a podcast and feel it’s time for you to finally DO something about the injustices in our nation.
Perhaps it is time for that.
But our African American sisters and brothers have asked that before we speak, we be sure that we have done something else first: educate ourselves.
It‘s not the job of the African American community to teach white people about racism, so we must intentionally and humbly lean in, listen and learn how white culture is killing black lives. Specifically, they want us to grasp our role in the visible and invisible structures that are threatening to crush them.
The following list of resources is far from exhaustive, but will serve as a springboard for those who want to learn more about racism in America right now. Most of the resources are current and ones I’ve run across in the past six months, but do not include news events or historical documents.
Though I‘ve read all the articles and listened to the podcasts in this post, I’m still working my way through the list of books, all of which come highly recommended by others. Please add additional resources in the comments section of this post.
Episode 34–Black & White: Racism in America
(If you only have time to listen to one podcast from this list, I would recommend this one. It’s nearly two hours, but it’s so packed with insight that you’ll want to listen again.)
Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed
Can We Talk about Whiteness?
On Being (with Krista Tippet)
Michelle Alexander–Who We Want to Become: Beyond the New Jim Crow
John A. Powell: Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging
Stories of Resurrection in Race
Austin Channing Brown
Deidra Riggs on Women of Color Writers, the Church, and More
Jo Saxton on Post-Christendom, Discipleship, and Being a Woman of Color
Michelle Higgins on That Sermon at Urbana (Here is the talk that this is about: Michelle Higgins)
This American Life
Part I: The Problem We All Live With
Part II: The Problem We All Live With
(On segregation/integration in schools.)
Michelle Higgins, Urbana 2015
How Parents Talk to Their African American Sons about Police
On the Web:
Talking to Our Kids about Race:
How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism
Like Me, Like You Kids
A place to buy toys and decorative items for kids that reflect diversity. From the site: “Our hope is to curate beautiful products that allow children of color to see themselves in the art, books and toys they interact with daily. We also hope that children of all shades would grow up appreciating the gift of diversity – like me, like you.”
Raising Race Conscious Children
12 Books Featuring Black Fathers (for all ages)
28 Black Picture books that Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball
50+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families
In the Church:
Why Jesus’ Skin Color Matters, by Christena Cleveland for Christianity Today
It’s Not a Multicultural Church if… by Starlette McNeill at Raceless Gospel
When Christians Won’t Say #BlackLivesMatter by Kevin Wright at Huffpost
Understanding White Privilege:
How White Privilege Affects 8 People of Color on a Day-to-Day Basis, by Paige Tutt for Bustle
I’m White, but I Married the Son of a Black History Icon–And This is What I Discovered about Color, by Cara Meredith at For Every Mom
On a Plate: A Short Story about Privilege
The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter,’ by Tyler Huckabee for Relevant Magazine
When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression, by Chris Boeskool for Huffington Post
White Privilege, Explained in One Simple Comic (language alert!)
White Privilege: Lessons from a White Mama of Black Children by Christy Richardson at Elephant Journal
White Privilege and What We’re Supposed to Do About It, by Kristen Howerton at her blog, Rage Against the Minivan
**White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh
(This checklist is used all over the country in college classes to teach about white privilege).
The Recipe: A Reflection on Black Womanhood by Austin Channing Brown at her blog
4 Things ‘LEMONADE’ Teaches Us About Black Womanhood by Courtney Hall Lee at Sojo.net
Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race, by Sam Adler-Bell for Alternet
“Dear White People, I wish you knew…”
The Heartbreaking Reality of Raising Black Children in America, by Jacalyn Wetzel for the Huffington Post
I Used to Lead Tours at a Plantation. You Won’t Believe the Questions I Got about Slavery., by Margaret Biser for Vox
On Race, Rights & Raising a Black Son: An Interview with Rachel Yantis at Scraping Raisins
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Why White Moms Need to Care about Murdered Black Children, by Danielle S
Ten Things White People Need to Quit Saying, by Melody Moezzi for Huffington Post
To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends, by Maralee
What You Can Do:
One Small Square, by Lisha Epperson for The Mudroom (The Mudroom did an entire series on race in June of 2016 that was fabulous.)
What You Can Do Right Now About Police Brutality, by Ijeoma Oluo for Huff Post Blog
The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
Ok, White Folks, Here’s What You Can Really Do to Help, by Pastor Jonathan Brooks
The Ugly Truth about Diversity at Scraping Raisins
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America
Between the World and Me
The Cross and the Lynching Tree
Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology
More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time)
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race
People/Blogs to Follow on Twitter or Facebook:
These voices–both white and people of color–are bravely speaking out about racism in our country. If you subscribe to their blogs, follow them on Twitter or “like” their pages on Facebook, then you’ll be sure to always be kept abreast of the latest that is going on in the African American community.
*active on Twitter
**active on Facebook
**A Musing Maralee
Austin Channing Brown
*Shay Stewart-Boulay/Black Girl in Maine
Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil
Drew G. I. Hart
Jennifer/Baby Making Machine
Judy Wu Dominick
**Kristen Howerton/Rage Against the Minivan
Huff Post Black Voices
Find a long list of news sources here
Be the Bridge (also a website)
Additional Lists of Resources:
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–From Ferguson to Charleston
Racial Reconciliation Resources (from First Free Church, Chicago)
This list barely scratches the surface of the resources available, but I hope that these passionate voices will start you on your journey toward self-education in matters of race and racism.
Feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the problem?
It helps to remember that though the nation is a quilt of many squares, you are only responsible to do your part in toppling racism by “tending to your one small square“–that corner of the world God has placed you in for such a time as this (Lisha Epperson).
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The Ugly Truth about Diversity
On Race, Rights & Raising a Black Son: An Interview with Rachel Yantis
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a book and buy it through Amazon, you will not be charged extra, but I will receive a very tiny commission.