"What can we do?" is a question that we are grappling with as we work to fight racism in our society and our daily lives. While we are still finding answers, one key step that we have taken is educating ourselves. In addition to paying attention to current stories and events, we are seeking to gain a deeper understanding of systemic racism and biases. Admittedly, this can be an overwhelming task, but we are lucky to have a breadth of anti-racism resources available to us. We will highlight some of the books and films we have been reading and watching as a starting guide to educate ourselves and be anti-racist in our everyday life.
How to be Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi, which discusses forms of racism and suggests individual actions and systemic changes;
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which is a letter to Coates’s son about being black in the United States;
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, which includes two essays, one being a letter to Baldwin’s nephew about race in American history and the second exploring the relationship between religion and race;
Citizen by Claudia Rankine, which is a poem including different forms of text and media to portray race relations in the United States;
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson, which examines white fragility and its implications and discusses more constructive ways to engage.
13th, a documentary on Netflix that focuses in racial inequalities in the criminal justice system;
When They See Us, a short series on Netflix about the Central Park Five and the lives of these young men, who were falsely accused and wrongfully convicted, and their families;
Dear White People, a Netflix show that portrays the lives of black students at majority white elite educational institutions;
Teach Us All, a documentary on Netflix that explores modern segregation in American public schools;
Becoming, a Netflix documentary on the life of former first lady Michelle Obama as she goes on tour for her book.
And if you have kids, do your best to teach them about racism too. As you talk to and educate your families, it may be helpful to have some resources geared toward children.
Read with your kids:
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X Kendi, which introduces the concept of anti-racism to young readers through a picture book format;
Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to be Malcom X by Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, which tells the story of Malcolm X from his childhood;
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, which portrays the story of Ruby Bridges, who was the first African American student to attend a white school;
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, which follows a black and a white family and their discussions following an act of police brutality against a black man in their town;
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, which tells a story of two girls become friends over the fence that segregates the town they live in.
Ultimately, we have so much more to learn and to do. We hope that these resources are a good place to start, and we are eager to keep learning. Please feel free to share your favorite resources with us, and we will be sure to check them out.