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Start Here: Books, Podcasts and Documentaries To Educate Yourself About Anti-Racism

“White supremacy won’t die until White people see it as a White issue they need to solve rather than a Black issue they need to empathize with.” - Duane Reed (@TeachMrReed)

Let’s not mince words here. The past few weeks have ignited an uprising that the majority of us have never seen before in our lifetimes. For a lot of us, it comes with an important side-effect: coming to terms that we are woefully uneducated as a nation on our very own history. While it is shocking and sobering, it is an opportunity as unique as the times we are living through.

Last week, I shared 12 actionable ways to create an anti-racist company. As protests continue to evolve and grow, we’re seeing a more sustainable movement emerging as well. As a business owner and solopreneur, the most enlightening part is a new and deeply personal desire for comprehensive education on the matter. This desire, paired with many helpful resources that are now publicly available, can foster a new understanding for the issues at large and can grow a stronger allyship for the Black community.

Below is a compilation of texts, documentaries and podcasts that will aid in your journey towards being an anti-racist business owner and citizen. While I’m continuing to learn more about these issues and educate myself, I am by no means an expert. Please feel free to add your own resources in the comments section.

Note: None of these are affiliate links so click away :)

Texts:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander lays out the facts of our history as Americans, takes us by the hand, and shows us with irrefutable evidence that the United States isn’t failing its’ Black citizens, but treating them as it always intended since inception.

White Fragility

Does that title make you uncomfortable or defensive? That’s exactly the point. Listen to the author, Robin DiAngelo, break down why white people need to challenge their own racial worldview in this PBS interview.

Between The World And Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates frames his questions to America through a letter to his adolescent son. Referred to by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” Coates grapples with his own lack of answers through personal experiences of a black body in America. The audiobook is read by the author, and I found his voice completely captivating.

The Characteristics Of White Supremacy Culture

This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. They are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group. Authors Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun break each characteristic down and give antidotes for each one.

Documentaries:

13th

This Oscar-nominated doc by Ava Duvernay offers a deep dive into the history and implications of the 13th Amendment and how slavery evolved into mass-incarceration. This documentary features Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow, and cites her work throughout.

I Am Not Your Negro

Centered around one of the most influential writers of his time, James Baldwin, and his unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, a personal narrative of a black man living through the Civil Rights Era, this documentary serves as a loud call for white Americans to wake up and take action.

LA 92

From Nat Geo, this documentary about the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots is made completely from archival footage and looks eerily familiar. We have been in this place of racial tensions and tumult many times before; how will we act differently this time? What actions will you take?

Podcasts:

1619

This New York Times audio series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the long shadow of American slavery and how Black people have been central to building this country’s democracy, wealth and more.

Code Switch

This NPR podcast comprises fearless conversations about race hosted by journalists of color — the coverage of race and policing explores the cycle of police brutality, black death and protest.

Pod Save the People

Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.

About Race

From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge uses her podcast to take that conversation a step further and looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today.

Bonus Episodes:

Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield: Becoming an Imperfect Ally with Erica Courdae

I love Amy’s podcast as a whole, and this episode is exactly what we need right now! Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Consultant Erica Courdae joins her to discuss how to take all the new information learned and apply it to your business practices.

Business Casual: If Brands Don’t Stand for Something… and Stop Thinking, Start Doing: How Diversity & Accountability Impact Profit

Because companies that prioritize diversity do better. According to McKinsey, in 2019, companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity financially outperformed those in the bottom quartile for diversity by 36%. The first episode looks at how to strengthen your brand through action during a pandemic or civil uprising. The second one discusses diversity in the workplace.


As mentioned earlier, I'm still learning myself, so please add your own resources in the comments section.



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