Resources For Racial Justice: Learn About Race and Support Black Communities
For many, the murder of George Floyd was a wake-up call to the continued violence and discrimination that Black people face today. But for me, as a Black man in America, this was nothing new. Systemic racism dates back over 400 years and continues to this day, pervading every aspect of daily life. Police brutality is just the most visible and obviously devastating feature.
However, there is one part of this that has given me hope: the response, and the anti-racism efforts throughout the country. The international spotlight shone on Floyd’s murder has served as a catalyst to start having meaningful conversations about race. I would like to help and encourage that work.
One of the main ways we can begin to fight back and make permanent change is through educating ourselves: by reading, listening and learning so that we are able to have purposeful, informed discussions and begin to take action. Racism impacts each and every one of us, regardless of our race, and the first step is to understand and resist its profound influence on our thinking and actions.
Here are some excellent resources — among many others — that can teach us about race in America and how to support Black communities in various ways.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Book)
Ijeoma Oluo’s New York Times bestseller provides a critical but accessible look at race in America, from intersectionality to affirmative action, to help readers begin meaningful conversations on race and racism.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Book)
Between the World and Me is a letter written by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his teenage son about the reality of being Black in America. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, the book uses Coates’ autobiographical experiences to show the way racism and racist violence have become part of American culture and institutions.
"The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Article)
In his 2014 article for the Atlantic, Coates argues that American institutions were built from taking wealth and resources from the African-American community and the detrimental impact it continues to have on Black Americans.
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
In this book, scholar, filmmaker, and intellectual Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents a close reading of life for African Americans under Jim Crow and the beginnings of systemic racism that continues to impact American.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Author James Baldwin has become iconic for his fiction, plays and essays on race and class in America. The Fire Next Time, which contains two “letters,” offers a searing, provocative and personal look at race in America that remains foundational in understanding race today.
Battle Cry Of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson
A fast-paced account of the Civil War and the events leading up to it, McPherson’s non-fiction book offers new perspectives and understandings about the war, how it was won and how the North had to contend with the issue of slavery as they fought for their vision of the nation’s liberty.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Civil rights advocate and litigator Michelle Alexander writes how systemic racism in America persists from the days of Jim Crow in different forms, including the War on Drugs and the U.S. criminal justice system. President and CEO of the NAACP Benjamin Todd Jealous calls this book a “call to action.”
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Published more than four decades ago, Alex Haley’s novel follows Kunta Kinte, who is sold into slavery, and his descendants during major historic events. A Pulitzer Prize winner and the basis for a miniseries watched by over 130 million Americans, Roots is considered a seminal American text on race, and its importance continues to resonate.
When looking for where to purchase books, we recommend checking out independent, Black-owned bookstores that ship nationwide, including the Seattle-based Estelita’s Library.
Forbes has rounded up a list of several major corporations and their donations to anti-racism campaigns and public efforts to speak out against systemic racism.
With the mission to make shopping Black-owned businesses a “lifestyle, not a fad,” this website allows users to find nearby Black-owned businesses, as well as shop online.
Launched in 2016, eatOkra is an app that allows users to discover over 2,500 Black-owned restaurants from around the country. You can even see what apps or services deliver food from the restaurant of your choice.
Color of Change allows you to start your own campaign to help make a difference, whether that is ending mass incarceration or fighting for fair employment practices.
Another app that helps consumers connect with Black-owned businesses, Black Wall Street features businesses ranging from pharmacies to restaurants and lets consumers know when they’re near a Black-owned business.
Created by Google employee Jenae Butler, this deck helps start the conversation around the police protests, Black Live Matter and how allies should (and should not) get involved.
Everyone can be an ally in the fight against racial injustice, and Great Big Story has rounded up resources to learn more about white privilege and what books, organizations and podcasts you can reference to learn more about systemic racism and how to fight it.
Harvard’s Project Implicit allows you to take tests to discover your own unconscious biases, from race to weight to disability to sexuality.
Hosted by Leila Day and Hana Baba, The Stoop shares stories about being Black, from the Black Tax to writing while African. It aims to be a “celebration of black joy.”
This NPR podcast, hosted by Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby, welcomes guests to discuss race and identity so viewers can see how these impact aspects of American life.
This comedic podcast, hosted by actress and musician Tawny Newsome and writer Andrew Ti, features a weekly guest as they answer voicemails from people wondering whether something is racist.
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones shares the story of America’s 250-year history of slavery in this New York Times audio series.
To help make a difference, we’re donating $5 of every order of a dozen or more cookies to benefit racial justice charities. After making your purchase simply select one of the listed charities at checkout. You can learn more about the charities here [LINK].