Anti-Racism Reading List - 12/10/20

Powerful articles worth sharing and discussing

Hello friends,

It's been a few weeks since the last edition of the anti-racism reading list, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. On the contrary, I spent a few days trying to get through a bunch of articles I’d bookmarked on Medium. The result is this bumper edition, which will fill up your TBR pile for a while. Let's dive in.

You Might Be Supporting White Supremacy If… by Brian M Williams, JD

Don't you just love these lists? They're often a good way to check what's really going on. There are a lot of good quotes from this one, but here's one that stood out for me:

"You might be supporting white supremacy if your support for other people’s human rights can be ended because of broken glass."

Blackness Is Not a Monolith, But It Is a Collective Consciousness by Cindy-Liz Ikie

Here's a perspective from a Black person whose direct ancestors did not experience enslavement, but who still feels that Black Lives Matter today and always:

"It is our deep shame that atrocities like these are committed under our noses, that these are the stories that will join the memory of humanity. The time where Black genocide was dispersed overtly and covertly amongst nations, buried within systems as a self-perpetuating mechanism and largely unrecognized for that which it is: generational genocide."

Sold Back Into Slavery, She Sued for Restitution — and Won by Morgan Jerkins

So much of Black history has been lost. In this article, Morgan Jerkins shares the story of Henrietta Wood, who fought re-enslavement, and gained both freedom and compensation for the crime against her:

"The $2,500 this woman was awarded is the largest known sum of restitution for enslavement by a United States court. Her name is Henrietta Wood, and she is the subject of W. Caleb McDaniel, PhD’s exhilarating book, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America."

People Won’t Take Responsibility For Their Racism, And I’m Tired Of It by Dorothy Hines, PhD

There's not a lot to say about this, other than that I felt every word. In particular, this:

"Like many people who are the victims of racism they not only have to prove that they did not distort what actually happened to them, but also that they did not cause it or make it up."

When They Say They Have a Black Friend Ask Them Follow-Up Questions by Allison Gaines

Yeah, the "Black friend" excuse from racism deniers isn't flying any more for this author:

"The next time someone tells you that they have a Black friend, ask them if they talk about racism with their friend and check other white people’s privilege one-on-one instead of only doing it in front of their Black friend."

Articles by previously featured writers

There was also some excellent work by people I've previously featured in this newsletter, including:

White writers who are #doingthework

There are some white anti-racism writers out there #doingthework by sharing examples of good practice. Here are a few articles that caught my eye.

But What Should I DO? by Julia E Hubbel

Here Julia offers some practical suggestions for practical actions white anti-racists can take. There's a lot of good stuff in there, but here's one quote I loved:

"I promote talent. That means I see Excellence. I expect it. I see Black folks, and I see Black Excellence everywhere. EVERYWHERE. When you and I don’t have the moral courage to make a bigger pie, which means we all win when talented POC are promoted and elevated, then we perpetuate the patriarchy."

5 Steps to Take as an Antiracist Data Scientist by Emily Hadley

Emily cops to what we already know: some of the algorithms are against us. In this article, she outlines some ways to redress the balance:

"Data and algorithms have been used to perpetuate racism and racist societal structures. It is imperative that we educate ourselves about these realities and the uneven effects they have had on Black lives."

BLM-washing: the case for a new term by Mark Paul

This is a good way to describe performative allyship, and we've all seen a lot of it around:

"Lots of the blackout’s participants only posted a black square without, for instance, doing any meaningful research or self-education, and without protesting in any other way. Worse still, some blackout participants were undoubtedly under the impression that, in having completed their one-post protest, they had done their bit and could rest easy."

Finally, here's a useful check your white privilege checklist from Tam Warner Minton:

What is the Deal with White Privilege? Is it Real?

I look forward to your feedback on these articles.

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Thanks for reading and supporting.

Until next time,

Sharon Hurley Hall