Anti-Racism Reading List - 2/10/20

Powerful articles worth sharing and discussing

Hello friends,

Today's reading list is a mixed bag. In fact, as you'll see later, it's not just a reading list. So, let's get straight to it.

How to Dismantle White Supremacy

Author Barbara Smith proposes a plan to join up some of the current disparate initiatives and to take white supremacy apart from the ground up. I don't know if that's even possible, but there are some good ideas here.

"Currently, initiatives that focus on inequality in specific sectors like education, health care, and criminal justice are not aligned with one another, are seldom brought to scale so that they have maximum impact, and may not operate with the conscious goal of challenging white supremacy. The Hamer-Baker Plan would close these gaps and encourage integrated approaches."

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

This is another story of how a Black family had to fight for land that was rightfully theirs. And they're not the only ones. It's an example of how systemic discrimination has stopped many Black families from acquiring the wealth or even financial stability that's rightfully theirs.

"Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their farmland. This problem is a major contributor to America’s racial wealth gap; the median wealth among black families is about a tenth that of white families."

This Is Us Star Lonnie Chavis, 12, Shares His Experiences with Racism: 'America Needs to Change'

It's heartbreaking to think that a 12-year-old boy already fears for his life, and the lives of his parents and siblings, but that is where we are. This is a heartfelt response to the murder of George Floyd, and it makes for an emotional read. Some quotes include:

"Can you imagine someone thinking you are a thief just because of the color of your skin? I can…

Can you imagine it being normal to start recording with your cellphone as soon as your mother is pulled over for a traffic stop? I can…

Can you imagine holding on to your three little brothers while thinking that you are all going to be orphans? I can."

Found on Facebook

I have mixed feelings about Facebook (well, maybe not that mixed, lol), but it has allowed me to discover some content worth reading that I haven't seen anywhere else. For example, this post from Mercy Morganfield shows how word associations can reinforce bias. And this post from Smiley Sinclair provides some viewing suggestions if you want to learn more about the Black experience. These aren’t always easy watching, but they’re certainly educational.

Anti-Racism Tools

To wrap things up, I've come across a few tools while I've been browsing. Here are three worth looking at.

  1. Racism Scale - This is a tool to help us identify where we fall in relation to bias. I don't have much to say about it, but perhaps it's something worth sharing with others in your network

  2. Antiracist Style Indicator - where are you when it comes to fighting racism?

  3. Privilege Checklist - check your privilege

Recommended Follow: Gloria Atanmo

Finally, if you're looking for someone with accessible resources on anti-racism, check out Gloria Atanmo. She's got a bunch of Instagram galleries (also available on LinkedIn and Facebook) covering the answers to some questions you may have wanted to ask. I'll share one example below.

𝗪𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗻𝗼𝘄? 𝗦𝗪𝗜𝗣𝗘/𝗦𝗔𝗩𝗘/𝗦𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗘 🙏🏾 Post the black square!
Take it down, it’s so counterproductive!

Say their name!
Why didn’t you include Breonna Taylor!

Mute yourselves!
Speak up on behalf of Black people!

Talk louder!
Not that loud, too much savior complex!

Love saves everyone!
Except racists, they can go to hell!

Lawwwwwd. So. Many. Stances. Even I'm overwhelmed by them.

Here’s the deal.

So you mass-followed 100 new Black people who are telling you to do a dozen different things and now you’re just like, who do I listen to when they're all saying different things?

First, I urge you to pace yourselves, then try to hone in on the voices you resonate with the most.

Think of music, for example.

You can follow dozens of artists in the same genre, but maybe there’s one you turn on to pump you up during a workout, and another you go to that soothes your mind.

Our voices will trigger different emotions, and I encourage you to have a healthy mix of all of them during this revolution.

On this page, you’ll find me at the intersection of thought-provoking and sassy.

I’ll challenge you to do better, but I’ll say it with love (and a couple finger snaps, lol) 💁🏾‍♀️ Because that’s who I am.

I’m not going to change my voice because of what’s goin on, and to my fellow Black brothers and sisters, I encourage you not to change yours either.

We’re united by our Blackness, but there are tens of millions of perspectives.

I've always said, I speak WITH the Black community, not FOR them.

Black people have survived generational trauma, overt racism at work, heavy discrimination, police brutality, and more.

So when I see Sis going AWF and calling people out, I get it.

That’s a lifetime of hurt, pain, and silencing.

Let her air that out, and don’t confuse their rage as them being mean or aggressive, because some of us have been biting our tongues for decades.

And we’re done.

So allies, hold space.

Some days our exhaustion will take center stage and our emotions will be raw.

But just so we're crystal, we do not apologize for it 🤸🏾‍♀️
June 7, 2020

Well, that's it for this week. I think you’ll agree that there’s plenty to digest. :)

If you missed previous editions of the reading list, check them out below:

As always, I welcome your comments.

Leave a comment

Thanks for reading and supporting.

Until next time,

Sharon Hurley Hall