Anti-Racism Reading List - 4/12/20
10 powerful articles worth sharing and discussing
I didn’t intend to publish another reading list post so soon, but there’s a lot of great content out there, so here we are.
Before I get into the reading list proper, I want to highlight an example of one thing non-Black anti-racists can do in the fight for greater equity: share the mic.
One of my longtime writer friends, Lori Widmer, approached me about doing a guest post about racism and anti-racism. That’ll be coming up sometime in the new year. In the meantime, she interviewed me about how my anti-racism work sits with my freelance writing career. I’m thankful for the opportunity. Here’s the link: Interview: Sharon Hurley Hall Talks to Writers About Racism
And now, to the main reading list. To switch things up, I’m going to start with some writers I don’t think I’ve featured before.
1. How Does It Feel When the Perpetrators of Racial Segregation Become the Victims? by Sylvia Wohlfarth
I found this interesting because it was a perspective on anti-Black racism in the US from a Black person who was raised outside the US. Her acknowledgement of her own ancestors’ complicity in enslavement does not negate the horror of what her other ancestors faced when living in America.
“I have learnt a lot from my quest to dig into the background of racism in the U.S. I knew there had to be some historic reasoning. People are not born racists. A racist system breeds racism and racists.”
2. The Emotional Work of Being an Antiracist by Ciarra Jones
This spoke to me because it’s an experience many Black people have at some point - being asked to put aside our own grief or trauma to console those who have perpetrated it, or who are just learning the full extent of anti-Black racism. It can be exhausting, as this writer explains.
“Not only are experiences of racism hurtful and fatiguing, but advocating for oneself is also an arduous task, one that often results in Black people being coerced into consoling our own perpetrators.”
3. No, My Children Are Not Mixed by The Single Black Guy
I have a bi-racial daughter, and identity is an ongoing question for her. In many ways, how she identifies depends on where she is - “mixed” in the Caribbean, Black in the US. Thankfully, she is secure in her own identity and both sides of her heritage, but this article gives valuable insight.
“For children of color, a strong sense of pride in their ethnic and racial identity is pretty conclusively shown to positively correlate with good life outcomes.”
4. No, Black People Can’t Be Racist by ￼Simone Samuels
I’ve had this same discussion with other people, and my reasoning is always the same - systemic racism has a power element, and most Black people are outside the corridors of power. This author makes the argument again in a compelling fashion.
“Black people can be prejudiced. Black people can be discriminatory. Black people can be mean. Black people can be cruel. Black people can be ignorant. Black people can be stupid. But Black people cannot be racist.”
5. Dear White friends: Stop Centering Yourselves by Johnny Silvercloud
This writer makes another good case for why it’s important to be actively anti-racist rather than “not racist”, and why the need to identify as one of the “good white folks” is harmful in a situation where tens of millions of white folks aren’t good and are happy to kill or hurt Black people.
“When whites feel threatened, laws change like magic. Black people are PERSISTENTLY threatened in this nation we call America. Laws must change, yet they do not.”
In addition, here are four excellent articles by previously featured writers. I’m picking one article from each, but they are prolific, so follow them so you don’t miss anything.
Allison Gaines - Why Calling a Black Woman Difficult is a Concealed Kiss of Death
Vena Moore - All Is Not Forgiven
Marley K - How Do We Get To Pro-Black From Here?
Rebecca Stevens Alder - What No One Ever Tells You About Interracial Relationships
I look forward to your feedback on these articles.
Thanks for reading and supporting.
Until next time,
Sharon Hurley Hall
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Brilliant list, thanks Sharon