Anti-Racism Reading List - 5/4/21
7 powerful articles worth discussing and sharing
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since the last reading list edition of the newsletter. As you know, I’ve been busy, with one recent change being the domain where this newsletter is hosted. That shouldn’t change much for you, but in case you missed my Friday update, you may have to login again if you want to comment. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the articles.
1. Black Women Have Been Traumatized in the Workplace by Ella T. Gorgla
This is an older article that recently came to my notice. I’m sharing it because it matches what every Black woman goes through in companies and spaces controlled by global minority people. And it shows why those companies have such a problem retaining Black excellence.
“Hard work goes unrewarded. We deliver and are dismissed. Organizations make no attempt to nurture, grow and elevate, but take wicked pleasure in orchestrating campaigns designed to challenge our intellect, impugn our integrity and magnify the slightest errors.”
2. Online Safety Tips For Black Female Antiracism Writers by Marley K.
White supremacy rears its head every day, particularly to Black women and especially if you’re writing about racism. I thought the tips section of this article was particularly useful.
“Set your notifications to alert you when you get new followers. Sometimes we can eliminate half of our trouble with racists by blocking suspect profiles before they ever have a chance to bother us.”
3. The FAQ guide for anti-racist racists by Shamontiel L. Vaughn
Many of us have had those “I’m not racist, but…” questions. This article gives some good answers:
“Could your family ride all of the elevators and amusement park rides? Were your family members allowed to be buried in cemeteries — with or without headstones? Did anybody in your family get purposely banned from buying a home from 1919 to 1969? No? Well, then, you may be too short for this ride.”
4. Words Have Lost Their Common Meaning by John McWhorter
As a language buff, I found this dissection of the language used in social justice, and why some people find some of it problematic, absolutely fascinating. I’m not sure I agree with McWhorter’s view on what “racism” should mean, but it was interesting nonetheless.
“Equality is a state, an outcome—but equity, a word that sounds just like it and has a closely related meaning, is a commitment and effort, designed to create equality. That is a nuance of a kind usually encountered in graduate seminars about the precise definitions of concepts such as freedom. It will throw or even turn off those disinclined to attend that closely.”
5. The black British history you may not know about by Kameron Virk
Ever since I discovered that there were Black people in Britain in Roman times, I’ve wanted to know more about that history that we almost never year. This BBC article gives a snapshot of some of the untold stories.
"We have existed in Britain and been pioneers, inventors, icons. And then colonialism happened, and that has shaped the experiences of black people - but that is not all we are."
6. Why White People Hate Critical Race Theory, Explained by Michael Harriot
This was another piece that I read for my own education. Clickbaity title aside, it includes an explanation of what critical race theory is, in layperson’s terms, and shines a light on some of the fallacies used in tearing it down.
“When has not knowing stuff ever stopped them from criticizing anything? They still think Colin Kaepernick was protesting the anthem, the military and the flag. They believe Black Lives Matter means white lives don’t. There aren’t any relevant criticisms other than they don’t like the word “racism” and “white people” anywhere near each other.”
7. How Can White Men Be Antiracists: Some Concrete Steps by Rebecca Stevens Alder
I love Rebecca’s brand of calm good sense, and it’s on full display in this article. The gold is in the recommendations section, which offers some practical tips:
“Keep in mind that being racist isn’t a permanent state. People can change. So even that friend you’ve known since grade school who you know is a racist can change. Don’t give up and think that antiracism is a futile effort, it isn’t.”
Hope you learn as much from these as I did. I look forward to your comments.
Thanks for reading,
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Cover photo courtesy of Canva.