Anti-Racism Reading List March 2024

10+ thought provoking articles for learning and action

Hello friends,

Welcome to another edition of the monthly reading list. This month’s selection covers issues of identity, being Black in the workplace, and undermining racism, among other topics. Ready to dive in?

I always talk about racism as something that’s global. This interview with Adele Norris shares perspectives from New Zealand, and many readers will see similarities with the contexts they’re most familiar with.

“The psychological and emotional toll related to hair discrimination is massive for Black youth, [but] gets rarely classified as anti-Black racism. Black people’s experiences of state-sanctioned violence are so severe that cases of hair discrimination are peripheral to extreme cases of police brutality against Black bodies, but they are [also] violent and disturbing. It is important to see that hair discrimination and police brutality are products of the same system.”

2. From Whence We Came by Naomi Raquel

This is a short and impactful piece which will resonate with many people raising biracial or multiracial kids. I like the approach Naomi Raquel takes here.

“My son is presumed to be white but rather than accept his “whiteness” and the lie that his skin color tells the world who he is, to whom he belongs or how he should challenge casteism, my husband and I have chosen to raise him to know his totality.”

If you’ve spent any time doing anti-racism work, you’ll have come across this phenomenon, which is in sharp contrast to the blanket approach often used when discussing Global Majority people.

“Here's the thing, there are enough White people who are knowingly and unknowingly benefiting from the system of privilege racism has created. So, there is enough reason to say racism and prejudice are a matter of concern for the entirety of the group as they are all benefiting..”

The moment we’re in demands that we ask hard questions, as this writer does:

“What power are you giving to the people and words being spoken around you? Not speaking up or talking does not mean you’re not taking a side.”

5. How to Root Out Racism in 5 Steps by Robert Livingston

Here Robert Livingston outlines a plan for identifying, empathising with, and acting to eliminate racism.

“The very fact that most White people admit that they would need to be paid tens of millions of dollars to live their lives as a Black person indicates that they realize, on some level, that Black people are treated worse than White people.”

6. New Black hires face greater scrutiny from bosses by Alan Murray and Nicholas Gordon

I’m sure this headline isn’t a surprise to anyone living in the skin I’m in, but for everyone else, this research breaks down some of the ways additional scrutiny makes workplaces even harder for Black employees.

“While the research found that the longer Black employees stay on the job while being monitored, the less likely they are to be fired, heavy scrutiny doesn’t come with much upside. That’s because, in most occupations, bosses aren’t monitoring workers for promotions. Instead, managers are trying to determine whether that worker should remain employed.”

I’d heard of Alfred Knopf Publishers, of course, and I’ve read books published by them, but I never even thought about how revolutionary it was to publish those books at the time. This piece gave me some much needed insight:

“The significance of Knopf's publishing of Black history books is immense. By giving a voice to Black authors and stories, Knopf helped in shaping a more inclusive understanding of American history and culture. These publications have been instrumental in educating generations about the experiences, struggles, and contributions of Black Americans. They have also played a role in challenging stereotypes and fostering a deeper understanding and respect for racial diversity.”

8. Leveling-up as a Woman of Color by Eliza Yvette Esquivel

Whether it’s the glass ceiling, the glass cliff, or some other obstacle, being a Global Majority woman in certain spaces - especially corporate ones - can result in a few more obstacles. This article gives some advice for navigating those.

“The chances that you might face obstacles others do not are high. That's why having a support system is so incredibly important. Find the people who support you on this level, and reach out to them with regularity. Women who strive to be at the top of their field or game often are independent, competitive and strong. But know that your strength lies in your support system as much as it does in your own internal resources.”

This comic explores history to give the lie to the many “I’m not racist but…” comments that Black and Global Majority people hear.

“‘Not racism’ goes beyond the denial of people’s experience; it is an ahistorical redefinition of racism from the perspective of those who benefit from current racial arrangements under white supremacy. ‘Not racism’ is a form of discursive racist violence.”

I don’t really want to talk about the orange one, but Frederick Joseph makes several pertinent points here:

“I often feel that Black Americans understand white American systems and individuals better than they understand themselves. You see, expecting no repercussions for Trump is not born of cynicism, but an understanding of America’s historical dance with whiteness, power, violence, and impunity..”

Bonus: Black History Month Toolkit by Black Digital

It may be March, but it’s Black History 24/7/365 around here, and this toolkit introduces a bunch of folx it’s worth getting to know - enjoy!

Which article or resource resonated with you most this month? What action will you take as a result?

Thanks for reading,


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*Note: all articles linked here were free to read when I put together this edition. However, some may be paywalled by the time it is published, because capitalism. There’s not much I can do about that, but I hope the included quotes give you a flavour of the content.

© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Cover photo courtesy of Canva.

I am an anti-racism educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality, the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

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