Anti-Racism Reading List May 2022
10+ insightful articles worth reading and sharing
It’s been a tough month, hasn’t it? Between personal experiences of racism and the murder of more Black and Global Majority people, I’ve certainly found it a lot to process. In the meantime, many people have offered insightful takes on different aspects of racism and allyship. Here’s this month’s reading list.
1. 10 Reasons You Can’t Find Black Talent… by Adrian D. Parker
Ah yes, the enduring myth of the “pipeline problem”. In this article, Adrian D. Parker encourages people - white people - to look at how their own actions might contribute to this issue:
“The Black talent you don’t see is a direct reflection of what you don’t do. And it’s nearly impossible to undo decades of exclusion and discrimination by hiring one diversity leader. The talent pipeline that runs dry leads to a well you never watered.”
2. Stop Stealing Black Women's Intellectual Property: How A Critical Analysis of Brene Brown Benefited Everyone Except the Expert by Dr Carey Yazeed
May has been a month where we’ve seen more evidence of people and corporations making money - or trying to - off the cultural capital of Black people (I’m thinking about Walmart’s Juneteenth products, especially the now-withdrawn ice cream). This piece by Dr. Carey Yazeed highlights another egregious example of this:
“Although I wrote this great think piece, no one really wanted to hear from a Black woman who actually has an opinion and (gasp) thinks. I realized that society is more comfortable having individuals who are not familiar with my work in the area of diversity, research, academics and mental health, and who also don’t look like me to speak for me, instead of allowing me to publicly speak for myself. And in the end, society has made a conscious decision to reward these individuals instead of me.”
3. Half of Black women in senior management have resigned ‘due to racism at work’ by Natalie Morris
For many Black women, work isn’t working. As a Black woman myself, and one who’s only recently started unpacking the full Pandora’s box of workplace microaggressions I’ve experienced, I can relate:
“The survey of 250 professional Black women across various industries, found that four in 10 (44%) Black women do not believe they are offered the same career advancement opportunities as their non-Black female colleagues.
Two thirds (68%) reported experiencing racial bias at work. This figure rose to 84% of Black women in senior management positions.”
4. On White Domestic Terrorism and More of the Usual by Pharoah Bolding
Here, Pharoah Bolding expresses what many Black people are feeling after the horrors of white terrorism that we’ve seen in the last month:
“What I wouldn’t give for a bit of something f----g unusual for once, y’all. The shock on my face if the mass murder of melanated bodies wasn’t a blip in the news cycle, something that happens with such regularity that white people don’t even bat an eyelash.”
5. Whiteness is at the heart of racism in Britain – so why is it portrayed as a Black problem? by Meghan Tinsey
This is a great question, which highlights the insidiousness and ubiquitousness of the white supremacist narrative:
“Left out of the discussion, every time, is whiteness. Black victims of racism are made hypervisible, while white perpetrators are kept invisible. There is power in this invisibility. Because white people are not racialised – they are seen as the default, and any other racial group is seen as “other” – their experiences are presented as those of individuals: race is not considered a factor in what they do.”
6. The Generational Curse of Systemic Racism and White Supremacy by Ashani Mfuko
As I’ve said many times before, we in the Caribbean have our own issues to deal with in regard to the legacy of enslavement. Ashani Mfuko agrees:
“I have some bad news for you…
Anywhere settler colonialism/european colonialism took place, you have the stain of systemic racism, and white supremacy in your society and culture, and that happened all over the world, so miss me with that.”
7. The elderly Black Buffalo victims survived Jim Crow. Then they went shopping in 2022. by Geniece Crawford Mondé
The sense of loss that pervades this article makes it an emotional must-read:
“When they packed up their lives and moved to new cities, Black Americans brought with them the stories of survival shared with them by their own grandparents, some of whom were likely enslaved. Those stories of pain and resilience were passed from one generation to the next, documenting a history they knew would not be taught in schools. When we lose elders prematurely in the way we did on Saturday, we are losing a loved one, a community member and people whose lives and stories connect generations. Such a loss is incalculable.”
8. Discussing The Undiscussables: Too Many White Progressives Believe In ‘Animal Farm Equality’ by Dana Brownlee
This is an older article by Dana Brownlee, which resurfaced recently. Frankly, it is excellent, as this excerpt shows:
“the parallels between that narrative [Animal Farm] and the history of Black people in America are stark. It’s obvious hypocrisy to found a country on the principles of equality and freedom while establishing and supporting a society and economy based on chattel slavery and race-based subjugation (even going as far as adopting a Constitution defining Black people as 3/5 a person).”
9. To my White connections on LinkedIn by Dylan Gerrity
Fighting racism will take all of us. Here, Dylan Gerrity offers some tips for white people on making a meaningful difference:
“You will encounter pushback from your White colleagues, your White managers and other White people in your professional networks. Don't let this discourage you. Keep a conversation going with them about why this is important. Give them data.”
10. 4 Ways White Supremacy Harms Humanity by Janice Gassam Asare, Ph.D.
Dr. Janice Gassam Asare’s work is always well worth reading, but in my opinion, this is one of her best recent pieces:
“We must understand that we are not in competition with each other—white supremacy has fooled us into believing we are.”
Bonus: 8 Tips to Improve Your Hiring Pipeline for Black Talent by Sharon Hurley Hall
Remember that pipeline issue? I spoke to some people to get their insight on ways companies can do better, but the stats aren’t looking good:
“Black people make up 12% of the U.S. population, and Black workers make up 12% of entry-level jobs, according to research from McKinsey & Co. However, only 7% of Black workers move into management roles. On today’s trajectory, Black employees will reach talent parity (12% representation) in 95 years. The consulting firm predicts that addressing the major barriers to Black advancement could cut that timeframe to 25 years.”
Which of these pieces resonates most with you?
Thanks for reading,
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2022. All Rights Reserved.