Black people are human beings. THEY SHOULD NOT BE DYING AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE. If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. It’s time to pay attention. We compiled a list of books about dismantling white supremacy to get you started. It will be uncomfortable, but it must be done… Read on…
Oh goodness what a week it’s been. From a woman calling the police in Central Park, faking distress and saying that an African American man was threatening her (spoiler alert: he was not)… a clear and awful showing of white privilege and white supremacy at their heights, to a Black man’s brutal murder by police in Minneapolis, all caught on tape. George Floyd, the latest victim of police murder of Black people, was not even resisting arrest. He wasn’t resisting at all. He was pleading for his life, and life was taken from him. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION YET? ARE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE? YOU SHOULD BE.
These are difficult topics to discuss. You may not know where to start. So, we’re compiling this list of books on dismantling white supremacy because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Now, it will be uncomfortable. You may come face to face with your prejudice and your biases (and we all have them) but the first step to being an ally is recognizing that you have privilege, and that we have a racism problem in the United States. That problem goes back to slavery — you know, this country was largely built on and commerce thrived using humans as enslaved labor. When that was abolished, other systems were put in place to terrorize Black Americans… to make them less than human. Black Americans have been beaten, lynched, dehumanized, disenfranchised and killed for everything you can imagine– running, walking, driving, standing on a street corner, bird watching … for things that you would never even bat an eye for doing, for simply being human.
When Black people say that “Black Lives Matter” it’s because they have to, since many have seem to have forgotten that Black lives are human lives.
So, start doing the work.
Listen to Black parents when they speak.
Don’t listen to answer back. Listen to understand.
Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash
Put yourself in a Black mom’s shoes. Imagine you were in the car when Philando Castile got pulled over. Imagine being Philando Castile’s fiancee in the car. Imagine seeing life taken from him.
Imagine your child being thrown to the ground and frisked.
Imagine you holding your breath when your spouse was driving home, fearing that he would be pulled over.
Imagine someone snapping your loved one’s neck with the entire weight of his body.
Imagine having to give your child “the talk” about how to carry themselves in public, or in front of the authorities. Imagine having to take your child’s innocence away like that.
Can you picture it? What would you say to your children?
I challenge you to imagine yourself having to withstand the microagressions, the outright hate that is thrown at you day after day, simply because of who you are.
Are you uncomfortable yet? Good, that was the point. Now, get to work. Educate yourself. Pick up a book, and like my friend Quiana said, educate yourself. It’s not the job of Black people (or POC) to explain it all to you.
Books on Dismantling White Supremacy
by Ijeoma Umo
by Crystal Fleming
by Beverly Daniel Tatum
by Ibram x. Kendi
By Robin DiAngelo
by Layla Saad
By Michelle Alexander
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Like many I’m just nauseated over the events of the last few days. We are saddened for our Black moms, Black brothers and sisters who lose loved ones without reason. This may be uncomfortable for many, but the work has to be done. White supremacy is real, it’s ugly and it’s still alive today. If you want to be an ally, educate yourself. These books were recommended by @harlemlovebirds which is a great person to follow. When you talk to a Black person: LISTEN to their experience. Don’t pretend you know more than they do, or pretend to know about their situation bc you don’t. #endwhitesupremacy #endracism #blacklivesmatter #raisingkids #howtobeanally #blackmoms #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy #mkbkids #difficultconversations