Systemic racism is a mental and physical burden for people of colour every single day. Feeling helpless in the fight against white supremacy is common, but we must continue through protest and votes, and—if you are white—by acknowledging, understanding, and using one’s privilege positively. By calling out offensive language, jokes and micro-aggressions amongst our families, friends and circles of influence, we can make a difference.
Another way is supporting organisations with time or money, not just in times of widely reported crisis. If you find yourself able to give, consider these groups who work tirelessly to make a positive impact.
A US non-profit, The Bail Project combats mass incarceration across the country by paying bail for low-income individuals who cannot afford it.
Founded in 2013 in response to Trayvon Martin’s murderer’s acquittal, Black Lives Matter operates many programs for POC and actively fights the systemic racism and violence that work against them every day.
Stop Hate UK, The organization started life in 1995 as a service for victims of racial harassment. The project was established in direct response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
SARI a community-oriented agency that provides support and advice to victims of hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics as defined by law.
If fair treatment for everyone is something that’s important to you, then understanding society’s relationship with race and racism, and asking yourself some fundamentally uncomfortable questions is the first step in fighting for equality.
Another good place to start is your reading and listening list. Learning about the history of racial oppression, the microaggressions that people of color face in our world today, and the enormous benefit of the white privilege system is the first step to collectively dismantling racism.
Here a few key titles we recommend
- George Floyd: How Can I Help From The UK?, by Das Penman
- 75 Things White People Can For Racial Justice, by Corinne Shutack
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
- Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
- The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
Find even more books, podcasts, articles, films and series in this doc by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein here.
Buy from Black businesses – there’s a great list from Emily Ames here.
Diversify your social feeds. Follow organisations and accounts run by people of colour, like:
The feature image is of James Baldwin