“In light of recent events, a lot of people are now feeling a very visceral
response in how they show up in this world, and how they see it from our lens,” says Ramunda Lark Young, co-founder of Washington-based MahoganyBooks, an independent bookstore specializing in books written for, by or about people from the African diaspora.
Have you had a visceral response as you watch the recent events she refers to? If you are one of those to whom she refers, this post is directed to you. I’m glad you are here.
We began this series last week with a look at ourselves, where our beliefs and values about skin color began, when we began to identify as a person with a particular color skin, if we ever did. I hope I gave you a chance to chew a bit on a topic you may not have given much thought to.
This week we turn to learning; it’s time to listen. And there is a wealth of opportunity available to us.
How do you usually educate yourself around a topic of interest? Where do you begin? For me this often involves taking workshops, going to classes, having conversations – i.e., listening, as Michelle Obama suggested in her quote from last week.
It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion,
and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.
I pray we all have the strength for that journey …”
Listening comes in many forms. Today I’m going to suggest a number of sources for you. Where will you begin? And, if you have sources that have been of particular help to you, I hope you’ll add them in the comments below.
Do you like to read?
Many sources began with this list of 61 books on “anti-racism” from Ibram Kendi. You can access it here.
Elle magazine offer another “anti-racist” reading list, this one with
Blair Carpenter listed 35 Must Read Books about Racism, May 22, 2020 on her BookRiot.com website.
And finally, here are 13 Books on Anti-Racism from Suyin Haynes at Time.com
If you don’t want titles, here’s a list of authors to pay attention to:
James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Albert Murray, Frederick Douglass, Michelle Alexander, Zora Neale Hurston, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mark Twain, Jean Toomer, Alice Walker, Claudia Rankine, Ralph Ellison, Tiphanie Yanique, August Wilson, Jesmyn Ward, Angela Flournoy, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Colson Whitehead, Morgan Parker
I’m finding it hard to read these days; there is much preying on my mind. So, the TV screen is my go-to for information. Here are some great places to begin.
If your TV screen is what calls you
Parade’s Brea Baker offers a worthwhile list of TV shows, films, documentaries, and TEDx talks focused on anti-racism: The Anti-Racism Starter Pack. Now, how’s that for a title?
Of the fifteen links included in her list, I’m finding Ava DuVernay’s documentary of institutional racism, particularly the criminal justice system, 13th, compelling. Offered on Netflix, It’s been called the documentary version of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.
And not included in Baker’s list is a TEDx talk: Brene Brown talking with Ibram Kendi on “How to Be an Antiracist.”
Next week I’ll be back with Part III in our Confronting Racism series. I hope you’ll join me.
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break. And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
What’s your intention these days? To whom are you listening? Who is teaching you?