In an effort to educate myself, I’ve been picking up on reading materials to help me become a better ally.
While I’m happy that I’ve had a lot of my black friends be willing to have open conversations with me, I realized that the responsibility should not fall on them. Sure, it’s great to have conversations, but I cannot expect them to actually teach me. That falls on me. I need to educate myself. The Internet is a great resource if you put in the work.
I want to make sure this website is a place that you can come to learn how to be a good ally. There’s nothing better than sitting and reading. That’s a great way to educate yourself. I picked up a few books, have even more on my TBR list, and signed up for a few newsletters to ensure I’m educating myself daily.
newsletter + free resources
I was recently introduced to this Anti-Racism Daily newsletter. Each day there is a focus topic + action that you can take. It’s small steps like this that allow me to truly process topics instead of trying to cram it in all at once. I love that it pops into my inbox and I can read it when I have a second to take a break from work.
I cannot for the life of me remember where I stumbled upon this Anti-Racism Resource List, but I’m glad I did. I have it bookmarked so that when I need to research or learn something, I can quickly pull it up.
books about race
When I committed to being a better ally, I immediately created a list of books that I wanted to read to educate myself. I researched local black owned bookstores and found The Lit Bar (and read an AMAZING article from the owner). I’m super impressed with their selection, and what they stand for. They are the ONLY bookstore in the Bronx (which has a population of 1.5 million). Pre-COVID, they encouraged readers to come and gather together. AND THEY HAVE A WINE BAR INSIDE. I can’t think of a better combination, honestly. I’m looking forward to the day I can stop in.
- I’m currently reading this book. I’m intentionally reading it VERY slowly. I want to make sure I’m not rushing through it, and really processing the words. I read one chapter at at time. Think of this book as your user-friendly guide to actually talking about race, privilege, and breaking down systemic racism. I’m going to let you know it’s an uncomfortable read. It’s not easy to face the facts that we’re (white people) are part of the problem…even if we don’t think we are. So far I’ve learned that as a white person I need to discuss and recognize my white privilege. Messing up is going to happen. A lot. But that’s part of the discomfort. As white people, we must push forward, even after messing up.
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
- How to Be an Antiracist
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
- The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- Between the World and Me
fiction from black authors
I really love fiction. Specifically historical fiction. I’ve always been interested in books about American History, the Holocaust, and things like that. Fiction sometimes enables me to get lost in a book, while still learning. So here’s a list of fiction books I’ve either purchased or planning on purchasing.
Do you have anymore recs to add to the list? I’m hoping to write reviews of everything I read to continue these important conversations!