Anti-racism: A Resource Guide #BLM

On May 25 2020, George Floyd, a 46 year old black man, was arrested in Minneapolis for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill. It was an encounter with the police that soon proved to be fatal. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Derek Chauvin, a veteran at the Minneapolis Police Department, pressed his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck, as his victim repeatedly gasped that he could not breathe.

His last words ‘I can’t breathe’ echo those of Eric Garner, who repeated the words ‘I can’t breathe’ eleven times before he lost consciousness and passed away during an arrest by the NYPD in 2014. George Floyd’s case has joined the now-familiar and horrifying history of police violence against black people, and served as a catalyst to shine light on an ugly truth – the pervasive systemic racism that permeates every facet of American life. Education, employment, health, housing, criminal justice, wealth inequality… you name it.

But racism isn’t just an American problem. Oppression and prejudice know no border: both systemic and individual racism are well embedded in many societies across the globe, and non-black POC can also be complicit in anti-blackness. 

Photo credit: Quotes by Christine

In the UK, black people are almost ten times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police, and are more likely to be unemployed and homeless than other ethnic groups. In the current covid-19 pandemic, people of black origins are most likely to be diagnosed with the disease, and along with people of Asian origins more likely to die from it. Recently, the removal of statues such as those of slave owners Edward Colston and Robert Milligan has also highlighted Britain’s longstanding tradition of obscuring and whitewashing their violent history of colonialism and white supremacy.

South Africa is also no stranger to institutional racism. The country still bears the effects of years of colonial rule, and the aftermath of years of legally institutionalised racism are still very much apparent in society. South Africa has the highest Gini coefficient in the world, with the majority of the group living below the poverty line being people of colour; and such wealth inequality has been exacerbated during the pandemic. The pandemic has further exposed the systemic racism and inequality in the country, with reports of people of colour suffering from police brutality during lockdown. Medical racism is another frightening reality which has come to light, with the lack of access to healthcare and the higher incidence of Covid-19 comorbidities again being a problem borne by people of colour.

Recent events in the USA have served to remind us the inequality and racism which are very much woven into the fabric of societies across the world, UK and South Africa included. While we may like to think that racism is a thing of the past, the reality is that we are all born into this very system that upholds white supremacy, continuously benefits some people more so than others, and shapes our life experiences based on our racial backgrounds. Recent events have also shown us that now is the time for change, and to demand for change. It is time for us to learn to be more anti racist and be a better ally, to unlearn the bias we’ve been holding onto. It is also time for us to demand and enact change on a structural level. Below we’ve put together a list of resources that will hopefully help us in taking this step forward.


Educate – TV & Films

  • Do The Right Thing (1989)
  • Malcom X (1992)
  • Black-ish (2014)
  • 13th (2016)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

Educate – Books

  • This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany M Jewell
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
  • Passing by Nella Larsen
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson R Mandela

Educate – Activists

  • Jade Bentil
    Black feminist historian, PhD researcher at University of Oxford; follow her on @divanificent
  • Rachel Elizabeth Cargle
    Activist, writer and lecturer specialising on things that exist at the intersection of race and womanhood; follow her on @rachel.cargle
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge
    Journalist and author that focuses on feminism and structural racism; author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race; follow her on @renireni
  • Jonelle Lewis
    Yoga teacher and practitioner that focuses on making yoga and wellness inclusive and accessible; follow her on @jonelleyoga
  • Layla F Saad
    Writer, anti-racism educator, speaker; author of Me and White Supremacy; follow her on @laylafsaad

Educate – Organisations

  • Black Lives Matter
    International human rights movement and network that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people; learn more here
  • Colorlines
    News site featuring investigative reporting and news analysis from the perspective of communities of colour; learn more here
  • Color of Change
    Nonprofit civil rights advocacy organisation in the US that seeks to strengthen the political voice of African Americans; learn more here
  • The Conscious Kid
    Education, research and policy organization that focuses on education and parenting through a critical race lens; learn more here
  • Show Racism the Red Card
    Anti-racism education charity in the UK; learn more here

Donate

  • The Bail Project
    A fund dedicated to combating mass incarceration at the front end of the judicial system in the United States; donate here
  • Black Women Health Imperative
    An organisation dedicated to improving the health and wellness of black women and girls in the US; donate here
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    A legal organisation fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education; donate here
  • National Bail Out
    A Black-led and Black-centered collective building a community-based movement to support and end systems of pretrial detention and mass incarceration; donate here
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
    Named after Stephen Lawrence – a black teenager killed in a racist attack in 1993 – the organisation works with and supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30; donate here

Sign Petitions

  • Defund the Police
    This petition aims to ‘demand acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of black life at the hands of the police’; sign here
  • Demand Justice for George Floyd
    Amnesty International’s petition demands that ‘all those responsible in the death of George Floyd and many others are held accountable’; sign here
  • Stand with Breonna
    Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment during a police raid with a no-knock warrant. This petition calls on the ‘LMPD to terminate the police involved, and for a special prosecutor to be appointed to bring forward charges and oversee all the case’; sign here
  • Teach Britain’s colonial past as part of the UK’s compulsory curriculum
    The petition advocates for a more inclusive curriculum, including compulsory education on Britain’s role in colonisation, and the transatlantic slave trade; sign here

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Mel & Seemz

(Featured image: Past Times by Kerry James Marshall, 1997)

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