Written by Sophie Wyatt
On the 25th of May 2020, 46-year-old African-American George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The world has naturally reacted with anger and frustration as yet another name is added to the long list of innocent Black civilians to fall victim of white police brutality. Although we are in the midst of a global pandemic, this has not stopped the people of The United States, the UK and many other countries from leaving their houses in order to protest and march in the name of George Floyd and every other Black person that has lost their lives in similar circumstances.
Following the tragedy, thousands of people have also turned to social media to raise awareness and call for action to be taken. While spreading the word is always needed, hashtags and online trends will eventually die down, so this energy must also be put into activism. Many people are still not entirely educated on how deeply rooted racism is within society. It continues to be engrossed within politics, education and daily life, and something needs to change. We have put together a list of books and literary pieces that have been created to help educate people on racism and white privilege. It is society’s job to educate themselves in order to try and evolve together. For white people to become allies in this cultural movement, more education is necessary.
‘Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor’ – By Layla F Saad educates readers on white privilege and white supremacy and how to combat it. This workbook aims to make people realise the way they are damaging and inflicting hurt on to Black and Indigenous people and how to stop it through both education and activation. The book shares stories, anecdotes, gives deeper insight into definitions as well as providing further resources.
‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race’ – By Reni Eddo-Lodge was developed into a book after Lodge’s original blog post with the same title went viral. After being inundated with other people’s similar experiences, Reni Eddo-Lodge decided to delve into this problem and create a book that speaks on points such as white-washed feminism, white dominance and eradicated black history, to name just a few. This book is an essential read in order to identify racism and white privilege and help to end it.
‘How To Be an Anti-Racist’ – By Ibram X. Kendi is a deeply charged and empathetic book encouraging people to be not only be ‘not racist’, but actively anti-racist. Kendi takes us on a journey through his own movement into anti-racism and explains problems which arise when race is intersected with gender, sexuality and class. He gives readers an insight into how to identify racism within society and what they can do about it.
‘White Fragility’ – By Robin DiAngelo uses this book to encourage people to have more honest conversations about race and racism. After coining the phrase ‘White fragility’ in 2011, Robin Diangelo went on to write this book in order to show us how this fragility upholds white supremacy. She explains that racism is not just limited to ‘bad people’, but appears ‘unintentionally’ in a lot of white people’s daily lives, and that it is time for this underlying racism to be eradicated entirely.
‘Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race’ – By Beverly Daniel Tatum explores ethnic divides and self-segregation that even happens with school cafeterias. She pulls apart the racial dynamics of America and explains that straight talk about racial identities is essential in order to combat racism.
While some of us may not be able to physically join the protests going on, you can still show your support by donating funds to charities and activist groups who are dedicating their lives to battling the on-going issue that is racism. Below we have linked several organizations which you can donate to in order to show your support.
LINKS OF ORGANISATIONS YOU CAN DONATE TO:
The Black Lives Matter Organisation page contains not only a page to donate, but also pages containing resources, news and pieces to read, watch and listen to in order to learn more about the programme and to educate on racism and how to help end it. Founded in 2013 following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder, the global organisation has taken it upon themselves to ‘eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes’.
The George Floyd Memorial Fund was set up by the late George Floyd’s family members. ‘This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund’.
Show Racism The Red Card is the UK’s leading anti-racism educational charity. The Red Card provides ‘educational workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages, and a whole host of other resources, all with the purpose of tackling racism in society’.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund ‘pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing’.
Stop Hate UK was established as a direct response to Stephen Lawerence’s murder in 1993. The organisation is a service dedicated to helping victims of racial harassment and race hate crimes.
Black Youth Project 100 was founded in 2013 by Cathy Cohen. ‘BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organisation of Black youth activists creating, justice and freedom for all Black people’.