Let me start by saying that I am a white woman that grew up in the Midwest, in an area that was predominantly white. So, I am NOT the ideal person to be teaching on racism. Without even knowing what was happening, I’ve been brainwashed into subconscious inherent racism. This is the unfortunate case for many white people in America. Decades of systemic racism has led us to believe that people of color are inferior. So what do we do?
Well, we start the work of becoming an anti-racist. According to Ibram X Kendi, historian and author of the New York Times bestseller, “How to be an Antiracist”, an anti-racist is someone who is willing to admit when they are being racist and willing to recognize the inequities and problems in our society. There is so much unlearning to be done. Beyond the work we all need to do on ourselves, we also need to be intervening in the systemic racism brought upon our younger generations. The earlier we can teach them to be antiracists, the sooner change can be effected within out society as a whole. This job is a tall order, but we all need to be doing it, not only in the month of February to honor Black History Month, but on an ongoing basis over the course of many years. After all, for most of us, the systemic racism has been ingrained in us over many years, so it will take at least that much time to reverse it.
I want to acknowledge that People Of Color do not have an obligation to teach us about being an antiracist. However, many have taken on this burden in order to help move society forward. These beautiful souls have taken upon their own backs the burden of our ignorance, living through trauma on a regular basis reckoning the difficult areas of their history, all to help us learn to be better humans and work together toward racial equity.
I want to share 5 resources to help you start the work of becoming an antiracist. Many of these resources have tools to help you talk to your children about race and inclusivity as well. Without further ado, here are some very qualified wonderful teachers on this topic that have already taught (and untaught) me so much:
Jasmine Bradshaw – FirstNameBasis.org
Jasmine is a researcher, educator and podcaster. She provides wonderful resources for talking to your children about racial inequities. She believes it’s important to get to know people who differ from you, for many reasons. “Acquainting yourself with a variety of lifestyles and experiences will expand your appreciation of the human family and of its Creator. If you feel comfortable insulting a particular group of people, get to know and love a member of that group until you can’t stand to see them disparaged. Love and personal connections can motivate you to recognize the harm that prejudice causes and take a stand against it.”
LearningForJustice.org – formerly Tolerance.org
From their website: “In their work with educators, schools, and communities, Learning For Justice seeks to uphold the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center: to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.” Their community includes more than 500,000 educators who read their magazine, screen their films, visit their website, listen to their podcasts, attend their trainings and webinars, and use their frameworks or participate in their social media community. All of this, they do for free too. Seriously, check them out.
Emmanuel Ancho – UncomfortableConvos.com
Emmanuel Ancho is a Fox Sports Analyst, host/producer of the web series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and author of the book: “Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man.” His work has been featured on numerous media outlets including Good Morning America, USA Today, and CNN. According to his website, he strives to create a safe place to have the uncomfortable conversations about race that many white people have never been able to have. He provides a free space for curious white people to answer the questions they’ve always had but have been too nervous to ask. Like, “How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy?”, or “Is racial profiling OK if black people tend to commit more crimes?”, or his personal favorite, “If black people can say the N word, why can’t I?” Beyond information on where to purchase his book, Emmanuel has numerous videos of his conversations with white guests including celebrity guests like Chip & Joanna Gaines and Matthew McConaughey.
Austin Channing Brown – AustinChanning.com
Austin Channing Brown is a writer, speaker, producer and New York Times best-selling author of “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness”. From her website: “This is a space intended to support the work of racial justice and celebrate the dignity of Blackness. Within these pages I hope you will find great tools, meaningful conversations, and clear calls to action to advance the work of racial justice and prioritize the experience of Black womanhood. In a world built for whiteness, it is my joy and privilege to write, speak, and produce material that inspires you to imagine a world of true racial justice. Here we will go beyond platitudes, question conventional thinking, and invite everyone to deepen their work fighting inequality.” Now if that’s not a powerful enough summary to check out her website, I’m not sure what is.
From the website: “In 2017 Race Forward united with the Center for Social Inclusion. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Founded in 2002, the Center for Social Inclusion catalyzed community, government, and other institutions to dismantle structural racial inequity and create equitable outcomes for all.”
Their mission: “Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advnace racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.”
Their vision: “Race Forward imagines a just, multiracial, democratic society, free from oppression and exploitation, in which people of color thrive with power and purpose.
As you may have guessed, this is nothing close to an all-inclusive list of resources for this essential work. This is a meaningful list of resources to help you get started. This work is so important. I urge you to do your part.
❤ Mama Caped Nerd
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