Black Lives Matter
I have been writing this piece for some time and wanted to collate some of the links, books, films, documentaries, quotes and talks we've seen, read, watched and/or been recommended to educate ourselves as we try to become actively anti-racist.
I didn't realise until recently just how little I know about racism and the history surrounding it. Watching the documentary “13th” was an eye-opener, you can watch for free here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8. I took part in the online training by Danielle Da Silva and Shel Scott which included some of the information I'd seen on Netflix and a lot more. They may be running this again (I hope they do as it sold out and I think many more could benefit from this) so do follow their page for updates if you're interested. It was free at the time with the option to donate towards the Bail Project.
We'd already been working hard on inclusivity and diversity here at This Detailed Life since Kirsten Lewis commented about our team of 10 all being white when we shared our fun film introducing ourselves.
My first instinct was defensiveness. I did the typical thing (without realising it at the time was my white fragility) even mentioning my Indian husband and kids and that we'd welcome anyone of any colour to our team.
Kirsten graciously pointed me in the direction of actively seeking out BIPOC to join our team to be more diverse internally.
This all happened just a few days before George Floyd's murder, before the publicity and I realised I need to educate myself further.
Below you will find a list of various ways I've been enlightened, inspired and found ways to help. I'm sharing these resources, because you might be the person like me who still feels defensive and feels not-racist. I hope this can help you start learning to become anti-racist too.
Books I've downloaded:
I started reading The Good Immigrant (a collection of voices exploring "what it means to be Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic in Britain today") which seems to be a good one to start with if, like me, you're new to non-fiction books. So far it's funny, heart-warming and moving with a good dose of honest reality. After dipping into White Fragility, I can tell that will be more challenging to read and will likely help me more.
Other reads -
Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
White Fragility - Robin Diangelo
So you want to talk about race - Ijeoma Oluo
Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo
Me and White Supremacy - Layla F Saad
You can also sign this petition to get more books like this on the GCSE reading list in the UK.
For younger kids, I've recently invested in more books for my 5-year-old twins showing and/or talking about diversity and you can find more info, how to help and source diverse books for children here: https://diversebooks.org/resources-for-race-equity-and-inclusion/.
Diverse books for children:
Be Kind - Pat Zietlow Miller
The Skin You Live In - Michael Tyler
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun - Maria Dismondy
Don't Touch My Hair - Sharee Miller
Ruby's Worry - Tom Percival
Other resources -
This thread by Mireille Harper gives a few tips on how to be a true ally:
A quote that I've always liked seems apt here too:
"When people talk about travelling to the past, they worry about changing the present by doing small things, but pretty much no one in the present thinks that they can change the future by doing something small."
Just one small action (or more) can actually make all the difference and who knows how one might impact the future in even bigger ways.
An interesting article about being "accidentally racist": https://www.upbeacon.com/article/2019/09/opinion-annika-whitepeopleletsimprove
This is such an excellent talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about how a single story can skew your impression of anything, just as it has in the telling of US history, (a lot of which I didn't know and have since heard from more than one perspective)...
Some help understanding the difference between being a true ally and a "white saviour" from Millenial Black on Instagram...
A great article which explains why "all lives matter" is so harmful by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a27075028/black-lives-matter-explained/
If that doesn't help you understand it, try these explanations and analogies: https://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter
A post addressing digital blackface, something I admittedly hadn't even considered: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/digital-blackface-reaction-gifs
Going beyond performative solidarity by Toni Black Magic:
This is an excellent guide for photographers on how to be inclusive:
A very moving and personal letter about BLM from founder of Hey Saturday with some "next steps" at the end: https://www.heysaturday.co/black-lives-matter/
Another great resource for those of us with young kids - A guide to raising allies-to-be by Lucy Song. (I have only skimmed this one so far, I just didn't want to wait any longer to publish this post!) It looks excellent, using art, science and geography, it's educational in so many ways.
Bethan Brace, a doctor in the UK giving her thoughts about the BLM protests during the pandemic, she makes many good points... https://www.instagram.com/p/CBGHt9ylgmP/
Isaiah McKinnon's account of being a police chief stopped by his own officer and the discrimination he faced throughout his life and career is an eye-opening read.
Nova Reid has kindly created a free anti-racism guide (mostly more resources):
And if you haven't seen it yet - you absolutely must watch Kimberly Jones' 7 minute summary of 450 years of US history and just WHY black people were rioting and burning places down. It's extremely emotional, passionate, powerful and contains strong language. If you found yourself judging such actions, this may help you to understand the extreme behaviour. This one had me in tears and then googling Tulsa and Rosewood as I had no idea what actually happened.
I'll stop there for now but if you'd like yet more links to resources, check out this list for photographers by Authority Collective and another list with a suggested timetable (for June but could be any month) by Justice in June. I urge you to do your own research, there is so much information out there, I have many more tabs open from various recommendations and