How to be a more educated supporter of the Black Community – 20 Things to read, listen to, and watch
“I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates.
To be a better supporter of the Black community, here’s a list of resources to help you become a more educated, active thinker during this time and beyond. And if you want to help strengthen the movement, consider making a donation to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
How to be a more educated supporter of the Black Community
1. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
In our opinion, every page on this book is worth reading three times (at a minimum). Rankine shows how racism manifests in ordinary, everyday life with chilling detail. From describing a child not wanting to sit next to a Black person on a flight to a man blurting out, “I didn’t know you were black!” — Rankine’s writing is astute and brilliant. But really, any description of this book doesn’t do it justice — and once you read it, you’ll see why.
2. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
DiAngelo’s book is a call for people — specifically white people–to look honestly at themselves and see how racism is often less about racist intentional actions and more about racist implicit assumptions. And this book might cause discomfort, but that’s often a sign of necessary growth.
3. Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This is the kind of book once you read, you’ll want to buy six (or sixty) more copies to hand out. Coates articulates his experience as a Black man, partner, and father in a way that is maddeningly heart-wrenching and brilliantly honest. There’s no sentimentalism or preciousness — rather, it’s wise, important, and to quote Toni Morrison — “This is required reading.”
4. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
“Pain is usually essential to healing. When it comes to healing America of racism, we want to heal America without pain, but without pain, there is no progress.” It’s quotes like these that make Kendi’s book not only wise and necessary reading, but also hopeful.
5. Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” – Harper’s Bazaar
6. Give Compassionate Feedback While Still Being Constructive – The New York Times
This is a great post to reference if you’re trying to deliver important feedback to a friend or loved one and still maintain compassion and directness. While the article is centered around communication in the workplace, it applies to all areas of life — including conversations about race. We especially love the tip: “When you notice a problem, find a way to surface it immediately.” Aka, don’t let comments simmer until they make you want to explode!
7. What I Hear When Someone Says I Don’t See Color – The Everygirl
Whether those four words “I don’t see color” come from a good place or not, this article offers insightful information on why they show a lack of empathy.
Between trusting Black people and POC, and understanding that words aren’t always enough, this article is full of helpful, concrete ways to be a better, more educated, and thoughtful human.
9. Beyond the Hashtag: How to take anti-racist action in your life – Teen Vogue
Educating yourself, getting involved locally, and investing time in abolitionist efforts top the list.
Especially if you’re a numbers or visual person, this article includes charts worth looking at.
11. 1619 – The New York Times
This six-episode audio series shows how slavery has transformed America through connections between the past and the present.
12. Higher Learning – The Ringer
A new podcast with Rachel Lindsay (from The Bachelor/The Bachelorette) and reporter Van Lathan includes relevant and important conversation highlighting Black culture, politics, and sports.
13. Code Switch – NPR
This podcast from NPR delivers honest, intelligent conversation centered on teaching people how to engage in conversations about race in a productive way. There are a lot of episodes, so if you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend: What About Your Friends
14. Get Out
And once you watch or rewatch the movie, then read the commentary Peele’s film sparked.
15. 12 Years a Slave
This movie tells the story of a free Black man from upstate New York getting abducted and sold into slavery. According to IMDB, it was also the first film directed and produced by a Black filmmaker, Steve McQueen, and the first to be written by an African-American, John Ridley, to win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of the Year.
17. When They See Us
18. Far From Heaven
Racism, homosexuality, feminism, and interracial relationships– this film starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Haysbert covers so many important topics. And while the movie is set in the 1950s, it feels all too relevant today.
This powerful movie follows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights demonstrators on their march from Selma to Montgomery.
20. Just Mercy
And after you finish the movie, pick up the book by Bryan Stevenson.