NOTE: This post was first written on my personal blog while it was still getting hacked, and then moved to my substack while I fixed my blog, and now it’s back on my blog and so there are probably some formatting issues. I apologize for that and it’s one of the many things I need to clean up around here. For a primer about why this place is such a mess click here.
I have recommended a LOT of political/educational material on my various platforms across the interwebs in the last 16 years. Podcasts, movies, books, articles etc. Often I search old blog posts or tweets or emails to find specific links I’ve sent to people over the years and decided it was time to try to round them all up in one location.
You see…I was privileged enough to not really think about politics or current events in my childhood. Then, I got pregnant at 19, so I spent the first 6 years of adulthood in survival mode as I navigated a failed marriage and college and working with a child. By the time I finally graduated and settled into a life that left room for paying attention to issues beyond my walls, I was quite stuck in my cisgendered white lady privilege. I have had to do a lot of learning in the years since and I thought I’d share the resources I’ve tried to accumulate here.
Note: I have posted links in so many different ways across so many platforms, it’s going to take me awhile to figure out how to find everything I’ve shared in the past. But, I wanted to go ahead and make it live in case anyone needs resources in the future.
I will be adding to this CONSTANTLY as it will now be where I save everything I recommend from here on out. I will keep it linked on my Linktree.
Some of these resources are good for debating and some are good for educating, but all of them helped me understand something I might have previously been floundering around with. Basically, this is a list of things I’ve consumed and then recommend to others either in blog posts, or tweets, or Facebook statuses. Because this is a Work In Progress, the headings/categories may change as I’m just making them as I add things.
This is NOT a complete list of resources. This is just *my* list of resources that I have felt compelled to pass along to others over the years. I wanted to make one centralized spot to store resources I might want to check back with and/or recommend again.
The Staples: Great resources for discussions about racism that everyone should have in their arsenal.
- Letter from a Birmingham Jail – Specifically read MLK’s warning about the “White Moderate.” This is probably the thing that has made me the most uncomfortable over the years, because I was trying to be that person without realizing how destructive it was.
- Peggy McIntosh Invisible Knapsack – To me, this is the shortest thing to ingest that will pack the biggest punch for white people. I’ve printed this up several times to put in my bullet journal.
- The 1619 Project from the New York Times – This one got a lot of attention this year because it frames a new look for the “beginning” of our country apart from 1775 and it will make you VERY uncomfortable but it is VERY important.
- I’ve included this study on “whiteness” below – not to be confused with White People. This is from a curriculum from this professor at Northwestern University and I’ve been reflecting on it a lot lately:
The 8 White Identities – By Barnor Hesse
There is a regime of whiteness, and there are action-oriented white identities. People who identify with whiteness are one of these. It’s about time we build an ethnography of whiteness, since white people have been the ones writing about and governing Others.
1. White Supremacist –Clearly marked white society that preserves, names, and values white superiority
2. White Voyeurism – Wouldn’t challenge a white supremacist; desires non-whiteness because it’s interesting, pleasurable; seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-whiteness; fascination with culture (ex: consuming Black culture without the burden of Blackness)
3. White Privilege – May critique supremacy, but a deep investment in questions of fairness/equality under the normalization of whiteness and the white rule; sworn goal of ‘diversity’
4. White Benefit – Sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately: won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefitting through whiteness in public (some POC are in this category as well)
5. White Confessional – Some exposure of whiteness takes place, but as a way of being accountable to POC after: seek validation from POC
6. White Critical – Take on board critiques of whiteness and invest in exposing/marking the white regime; refuses to be complicit with the regime; whiteness speaking back to whiteness
7. White Traitor – Actively refuses complicity; names what’s going on; intention is to subvert white authority and tell the truth at whatever cost; need them to dismantle institutions
8. White Abolitionist – Changing institutions, dismantling whiteness, and not allowing whiteness to reassert itself]
Resources Discussing The Erosion of Democracy
- Podcast about how Democracy can be eroded. It’s actually just the first interview of the podcast with Sarah Repucci from Freedom House but it’s very worth the 10-minute listen. Post Reports from 10/30
- Sarah Repucci’s report for the Freedom House that analyzes the erosion of Democracy at a global level and highlights specific problems in the United States.
Articles/Essays on Systemic Racism and Criminal Justice Reform
- 10 Myths about the Racial Wealth Gap – This link is also filled with other links to other resources if you really want to deep dive.
- Black families pay significantly higher property taxes than white families, new analysis shows
- How decades of US welfare policies lifted up the white middle class and largely excluded Black Americans
- Everything Nikole Hannah-Jones has ever done. From her work on the 1619 Project to her coverage of school segregation. She also is great on Twitter and often links to other articles/histories/journalists to follow/read.
- So You’re Thinking About Becoming an Abolitionist
- We Stand in Support of H.R. 40 and Reparations for African Americans – Yes, this is written by an ice cream company but it’s a really good breakdown of some real legislation around reparations.
- There’s overwhelming evidence that the criminal justice system is racist. Here’s the proof. – Washington Post
- Camden, NJ and their abolition of the police – Often ranked as one of the deadliest cities in America, Camden, New Jersey, ended 2017 with its lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.
- Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests – Interview from the New Yorker
- A Practical Guide to Defunding the Police Activists are demanding cities ‘defund the police.’ Here’s what they mean (Rolling Stone)
- Ten Myths About Affirmative Action
- What Is Owed: If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.
– JKR and Transphobia
- We the Mudbloods: J. K. Rowling and the Trans-Exterminationists (Book 1)
- Andrew James Carter – Long but thorough twitter thread breaking down JKR’s “defense” of her transphobia
– Transphobic Legislation
- Unprecedented Onslaught of State Legislation Targeting Transgender Americans – Human Rights Campaign. Offers and EXCELLENT downloadable fact sheet.
- Trans Girls Belong on Girls’ Sports Teams: There is no scientific case for excluding them
Resources discussing the Asian Hate Crime increase from the 2020 Pandemic
- Charlotte Clymer’s detailed Twitter thread mapping the rise in hate crimes with that administration’s approach to messaging during the pandemic.
Movies/Documentaries surrounding issues on Race and Criminal Justice reform
- I am Not Your Negro (Free with Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Not-Your-Negro/dp/B01MR52U7T)
- 13th (Free on YouTube)
- When They See Us (Free with Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80200549?source=35)
- The Bail Trap (Free from Brave New Films: https://www.bravenewfilms.org/the_bail_trap)
- True Justice – Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality (Free on Youtube.)
- Last Week Tonight‘s episode on Policing
Podcasts Recommendations Regarding Race
- Code Switch – It’s a bit of a “daily news” style podcast but it very much centers current events around the experiences of people of color.
- 1619 – It was just a small reporting segment (5 episodes) of the longer production from the New York Times.
- In The Dark – Season 2: This is coverage of the Curtis Flowers murder case which is still active.
- Pod Save The People – Another weekly/current events podcasts written with the angle of how stories affect Black Americans
- What A Day – This one is not specifically about race but it’s hosted by Akilah Hughes who often addresses issues of race in the current events in a very necessary/honest way.
- In The Dark: Season Two – Covers the Curtis Flowers story.
- What “abolish the police” means – from Today Explained
- A former prosecutor’s case for prison abolition – The Ezra Klein Show
- Into Reparations with Nikole Hannah-Jones – Into America
- Disclosure on Netflix – a great documentary talking about issues for Trans people in media over the years
YA/Young Reader Fiction – Race Issues
Y’all know my favorite genre of fiction books is YA/Young Reader so of course I’m going to have a bunch of those to recommend. But if you want more that expand even beyond issues of race, this is a good list from the Seattle Library: Social Justice Books For Teens. (Note, I’m linking using Bookshop.org because it’s a good replacement for Amazon that supports all local book stores.)
- The Hate U Give
- If You Come Softly
- Piecing Me Together
- All American Boys
- Track Series (4 books)
- Just everything by Jason Reynolds who happens to be our country’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
YA/Young Reader Fiction – LGBTQIA
There are tons of great gay love stories in YA now, but I wanted to recommend some that dealt with other parts of the queer spectrum.
- George (Young trans character)
- None of The Above (Intersex character)
- Felix Ever After (Trans character questioning identity around gender and sexuality.)
- The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
Adult Non-Fiction About Race
This is my hardest area because there’s just SO MUCH OUT THERE. When I’m researching I often go to this list because it’s very comprehensive. But here’s the thing, I have a lot of the books on that list, have photographed me buying them or checking them out at the library, but I haven’t finished even half of what I’ve tried. I really struggle with non-fiction books, which is why this list is short. I’m kinda embarrassed about how many books I’ve started and not finished. SO GO TO THAT OTHER LIST! Okay…now that the disclaimer is out of the way: Here is the list of books that has helped me that I’ve actually read. Now, I’ve not given up on the ones I’ve started…I’ve challenged myself to revisit them during this time.
- Just Mercy
- The Sun Does Shine
- When They Call You A Terrorist
- Between The World And Me
- The New Jim Crow
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning – This is a YA edition of the adult non-fiction and I really struggled reading the adult version (My ADD sometimes is my worst enemy) but this version (adapted by one of my favorite YA authors) is perfection.
- Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot – This book might make you feel uncomfortable if you’re an able-bodied, white, cisgender woman like myself…but sit in that discomfort and learn.
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
General Topics I Am Embarrassed My 12 Years Of Early Education Did Not Cover
This is just Shit You Should Google. Things I’ve stumbled upon in my adulthood that I totally missed out on in my years in a classroom. I am rightfully embarrassed about those things. And god…this list is honestly SO VERY LONG but these are the biggies. (For the record, I didn’t learn anything about this stuff in college classes either, but I don’t think I took any American History classes so I’m giving them a pass.)
- Freedom Riders
- Ida B. Wells
- Lynching (I knew what it was, but until I visited The National Memorial For Peace And Justice I had not really learned about it.)
- The FBI and their files on Martin Luther King Jr.
- Unwanted sterilization and eugenics programs in the US.
- The Devastation of Black Wall Street Tulsa, Oklahoma. 1921. A wave of racial violence destroys an affluent African-American community, seen as a threat to white-dominated American capitalism.
- How The Nazi’s Were Inspired by Jim Crow (There is a LOT about the similarities between Nazi Germany and the US in Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste which I linked above.)