Black Lives Matter: Tools for Self Education
I am updating this post regularly with links to books, addresses, conversations and tools. Updated 1st June 10:24am
I know you will have heard the news by now. On 25th May a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white police officer who knelt on his neck, despite him saying repeatedly “I can’t breathe”. I watched the video in horror.
Since then I have spent hours reading, watching clips, listening, learning and following people at the front line. I am shocked at how much I didn’t know. How much I haven’t seen. I am learning that this is called white privilege. I didn’t know how to help or where to turn or even what to say because it hasn’t been on my radar, not like this. I am safe. I could look away. I have those privileges simply because I am white.
This ‘anti-racism’ guide compiled by Melyssa Griffin has a useful explanation of key terms like anti-racism, white supremacy and white fragility.
Over the past few days I have felt confused, anger, shame and shock. I have also felt embarrassed by my own ignorance. I can see how small it is to order some books and follow some accounts. But I also want to say that the process of learning STARTS small. We fumble in the dark, lost and confused. But if we commit to educating ourselves we start to see patterns, we learn who to trust, we start to form our own opinions based on research.
As with everything, this takes time. What I am asking all of us is will we commit the time to look, learn, discuss, share and speak up. To help, I’ve listed some resources I’ve found useful. If you do nothing else, follow these people, read the stories and educate yourself on what is happening. Trust me when I say action will follow soon after.
Two black men – Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson – were arrested in Starbucks because they didn’t order a coffee. There were white men at the tables who didn’t order a coffee and the police were not called on them. Watch here >>
Watch Patrice C. Washington tell the story of how she was treated by an older white man in an elevator, just because she is black. Watch here >>
Watch this video by Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show as he explains why our concept of society is breaking down, why the killing of George Floyd was so distressing and why it doesn’t make sense to question the riots. Watch here >>
Please note that Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has asked people to borrow copies of her book from friends and donate the money instead to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. She will be donating her royalty checks to this fund and has already donated $1000 to the fund. I have bought the book and made a donation.
Address by Rachel Cargle
In her first public address Rachel Cargle addresses the recent police brutality and racist incidents in Minnesota and across America, analyzing the modern manifestation of America’s racist history and making a call to action for all those who are ready to say, “no more”.
This address serves as a launching point for more critical language, a more critical lens and most importantly more critical action to lead us toward the revolution, which is now. #BlackLivesMatter Revolution Now Simple Syllabi: A starting point for finding your place in the revolution.
Text adapted from YouTube notes.
Rachel’s words: “There are several ways to be part of the solution. Everyone has capabilities that must be put into action immediately. There are educators. There are organisers. There are activists. There are mobilisers. There are fundraisers. There are artists. There are those who distribute the resources they have to the people who need it most. Then there is you. There is you. There is you. I teach from a framework I developed: Critical Knowledge + Radical Empathy + Intentional Action. I suggest that you tap into each side of this equation so that you give yourself a more grounded approach to being involved in the revolutionary change we are seeking.”.
This ‘anti-racism’ guide compiled by Melyssa Griffin has a much more in depth list of leaders to learn from, books to read, and courses to join and also explains key terms like anti-racism, white supremacy and white fragility.
This resources document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein has a much more extensive range of links including PodCasts, books, interviews and articles.
Donate to Black Visions Collective.
Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
Donate to Nationalbailout.org.