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Resource Guide for Learning About Systemic Racism

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Systemic racism is a problem far bigger than Instagram can tackle. While we should all use our platforms to spread awareness (as we should in general), I think resources like this should live somewhere more permanent. I have compiled a list of organizations to look into if you would like to make a donation of time and/or money, books recommended to me that you can read to educate yourself and your children, and some TV shows if that’s a preferred method of education for you. I’m trying my best to stick to the facts and find helpful, impactful, and productive resources that will advocate change. Not just inspirational quotes or black boxes posted to Instagram. If we want to see real change, we need an action plan.

A big part of that is VOTING! Please don’t forget to vote so we can see change on a legislative level too. You can find your state’s election dates here. 

I understand that this is a very overwhelming, sensitive, and REAL matter, but doing your part, no matter how small, makes a difference. 

This list is by no means exhaustive so please feel free to add additional recommendations in the comments section below.

ORGANIZATIONS

+ National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Mission is to secure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights in order to ensure a society where all individuals have equal rights without race-based discrimination.

+ Black Lives Matter: Further resources, education, and straight links to petitions.

+ The Sentencing Project: The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

+ Black Visions Collective: A Black, trans and queer-led organization that’s committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence, and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.

+ LDF: Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.

+ ACLU:  The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees.

+ Color of Change: Nation’s largest online racial justice organization that lead campaigns to help people respond effectively to injustice in Black communities.

+ Campaign Zero: Organization that uses research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in the U.S. 

+ National Police Accountability Project: The central mission of NPAP is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

+ The Innocence Project: They exonerate the innocent through DNA testing and work to reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.

+ Black Women’s Blueprint: Working toward a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased.

BOOKS TO EDUCATE

+ So You Want to Talk About Race by Iljeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

+ Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey

+ The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

+ How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

+ Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad

+ Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis

+ The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward

+ Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt

+ Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

+ Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

+ Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde

+ The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

+ America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis

+ Good Talk by Mira Jacob

+ I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

+ Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (also a movie listed below)

+ Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out by Ruth King

+ The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

+ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (also a movie listed below)

+ A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

+ Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History + Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison

+ Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine

+ Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

+ Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Parker Curry

+ A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

+ The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas

+ Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

+ Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

+ Lovely by Jess Hong

+ All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

DOCUMENTARIES / MOVIES / TV SHOWS

+ “13th” directed by Ava DuVernay (Netflix-original documentary): Based on the 13th Amendment // Scholars, activist and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

+ “13th: A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey” (Netflix special): Winfrey and DuVernay sit down to talk about “13th,” historical cycles of oppression and the broken prison system.

+ “When They See Us” directed by Ava Duvernay: Based on true story // 5 teens from Harlem are falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park.

+ “Selma” directed by Ava Duvernay (need to rent): Historial drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.

+ “If Beale Street Could Talk” directed by Barry Jenkins (Hulu): Based on the novel by James Baldwin // Young couple fights for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American Dream.

+ “The Hate U Give” directed by George Tillman Jr. (Hulu with Cinemax): Based on the novel by Angie Thomas // Follows the fallout after a high school student witnesses a police shooting.

+ “American Son” directed by Kenny Leon (Netflix-original movie): Estranged interracial couple awaits news of their missing teen son.

+ “Dear White People” directed by Justin Simien (Netflix-original series with 3 seasons): Based on the film of the same name // Follows a group of Black students at a predominantly white Ivy League college as they’re faced with cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism and slippery politics.

+ “See You Yesterday” directed by Stefon Bristol (Netflix-original movie): As 2 teen prodigies try to master the art of time travel, a tragic police shooting sends them on a series of dangerous trips to the past.

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