We’re talking about Ahmaud Arbery today instead of our usual weekend roundup because it’s really important…
As a white woman, I’m on an ongoing journey to understand my white privilege. It started when I was in graduate school, my degree in Multicultural Counseling included several classes the last semester about race, racial identity and privilege. It ROCKED me to the core. Truly, it was the hardest semester emotionally of my academic career. I still refer back to those books and articles we read frequently.
Really seeing how racism and white privilege has affected who I am, my opportunities, how I behave, how I treat others, how I’m helping and how I’m hurting is a hard, hard thing to do. And really, really important.
Ahmaud Arbery’s murder and thousands more are all examples of this pattern of violence and terrorism towards our BIPOC communities. He was a black man killed while jogging by two white men following him in a truck. It took two months to arrest the white men. It’s tragic, but sadly not surprising. Black people have been victims of hate crimes for centuries. They can’t exist in America without being harassed, discriminated against, seen as less-than. But more than that, systems have perpetrated the problem through discrimination in housing, banking, education, and employment.
We have a lot to learn, I’m still just uncovering it myself, and I think it’s important for our kids to start early on to see the racism currently happening in our country (it wasn’t just ‘back then’), and understand the WHY behind the disparities they see.
There’s a lot more I want to say on this, but for now…
A few things I’ve found helpful and important in this conversation if you’re wanting to learn more:
LINKS FOR EXPLORING RACE + PRIVILEGE
THINGS TO DO NOW:
LEARN about the real history of systemic racism and the internalization of white supremacy in our country.
Here are some recourses that have been helpful for me:
The podcast season “Seeing White” from Scene on Radio is fantastic if you feel like you need a rundown on the history of white supremacy, structural racism in the US.
I also love the podcast Code Switch which is ongoing discussions of race and racial justice issues
For longer pieces specifically about the criminal justice system, I’d recommend 13th Amendment on Netflix and Just Mercy on Amazon Prime (free right now to rent). We’ve watched both with Henry. I would say ages 12+ and be aware there is graphic images and language. More ideas here
An excellent book I found really insightful for myself as a white woman and have re-read twice now is White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Another great one is How to be an AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi. I’m halfway through but great so far
I’m also reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad which is great because it encourages journaling and specific challenges to think about your own personal contribution to internalized white supremacy
Also, Too Heavy a Yoke by Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a beautiful and important book in understanding the burden of strength on our Black women in the US
(PS A reminder to buy from local bookshops and possibly even Black-owned. I’d recommend Marcus Books here in the bay area)
A quick illustrated guide to white privilege (featured image above from this same talented illustrator)
And idea of what racial identity growth looks like for a white person (how to unpack that invisible knapsack of white supremacy).
This piece on lynching. Really powerful and important. “Centuries of examples in which white people can destroy black bodies for any infraction they deem important enough…They had seen no crime, but if the person you’re arresting is Black, who needs an actual crime? An actual crime has never been necessary; all white people need is a story.”
LISTEN to Black voices, diversity your feed. Amplify their voices. But don’t expect them to respond or teach you. Now is NOT the time to make new Black friends. We’ve caused them enough pain and it’s our job to listen, learn, support them through protesting, sharing their work, and speaking out
I’m sharing some voices I found insightful and important in our Instagram Highlights, Anti-Racism feature
PROTEST safely in your city. Important reminder before taking action. Donating and being on the mailing list for your local organizations will keep you in the loop as to what’s going on each day
TALK to your kids, your racist uncle. Have the scary and hard conversations after you educate yourself. Embracing difference and celebrating it. Not making race and skin color a taboo topic.
Talking about race isn’t racist.
Not ‘seeing’ race is racist.
White silence is racist.
So, talk to your kids about it.
Chapter books for older kids: Henry loved: One Crazy Summer about sisters during the Black Panther Party’s height here in Oakland, March about the Civil Rights Movements (a series of historical graphic novels). I’ve also heard good things about Something Happened in Our Town, Ghost Boys and New Kid. Henry’s currently reading How to be an AntiRacist. Other ideas
I’m still looking for great ant-racist curriculum for kids. Here’s an ok resource
I’ll continue to update this list with helpful resources as I learn more too.
Graphic here by Courtney Ahn Design