Redhead by Night

Anti-Racism books to add to your TBR

There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and the George Floyd protests across the U.S is one of them that everyone is or should be watching closely. Racism is a big problem in the world and has been a consistent issue for hundreds of years in the U.S. Sometimes when these kinds of events happen many of us want to participate and support but we don’t know how or don’t have enough information so we end up hurting more than actually helping.

I’ve been trying to read about what black people have to say about these issues and one thing stuck with me: “Stop telling them to educate you about what is happening and do it yourself.

 

My first idea was to just add the important books in our history that help understand these issues and the lives of the people better, but I’ve been reading so many good articles/threads that I might share them as well; There’s a lot more reading that can teach you more about the oppression that has been happening in the U.S and in your own country (because racism is everywhere) but here are some of the basics to start with (most of them American and Mexican):

Books

'The Fire Next Time' by James Baldwin

“The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.”

'Are Prisons Obsolete?' By Angela Y. Davis

“Mass imprisonment generates profits as it devours social wealth, and thus it tends to reproduce the very conditions that lead people to prison. There are thus real and often quite complicated connections between the deindustrialization of the economy—a process that reached its peak during the 1980s—and the rise of mass imprisonment, which also began to spiral during the Reagan-Bush era.”

'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness' By Michelle Alexander

“In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. So we don’t. Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label people of color “criminals” and then engage in all the practices we supposedly left behind. Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

'White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism' By Robin DiAngelo

“Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusion. In recognition of this, I try to follow these guidelines: 1. How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant—it is the feedback I want and need. Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it. From my position of social, cultural, and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it. If I cannot handle it, it’s on me to build my racial stamina. 2. Thank you. The above guidelines rest on the understanding that there is no face to save and the game is up; I know that I have blind spots and unconscious investments in racism. My investments are reinforced every day in mainstream society. I did not set this system up, but it does unfairly benefit me, I do use it to my advantage, and I am responsible for interrupting it. I need to work hard to change my role in this system, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to gratitude when others help me.”

'Heavy: An American Memoir' By Kiese Laymon

“I learned you haven’t read anything if you’ve only read something once or twice. Reading things more than twice was the reader version of revision.”

'Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race' By Beverly Daniel Tatum

“Sometimes the assumptions we make about others come not from what we have been told or what we have seen on television or in books, but rather rom what we have not been told. The distortion of historical information about people of color leads young people (and older people to) to make assumptions that may go unchallenged for a long time.”

'How To Be an Antiracist' By Ibram X. Kendi

“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.”

'They Can't Kill Us All' By Wesley Lowery

“And by focusing on the character of the victim, we inadvertently take the focus off the powerful and instead train our eyes and judgment on the powerless.”

'The Hate U Give ' By Angie Thomas

“I’ve seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed just for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I’ve Tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

'The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration ' By Isabel Wilkerson

“Over the decades, perhaps the wrong questions have been asked about the Great Migration. Perhaps it is not a question of whether the migrants brought good or ill to the cities they fled to or were pushed or pulled to their destinations, but a question of how they summoned the courage to leave in the first place or how they found the will to press beyond the forces against them and the faith in a country that had rejected them for so long. By their actions, they did not cream the American Dream, they willed it into being by a definition of their own choosing. They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few others recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts.”

'The Bluest Eye ' By Toni Morrison

“Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love a free man is never safe.”

Articles & Threads

'La importancia de vernos representadas' by Yalitza Aparicio

“El racismo como construcción social, utiliza características físicas para hacer la diferenciación entre el otro y tú, entre más visible es esa característica el sistema para marginar es más eficiente. En México, el color de piel es esa variable de control, en donde la clase más alta tiene una identificación inmediata al que no pertenece y cuando alguien como Yalitza se filtra hacia arriba, la clase alta se vuelve loca”

'History Lesson' by Erica B.

“This #thread is for those of you struggling to comprehend that the recent murders are just a fraction of racial violence in the United States. We are protesting for #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor, #AhmaudArbery AND hundreds of years of oppression.”

Message from President Pelton: America Is on Fire

What happened to George Floyd is not new. It is as old as 250 years of slavery and the Jim Crow laws that sought to marginalize and shut out black Americans from American society.

As my wise friend reminded me, quoting James Baldwin, “Any real change implies the breaking of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety.”

Black folks are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

El racismo que México no quiere ver

“”El racismo, ya como un discurso y una ideología, funciona en México desde el siglo XVIII dándole todos los atributos negativos a las personas negroides o indígenas de América”, señala María Elisa Velázquez, del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). El concepto de raza, importado desde Europa y ya sin ninguna evidencia científica que lo respalde, parte del aspecto físico, pero engloba además la historia, el origen, la lengua y la moral para justificar falsa superioridad y la dominación de unas personas sobre otras, explica Velázquez. Mientras el concepto de raza se ha desechado, el racismo ha mutado generación tras generación, desde los indios que no podían caminar por la misma banqueta que los blancos durante la Colonia hasta los insultos contra la actriz Yalitza Aparicio por ser nominada a los Óscar.”

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