How to Use This Page

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The resources below will help you learn about racism past and present through books, documentaries, podcasts, and more. Afterwards, share your thoughts in one of the following places:

Booklists

There are plenty of organizations and activists that have curated lists to help educate people about race in America. What follows is but a small sampling.

Elle’s Reading List

What will you find in this list? As the editors who curated it say  “You’ll certainly find that many of your questions about the Black experience are already answered around you.”

School Journal Reading List

This list was put together by librarian Elizabeth Bird, Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system, with a little help from her friends. The aim was to help people a better ally.

NYT List

Ibram Kendi, the author of How to Be Antiracist, hopes this list can act as “a stepladder to antiracism, each step addressing a different stage of the journey toward destroying racism’s insidious hold on all of us.”

Kirkus List

This list was put together by one of the leading book review companies in the country, with an eye on Young Adults.

Baratunde Thruston List

Technology writer, comedian, and activist, Baratunde Thurston put together this list and it includes lists for both adults and kids.

Publishers Weekly List

This list is from the go-to magazine for the book publishing industry. The list covers a wide variety of topics, including, “police brutality, institutional racism, activism, or what it’s like to be black in America today.”

 

Teen Librarian Toolbox List

Part of the School Library Journal, this list is aimed at helping teen librarians build a more diverse collection.

School Library Journal List

One of the main organizations that school librarians lean on developed this list for young children and young adults and the “titles elevate the voices of young activists, inspire calls to action, and explain complex issues such as racism, sexism, environmentalism, and immigration.”

Watch List

Ted Talks, documentaries, and more. Some are long, some are short, all are worth a watch for one reason or another.

AntiRacism Defined

In a longish interview on the Ted YouTube Channel, Ibram Kendi, author of How to be Antiracist, explains what antiracism is.

Thumbnail Image of Ibran Kendi's interview about antiracism for the Ted Talk YouTube channel

Screaming in Silence

It’s important that everyone gets to speak for themselves. Graciela Mohamedi explains why.

Graciela Mohamedi on the stage at Ted Talk Beacon Street

How to Deconstruct Racism: One Headline at a Time

Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of … eating, walking or generally “living while black.”

Thumbnail Image of Baratunde Thurston's Ted Talk

I Am Not Your Negro

As part of our Kanopy subscription, you can watch this documentary that is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

White Like Me

As part of our Kanopy subscription, you can watch this documentary that is a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we’ve entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

American Experience: Freedom Riders

As part of our Hoopla subscription, you can watch this documentary shows how from May until December 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South.

Michelle Obama

As part of our Hoopla subscription, you can watch this documentary shows the powerful story of former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s journey from the working-class South Side of Chicago.

Hair Love

African American hair is often mocked. In this short animated video a father helps his young daughter love her hair.

Thumbnail image for the animated short "Hair Love"

Red White and Blues

The first American contribution to the music world visits the first place people think of when they think “seat of American power”.

Thumbnail Image of the Red White and Blues concert in the White House

Organizations

Help out by becoming a member, volunteer, or donating to one or more of these organizations. The descriptions are taken from the organizations’ about pages.

The list was gathered, in part, from https://www.greatbigstory.com/guides/how-to-become-a-better-black-lives-matter-ally

The Let Us Breathe Fund

The Let Us Breathe Fund is the only NYC-based fund led by and for Black communities organizing around police reform and building Black liberation. We started the Fund in 2015 following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD. The Fund provided rapid response in that crisis moment and now supports the long-term leadership of Black New Yorkers fighting police violence and structural racism.

Black Youth Project 100

Founded in 2013, BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a member-based organization of Black youth activists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. BYP100 was, at one point, just a hashtag for the 2013 “Beyond November Movement Convening” developed through the vision and leadership of Cathy Cohen.

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence again Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all person

National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities

Showing Up for Racial Justice

SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.

Podcasts

These are just some of the great podcasts out there that will help educate you on the history of race in this country and keep you informed of current events. The descriptions are taken from the series’ descriptions themselves.

Podcasts may not be available on all podcast platforms. You can subscribe in a browser but it’s easier to listen in an app. Below are links to the most popular Podcast platforms.

We’re Having a Moment

It’s true. We all feel it in the United States. We are having some kind of moment. Where it goes, we can’t say, but right here, right now, something significant is happening involving race and in particular, policing. In this limited run series, Baratunde Thurston explains and explores what feels like a defining moment in American history.

Pod Save the People

On Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.

1619

Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed.

“1619,” a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the long shadow of that fateful moment.

Code Switch

Remember when folks used to talk about being “post-racial”? Well, we’re definitely not that. We’re a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.

 

The Breakdown

Join Shaun King as he unpacks the most important stories of injustice, racism and corruption, but also tells you who’s fighting back and how you can support and join them with practical action steps.

 

The Nod

The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else. Our show ranges from an explanation of purple drink’s association with Black culture to the story of an interracial drag troupe that traveled the nation in the 1940s. We celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black — in America, and around the world.

Identity Politics

Identity Politics is a podcast that features new stories and perspectives about race, gender and Muslim life in America. From pop culture to politics, each episode co-hosts Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali invite guests to talk about issues impacting their lives as Muslims at the intersection of multiple identities.

Resources

These sites help you learn about racism, act to change it, or both.

Racism 101

Racism is a word that is widely used and yet often carries many different meanings depending on who is using it. If we want to work together effectively for racial justice, and we do, we need to be clear about what racism is, how it operates, and what we can do to end it.

Antiracism for White People

This is a Google Doc of various things white people can do about racism in this country. It was compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020.

Pink downward-pointing triangle with the words, in blue "ANIT RACISM RESOURCES"

Rachel Ricketts Resources

This is my carefully curated list of anti-racism + racial justice minded resources to help all hue-mans in the quest to dismantle racist patriarchy.

Reading is a helpful place to begin but the best way to address racial justice is by doing the inner work. Check out my Spiritual Activism webinars to get started.

Living While Black

A list of headlines that show the kinds of things white people call the cops on black people for.

 

Black Owned Businesses

Help out people who historically have had a tougher time breaking into the restaurant business and eat some yummy food in the process!

Black Boston

The list of Black-male and Black women-owned firms, minority-owned businesses and, local shops and a growing artists list. MBE certified vendors of Massachusetts are also listed with hundreds of records in all categories

The Initialism BECMA, Black Econimic Council of Massachusetts

Black Economic Council

The mission of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc. (BECMA) is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts.

Northshore Magazine

The magazine curated a list of black-owned businesses in the North Shore of Boston. Categories include Arts, Cleaning Services, and Restaurants.