Black Lives Matter – Anti-racism resources

by | Jun 5, 2020 | Resources | 2 comments

I had planned another guest post to go up on the blog this week, but the deaths of George Floyd, David McAtee, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and others, are too important not to mention. It is disgusting that the Black Lives Matter movement is necessary. It is disgusting that there is a culture of anti-Blackness ingrained in our institutions, our governing bodies and in our communities. It is disgusting that members of our community are forced to live in fear because of the colour of their skin, and we should have done something about it years ago.

Dave – Black, live at The BRIT Awards 2020.

I am a white woman with a huge amount of privilege, so over the last week I have muted the Science On A Postcard social media pages, and worked to listen, research, and educate myself. I have found lots of incredible resources that have started the process of opening my eyes to the experiences of the Black community around the world. I emphasis the ‘started’ there – this is a long post, but it is not an exhaustive list, it is a resource that I will continue to update.
I know there will be things that I have missed here, so please leave a comment below so that I can add them to this post. I hope that these resources help those of in our community that, like me, are lucky enough to have been able to simply be ‘not racist’ until this point.

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.

Angela Davis
Black Lives Matter art produced by Cassis Brown. This image is available to buy as a print, sticker and button badge (click image above), with all profits going to Black Visions Collective MN and People’s Program Bail Fund in Oakland. Used here with permission.

Immediate action: Places to donate

  • Black Lives Matter UK are raising funds to support their life saving work in a number of different areas, including working alongside anti-racist organisations to strengthen the wider movement across the UK and provide emergency COVID-19 relief to black communities bearing the brunt of the crisis.
  • Black Minds Matter UK are raising funds to support the mental health of Black people, particularly during this emotionally difficult time. Money will go towards linking Black therapists up with Black families and individuals, and provision of free therapy sessions.
  • Runnymede are the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank. They are raising fund to continue their work to generate intelligence to challenge race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate, and policy engagement.
  • The Exist Loudly Fund are raising funds to support Queer Black young people in London and around the UK. Money will go towards mentoring, talks, workshops and group activities.
  • Southall Black Sisters Trust are raising funds to support there work highlighting and challenging all forms of gender-based violence against women, primarily working to support the needs of black Asian and African-Carribean women experiencing violence, abuse and others forms of inequality.
  • The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust are raising funds to support their work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and experience of discrimination, ensuring businesses are more inclusive of diverse talent through their management structures, and continuing to campaign for fairness and justice to ensure that lessons are learnt from Stephen’s murder.
  • Stand Up To Racism are raiding funds to allow them to continue their activism work across the UK, money will go on everything from placards, stages at demonstrates, online resources and events.

The charities listed above are just a few that I have found, lots of which I think are being overlooked and could do with more support. There’s a list of over 60 UK-based charities that you can support here.

There are lots of US-based charities that you can support too.

  • This Split Donation scheme enables you to donate to 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organisers at once.
  • Donate directly to Black Lives Matter here.
  • Black Visions Collective believes in a future where all Black people have autonomy, safety is community-led, and we are in positive relationships within our ecosystems.
  • Reclaim The Block began in 2018 and organises Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.
  • The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is America’s premier legal organisation fighting for racial justice. Help them to to protect voting rights, reform the criminal justice system, achieve education equity, and ensure economic justice for all.
  • The National Police Accountability Project. Police misconduct, including misconduct perpetrated by jail and prison personnel, continues to be one of the most serious violations of civil rights in the US. Your donation will help NPAP to work towards more law enforcement accountability.
  • The Bail Project is working to combat mass incarceration at the front end of the system. They pay bail for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence. Because bail is returned at the end of a case, donations can be recycled and reused to pay bail two to three times per year.
  • Know Your Rights Camp‘s mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

If you not in a position to donate to these causes, there are currently lots of videos on YouTube that are donating their ad revenue to various charities. You don’t necessarily need to be actively watching these videos, just have them running in the background. You can find a list of videos here.

Illustration by Dani Coke.

Immediate action: Sign petitions

Art by Nikkolas Smith.

Immediate action: Write to those in positions of power

This fantastic resource has templates and email addresses to contact the Minneapolis Police, your MP, the CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway (the company that Belly Mujinga worked for), your University leadership team, Dominic Raab (UK Foreign Secretary), and Gavin Williamson (UK Education Secretary).
Use WriteToThem to find out who your elected representatives are, and use TheyWorkForYou to follow what is going on in Parliament.

Illustration by Matt Blease.

Ongoing learning: Classes

Note: I’ve made a conscious decision to highlight classes that cost money. Those of us with privilege cannot continue asking for Black people to do the work for us. Do your best to pay your teachers. The Black women that I’ve highlighted here have put significant time, effort and expertise into crafting online courses that present complex histories and emotionally difficult topics into informative and easy to digest content. If you did the same, you would expect to be paid.

  • Layla F. Saad’s Good Ancestor Academy
    I’ve signed up for the ‘Distmantling White Feminism’ class, and so far I think it’s brilliant. Very insightful, and absolutely worth the $97. I’m also going to sign up for the ‘Allyship in the Workplace’ class when it is released. These are relatively short classes that focus in on a particular subject, which is good for me because I can fit them around my full time job and Science On A Postcard-related stuff.
  • Ericka Hart
    Ericka’s website includes webinars and courses on racism and social justice, and gender, and they’re at really accessible price points too.
  • Nova Reid’s Anti Racism and White Privilege course
    This is a substantial self-directed online course that covers lots of modules and gives you access to the resources, lessons and tools for 12 months.
  • Monique Melton
    Monique’s trainings cover everything from talking to your kids about racism, white supremacy, workbooks and online classes through The Shine Bright School.
Illustration by creative duo Célia Amroune and Aline Kpade of ‘Sacrée Frangine’.

Ongoing learning: News

Who Reads The Newspapers? A scene from Yes Minister, originally broadcast in 1987.

The media is difficult. It’s hard to decipher who has an agenda, what’s biased or not, and why. I’ve been trying to find more balanced news sources, as well as news that is written by Black journalists. Honestly, I’ve found this tough, so if you have any other recommendations please let me know – these are just the sources that I have found useful.

  • gal-dem – gal-dem is an online and print publication that focusses on sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour. You can financially support the publication from £4 per month, which also gives you additional perks like newsletters sent direct to your inbox. I’ve been really enjoying this site, and the articles, particularly in the politics section, feel a lot more constructive and solutions-driven than the mainstream media.
  • The Conversation – The Conversation covers news reported by the academic and research community, which is a novel way of ensuring research gets directly into the hands of the public. I’ve written for The Conversation before, as have lots of other academics I know, and the articles feel like they are entrenched in the evidence, rather than the political leanings of the writer.
  • Vox – I’ve followed Vox for a few years now, since seeing Julia Belluz (Vox’s Senior Health Correspondent) present at an academic conference I attended. They report news from all over the world in a balanced way that still allows the personality of the writer to come across, and I really like their First Person essays and interviews.
  • Al Jazeera – I hadn’t thought of Al Jazeera, but it’s been recommended online by quite a few people. It gives a much more global view of the news, and makes sure you’re not missing something important because the mainstream media has decided to focus heavily on something else.

Ongoing learning: Podcasts

  • Code Switch – Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. It explores how race impacts every part of society, from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. The latest episode, ‘A Decade Of Watching Black People Die’ is a difficult but important listen.
  • Conversations with Nova Reid – Conversations with Nova Reid are raw, unedited conversations about race, identity and everything in-between.
  • The Nod – The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else, from an explanation of how purple drink became associated with Black culture to the story of how an interracial drag troupe traveled the nation in the 1940s.
  • Hoodrat to Headwrap: A Decolonized Podcast – Hosted by Ericka Hart and their partner Ebony Donnley (two Black Queer Trans and Non-binary folks), Hoodrat to Headwrap describes itself as a ‘kiki in the cosmos somewhere between radical hood epistemological black queer love ethics, pop culture.’
  • Small Doses with Amanda Seales – I’m not sure which came first, the book or the podcast, but I suspect they are both brilliant. Small Doses is your weekly dose of potent truths for everyday use.
  • The Stoop – The Stoop is a podcast about Blackness, race, and identity in America, hosted by Leila Day and Hana Baba. It digs into stories that aren’t always readily shared, and starts the conversation about what it means to be Black.
  • What Matters – This is the Black Lives Matter podcast, and it is still relatively new. There are currently 4 episodes up, and all cover really important topics with a mix of documentary narrative and interviews.
  • Still Processing – Still Processing is the confession booth of Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times. They devour TV, movies, art, music and the internet to find the things that move them to tears, awe and anger.
  • Yo, Is This Racist? – Hosted by Andrew Ti, creator of the popular blog of the same name, and co-host Tawny Newsome, the duo and their guests answer questions from fan-submitted voicemails and emails about whether or not something is, in fact, racist.
  • Shade – Hosted by Lou Mensah, this gives you conversations on anti-racism work through the lens of creativity and activism.
    Thank you to Ica Headlam from We Are Here for sharing the Shade podcast in his Insta stories earlier today. He’s sharing the work of lots of BAME creatives on his stories today, so please take a look and find some new talent to support! With We Are Here, Ica has created a space in which Black and other underrepresented minority artists and creatives voices can be heard in Scotland. Follow We Are Here on Twitter and Instagram, and Ica’s own podcast Creative Me, is brilliant too.
Art by Nikkolas Smith.

Ongoing learning: Books

A disclaimer: Reading books will not solve the issue of anti-racism. This article by Kelsey McKinney, is brilliant. Essentially, right now learning and individual growth are not enough. From Kelsey’s post, “Buying a book does nothing for your community, does nothing for your neighbors, does nothing but make you feel a little better.” We need action. I read a lot, will be reading anyway, and don’t see the harm in reading books about the Black experience as long as I also do the work.

A note on where to buy from: Wherever possible, please support your local independent booksellers. Better still, support Black-owned independent bookshops. There are lists online here (UK), here (US), here (US), and here (US, listed by state).

Books I have read and would recommend are in bold, many of the others are on my shelves after being recommended to me. You can get many of these on audiobook as well as in physical form.

It’s important to get the conversation about racism started before getting to adulthood. If you have children, work with children, or literally know any children at all, improve the diversity of their bookshelves. A Mighty Girl has a fantastic blog post that lists 60 picture books that have Black girls as the main characters, covering a huge variety of topics. EmbraceRace also has a list of over 30 children’s books to support conversations about race, racism and resistance.

Illustration by Aurélia Durand. Durand also recently illustrated the book, ‘This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 lessons on how to wake up, take action, and do the work’ by Tiffany Jewell.

Ongoing learning: TV and Film

Art by Brancy Chieco.