Use these resources to get started in your fight against racism, including books you can read, causes you can support, and how you can take action.
Like many others, this past week has left me feeling saddened, heartbroken, and helpless following the racism coverage coming out of the United States in reaction to the death of George Floyd.
Until today, I haven’t been that vocal about these events because I wanted to take the time to digest the news, listen to the perspectives of black people, and learn from them.
A huge mission of ours here at SHE DEFINED is to amplify the voices of women. We have featured many stories about diverse women from a range of backgrounds. But we can – and will – do more.
On a personal level, I have spent several years educating myself and consuming a range of media to better understand the perspectives of people different to me. But I want to commit to doing more.
If, like me, you want to be a better ally to black people, there are plenty of ways you can start – by listening to their stories and learning from them, by supporting anti-racist causes, and by taking action where it matters.
It is not the responsibility of people of colour to teach others about racism. We must do the work to better educate ourselves, and take the initiative to speak up about and support anti-racist causes.
Below are some resources to get you started on your journey to allyship, including books and films you can consume, causes you can support, and how you can take action.
This by no means an exhaustive list, so please feel free to add to it by posting your recommendations in the comments section.
Books about race and racism
- Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke
- Growing up African in Australia compiled by Maxine Beneba Clarke
- Growing up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
- Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch
- The Good Immigrant compiled by Nikesh Shukla
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
- Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
- I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite
- White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
- How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis
- Slay In Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie
- Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- Ordinary People by Diana Evans
- Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo.
Readings has also compiled a list of reads by First Nations Voices here.
Films about race and racism
- The Hate U Give: a film based on the YA novel of the same name that shares an intimate depiction of race in America
- Just Mercy: a film that shares civil rights lawyer Brian Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama
- 13th: a Netflix documentary about the history of racial inequality in the United States, with a focus on how the country’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African Americans
- 12 Years a Slave: a film that follows the story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man, who was deceived, kidnapped and sold into slavery
- A United Kingdom: a film about a black man, Prince Seretse Khama, who falls in love with and marries white woman Ruth Williams, and how their return to his homeland Bechuanaland, so he can fulfil his duty as king, is met with international outcry
- Green Book: a film that follows the story of African-American pianist Don Shirley who employs an Italian-American man as a driver and for protection as they embark on a concert tour in the Deep South. It tackles themes of race, segregation, and sexuality.
There are a range of causes and charities you can donate to that support anti-racism activity and help black communities. Here are some options:
- George Floyd’s Memorial Fund
- Black Lives Matter
- Help Aboriginal Australians Fight For Equality
- The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation
- The Stephen Lawrence Trust
- Show Racism The Red Card
- Justice for Tanya Day
- Indigenous Literacy Foundation
Causes, petitions, campaigns, education
If you cannot donate money, support a cause or sign a petition:
- It Stops With Me
- Australians Against Racism
- No way!
- Prevent deaths in custody caused by improper restraint
Use your voice and voting power
One of the biggest ways you can support the anti-racist movement is to use your voice and voting power to champion people of colour. Here are some ideas:
- Vote for legislative change. Research your leaders before voting for them. Do they have an anti-racist policy? Will they fight for marginalised black people? Do they believe in dismantling systemic structures that don’t serve black and indigenous people?
- Write to your local MP. Demand more support for black and indigenous people in your community and reiterate how valuable this stance is to you – and your next vote.
- Protest. Join local rallies, marches, and protests to support the rights of black and indigenous people. If you cannot attend a protest in person, help by offering resources to the cause, donate to the cause, or support the cause on your digital platforms.
- Sign a petition. Many of the causes and donation funds listed above also have a petition available for you to support.
- Be vocal. Vocally state that you are unwilling to support – passively or actively – the killing of black and indigenous people.
- Call out racism. Whenever you encounter racism in your neighbourhood, in your friendship circles, in your family, and in your professional networks, call it out.
- Buy from black businesses. You can vote with what you decide to spend your money on. Purchase from a black owned or operated business, buy from Aboriginal Australian artists, and support the livelihoods of people of colour.
- Use your privilege. Are you a white person with the ability to amplify the voices of people of colour? Do you have a platform that could help elevate black people? Can you offer mentorship to people of colour?
TELL US: What other resources or tools have you discovered in your fight against racism? Please share your recommendations in the comment section below.