Tuesday, 22 May 2018

If you are not black

If you are not black in America, don't go saying America is now "post-racial." If you are not black, you can't know what Black Americans experience - not truly. You can try to put yourself in a Black person's shoes; you can read black authors and journalists, and listen to commentary of black thought leaders. You can spend some time reading Black Twitter. I've also included links to twitter accounts of authors I recommend below.

If you are not black, and find black perspectives unfamiliar and perhaps off-putting, just keep trying. What you really don't want to do is to try to portray whites as 'victims' of anti-white 'racism,' or to push the hashtag #AllLivesMatter. Just ... don't. Instead, read more. Listen. If you're on twitter and are not black, there's a good chance you haven't followed many women of color. Find some, give them a follow, and see who they #FF. 

If you view the world through TV, there are current and recent documentary series such as Soledad O'Brien's Black in America series on CNN, and W. Kamau Bell's United Shades of America.

If you view the world through books and the written word (and/or audiobook), there is a wealth of choice.

I've read and can recommend:

Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns (well rendered in audiobook by narrator Robin Miles) (Twitter: @IsabelWilkerson )

Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me (Twitter: Ta-Nehisi Coates)

Kevin M. Kruse's White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism

Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow  (twitter: @thenewjimcrow)

Andrew Young's An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America

Charles M. Blow's Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Other things I'm interested to read on race in America include:

Cameron McWhirter's The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (Twitter:

Ijeoma Oluo's So you want to talk about race (Twitter: @IjeomaOluo )

Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race (Twitter: @renireni )

Kamau Bell's writings (Twitter: @wkamaubell )


I'm also looking for a good book on the race riots of the 60's, and on the L.A. riots of 1992 - send recommendations to @jimprall on twitter.

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