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  • Writer's pictureNicola Graham

White Folk Resource Guide

When I first saw how my inactions to racism were in fact racism and began to learn the harmful lies of white supremacy, I knew I had to do something but I didn’t know what and I didn’t know how. Learning how to be antiracist for me was like when I first became vegan, I didn’t know what to eat, where to shop, how to cook. It was like a whole new language. I also didn’t have any friends involved in the movement so I didn’t know who to talk to or where to begin. I needed a community, some tools to teach me, and a way to get involved but I was at total loss and I felt really alone and overwhelmed and sad, to be honest. I felt so passionate about this new awakening but I felt so trapped in the very white life that I had.


This white folk resource guide is just a list of some things that helped me and that I have found but there are many ways into this work.There no wrong way to do this. You don’t have to be perfect and you can be messy and confused - you just have to start. I think the easiest way to begin immediately is to go down antiracist social media and internet rabbit holes and follow, like, save anything that calls you. Just play. Follow who people you like follow, see what resonates with you, find what sparks in you. Then dig some more. You’ll eventually find people who light you up and teach you in ways and with ideas you’ve never known. Just begin and take the first step.

I have included a ton of resources below but please please share anything you know or love in the comments so we can build a great resource page for us all to use and grow.

The only other thing I will say is it is so important to find a safe white space. A group of like-minded white folk who want to grow and change and who believe in challenging institutional and cultural racism. The importance of a white space is for us to unlearn racism together so that People of Color don’t bear the burden of having to educate us and so we don't subject them to further undue trauma in this process.

There is a lot of defensiveness and guilt, shame and fragility that we White folk will have to work through and it should be done with other White people. I was merely looking for a community when I first found Showing up for Racial Justice or SURJ, which then lead me to the LA chapter of WP4BL (you can find your own local chapters by looking at the SURJ website, info below) So just looking for a community, but I didn’t realize how much I would expand and push against and learn and feel. I didn’t know anyone and I was scared and needed some support and a connection in this and it didn’t happen easily, I will be honest. Especially in this current virtual world. But I kept showing up to workshops and events, sometimes multiple times a week, and groups were sometimes smaller and I began seeing the same faces over again. I gathered emails, I inserted myself anywhere I could, and now I feel I have people I can call and lean on. I crave connection in this work and I think it is essential for us white folk to have that. To get messy and have other people witness and hold space for our learnings and our unlearnings.


So dig, play, watch, mess up, connect, read, wonder, and action. It’s so worth it, I promise. Antiracism isn’t only about bettering the world for others, it’s about bettering you for the world.


WHITE FOLK RESOURCE GUIDE (the Guide Itself!)

This guide below is broken down into the 3 sections of what I think the work of antiracism for White folk is:

1) BUILDING YOUR CAPACITY AND AWARENESS AND STARTING THE DIALOGUE BY FINDING A WHITE SPACE COMMUNITY

2) EDUCATING YOURSELF BY READING BOOKS, LISTENING TO PODCASTS, WATCHING ANTIRACIST CONTENT

3) DEDICATING YOUR TIME, YOUR BODY, YOUR ENERGY, YOUR RESOURCES TO ANTIRACIST ACTION


BUILDING YOUR CAPACITY AND AWARENESS...


IGs TO FOLLOW, LEARN FROM, ACTION WITH!


…AND STARTING THE DIALOGUE BY FINDING A WHITE SPACE COMMUNITY



WEBSITES (just a few)!

*Also follow these groups on Threads / Facebook


WP4BL OPPORTUNITIES!

-As life is virtual these days, anyone can join the LA Affiliate of WP4BL/AwareLA. This community grows capacity, education, dialogue, solidarity, and a sense of connection.


-Check out the AwareLA.org for all of Workshops, Meetings, Political Educations, Book Clubs, Affinity Spaces, and more but make sure you go to the appropriate Orientations first before you dive in.


-You can also find many weekly Virtual Actions you don’t need training for, so get to it today!


EDUCATING YOURSELF BY READING BOOKS, LISTENING TO PODCASTS, AND WATCHING ANTIRACIST CONTENT


BOOKS (Antiracist Starter Kit)!

-Stamped from the Beginning – Ibram X. Kendi @ibramxk

-A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn @zinneducationproject

-White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

-So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo @ijeomaoluo


BOOKS (Antiracist Intermediate Kit)! -The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America – Anders Walker -The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander -The Condemnation of Blackness – Khalil Gibran Muhammad @kgibransr -Dying of Whiteness – Jonathan M Metzl -A Different Mirror – Ronald Takaki -How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi @ibramxk -Me and White Supremacy - Layla F. Saad @laylafsaad (-anything by Angela Y. Davis!)

BOOKS (Books I’ve Read)!

-Freedom Is a Constant Struggle – Angela Y. Davis

-My Grandmother’s Hands – Resmaa Menakem @resmaamenakem -Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates -Unapologetic – Charlene A. Carruthers @charlenecarruthers -How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi @ibramxk -Me and White Supremacy - Layla F. Saad @laylafsaad -Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum

-Some of My Friends Are… -- Deborah Plummer @deborahlplummer

-The Inner Work of Racial Justice – Rhonda V. Magee @rvmagee


BOOKS (Antiracist Topic Specifics)!

-Black Girl Criminalization:

Pushout - Monique Morris

-Poverty / Housing: Evicted – Matthew Desmond


-Police Violence / Mass Incarceration:

-Education / Colonialism / Ahistoricism:

Lies My Teacher Told Me – James W. Loewen


-Education / Discrimination Bias:

Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum


-Segregation / Housing / Discrimination:

The Color of Law – Richard Rothstein


-Voter Suppression / Black Voting:

Blackballed – Darryl Pinckney


BOOKS (Antiracist Biographies, Non-Fiction, Novels, Personal Narratives)!

-The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson @isabelwilkerson -The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin -The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcom X, Alex Haley, Attallah Shabazz -Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates -killing rage – Bell Hooks -Becoming – Michelle Obama @michelleobama


BOOKS (Antiracist Black LGBTQ+)!

-Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin -Zami: A New Spelling of My Name - A Biomythography – Audre Lorde @audrelordeproject

-Real Life: A Novel - Brandon Taylor -Unapologetic – Charlene A. Carruthers @charlenecarruthers -No Tea, No Shade – E. Patrick Johnson @epatrickjohnson -Since I Laid My Burden Down – Brontez Purnell @brontezpurnell -The Other Side of Paradise - Staceyann Chin @staceyannchin -No Ashes in the Fire – Darnell L. Moore @mooredarnell -The Summer We Got Free - Mia McKenzie


BOOKS (get online with your local Library)!

-I’m obsessed with the library system and have my entire booklist either on my “Wish List” or “On Hold” via the Libby app. You can get the books as audiobooks on your phone/device or eBooks sent to your computer/iPad/phone, all for FREE. Go to your local library website, get an e-card (you don’t have to go in person AND you can create without residency documentation) and then connect your account to the Libby app.


-Once in Libby, check out any “Available Now” books and you get them instantly for up to 21 days. If books you want are not yet available, place them on hold and when they come in, you get an email alert to check them out. If you aren’t ready for the book when it arrives, you can delay it for redelivery (for 1,2,3 or more weeks) until you are.


-Books are necessary education and we White folk have been robbed of powerful learnings and cultures of where we have come from and what makes up our country and world. This is an incredible opportunity and resource to learn of, from, and through others. Did I mention the library is FREE?!


A great Library Booklist:


PODCASTS (just a few)!

-1619

-Intersectionality Matters!

-Throughline

-Code Switch

-Still Processing

-Pod Save the People

-The Daily

-What Next

-The Groundings

-All My Relations


MOVIES (Documentaries)! -13th -Requiem for the American Dream

-I Am Not Your Negro

-Whose Streets?

-The Murder of Fred Hampton

-Let the Fire Burn

-Welcome to Leith

-Time: The Kalief Browder Story -Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland


MOVIES (Fiction)!

-Selma

-Loving

-Malcolm X

-Marshall -Just Mercy

-Moonlight

-American Skin

-Do the Right Thing

-When They See Us -The Hate U Give

-Within Our Gates

-The Glass Shield

-Fruitvale Station

-The Battle of Algiers -If Beale Street Could Talk


DEDICATING YOUR TIME, YOUR ENERGY, YOUR BODY, YOUR RESOURCES TO ANTIRACIST ACTION


ONLINE ACTIONS!

-Letter writing, calling, tweeting, and other actions are needed from the Organizations listed. Many, if not all, are virtual right now so you can action from the safety of your own home.


-Look up weekly virtual City Council meetings, Police Commission Meetings, Phone Banks, JusticeLA Actions, etc. to participate in your local government and see how your tax dollars are spent.


-Make calls for various Measures and Policies being passed and enforced in your community.


-Get involved and pressure leaders to represent your voice and the voice of antiracism and reduce spending on systems of violence.


-Commit to do something on a weekly basis, even just 1 hour/week. Find the cause that resonates with you and block off time in your calendar to stay accountable and show up.


(Examples of causes - Mental Health, Prison Reform, Defunding the Police, Immigration Reform, Disability Justice, Alternatives to Police, etc.)





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