We need to talk about racism.
Are you actively antiracist? Are you acknowledging and challenging your white privilege? Do you speak up against racism? No need to answer me, just sit and think about these questions for a while.
In this post, I’ll share my audiobook review of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and below, you can find more recommendations and resources related to #BlackLivesMatter and #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.
Thanks for Libro.fm for the free Audio Listening Copy in exchange for my honest review.
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
Today, I’ve been thinking about my own white privilege while listening to Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This was my first non-fiction book about antiracism, but it won’t be the last. I’m not an avid nonfiction reader as I prefer fiction, but this isn’t the time for preferences, it’s the time for continuing to educate myself. I hope you will too.
That is not to say listening to this book was a bad experience. Not at all. Reynolds narrated the audiobook in an engaging, sometimes even funny way, even though the subject matter is heavy. It was like listening to your favourite teacher. Stamped is a very short but very powerful book, that explains the history of racism in the US to make the reader see how deeply racism is rooted in the world. At double speed, it took me two hours to listen to it. Because of that, and because of how the book was written, it was a very accessible read, and I think it’s an excellent place to start if you want to learn about antiracism.
If you’d like to start with fiction, read The Hate U Give. Read Dear Martin. Read Long Way Down. Read Tyler Johnson Was Here. Read Anger Is a Gift. Read All American Boys. But don’t stop there. Because this isn’t fiction, this is real life. Real black people are being murdered. So please join me in reading non-fiction too.
Other non-fiction books about (anti)racism I’ve found are:
- Robin Diangelo – White Fragility
- Ibram X. Kendi – How to Be an Antiracist
- Layla E. Saad – Me and White Supremacy
- Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
- Ijeoma Oluo – So You Want to Talk About Race
How else can you help?
Make sure you’re following black people and listen to what they have to say, but don’t put it on them to educate you. Seek out resources by yourself and read them, educate yourself so you can uplift black people without speaking over them.
I want to add that it’s important not just to support black people when they’re being murdered, but to support black lives always. For instance, make sure you’re reading books by black authors that aren’t about trauma as well.
And of course do the work in real life. Sign petitions and share them. Donate if you can. Resources can be found here:
- Petition Justice for George Floyd: change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd
- Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate
Let me know below if you have any other book recommendations or resources you want to share!