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10 Resources for Fighting Racism | Videos, Books, Guides & More

June 3, 2020 Deana LaFauci

The most effective leaders fully understand the factors impacting their teams and communities, and they purposefully seek out the education and knowledge they need to act in anti-racist ways and support cultures of inclusion.

After the killing of George Floyd while in police custody, the national conversation around race and racism has never been more critical. To continue to lead at the highest levels, all leaders need to educate themselves on the long legacy of racism and prejudice in this country.

The following list of resources—including videos, books, guides and more—is designed as a helpful toolkit for leaders looking to take anti-racist action and expand their understanding of race, racism, and privilege in America.

We all have a responsibility to seek out narratives and experiences different from our own, especially when we are the benefits of privilege. This list is not exhaustive but represents a good starting point for leaders looking to thoughtfully engage with these critical ideas.

VIDEO: The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw (TED TALK)

In this TED Talk, Kimberlé Crenshaw explains the term “intersectionality” to describe the reality of race and gender bias and how they intersect to create even more harm. Crenshaw is a lawyer, civil rights advocate, philosopher, and a leading scholar of critical race theory. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.

BOOK: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of anti-racist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Looking for more? Kendi compiled an anti-racist reading list on the New York Times to help America transcend its racist heritage.

“How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’” –NPR

Anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility in this New York Times best-selling book. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. Download reader’s guides here.


BOOK: Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and criminal justice system.

Poignant…important and illuminating.” –The New York Times Book Review

VIDEO: A Class DividedFRONTLINE (1985)

One day in 1968, Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and gave them a daring lesson in discrimination. This 1985 broadcast of FRONTLINE gives a story of that lesson, its lasting impact on children, and its enduring power, decades later. In 1992, Oprah brought the social experiment to her show, proving that the experience was illuminating for adults, in addition to children.

ESSAY: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh

In this 1989 essay, American feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh covers 50 examples of white privilege—unearned advantage based on race—people experience in their everyday life, from her own perspective. It has been cited as responsible for the mainstreaming of discussion of white privilege and is a staple of discussions about bias. The National SEED Project includes a copy of the essay and a guide written by the author to help facilitators teach this content.

BOOK: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

A national best seller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document.

Basically the finest essay I’ve ever read. […] Baldwin refused to hold anyone’s hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you.”Ta-Nehisi Coates in the New York Times

GUIDE: “Race Talk: Engaging Young People in Conversations about Race and Racism” (Anti-Defamation League)

With children being homeschooled due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, it is important that parents are equipped with the same resources and tools educators use in the classroom. This guide, designed for educators, is also a helpful tool for parents looking to educate their children on race and racism. The guide provides examples of teachers who have successfully engaged young children on issues related to race and racism.

BOOK: So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo

In So You Want to Talk about Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Oluo gives us—both white people and people of color—that language to engage in clear, constructive, and confident dialogue with each other about how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.” –National Book Review

BOOK: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

In this charged collection of 15 essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.

[Lorde’s] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.” –New York Times

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