Feminist, writer, and civil rights activist Audre Lorde once said that “Revolution is not a one-time event.” After the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, protests, campaigns, and viral hashtags calling for change have made a significant social and political impact in just a matter of weeks. But that doesn’t mean we can stop there. Challenging conscious and unconscious bias, uplifting and listening to Black voices, and staying informed and active is what it’s going to take to dismantle systemic oppression. Keep the momentum going and check out our list of books, movies, and podcasts—many of which are women-helmed and created—to assist with your anti-racism work.
1. The Hate U Give
Based on the YA novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give makes room for discussions on activism and the realities of police brutality with young audiences. “Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right” (IMdB).
2. Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw
Sure, you’ve heard the word “intersectionality” before—but do you really know what intersectionality looks like in practice? In the podcast Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw, get the 411 from The Great American Lie expert and creator of the term herself—scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw.
3. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
So You Want to Talk About Race is a book for anyone who wants to make the “difficult race talk” not so difficult. “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.”
13th, by Selma director Ava DuVernay, is named after the 13th amendment which outlawed slavery—yet prohibited involuntary servitude as criminal punishment. The Emmy award-winning documentary is “an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality” (IMdB).
5. Little Fires Everywhere
This past #MediaWeLike is not only bingeable on Hulu but shines a light on race and class dynamics. “Based on the novel by Celeste Ng, [Little Fires Everywhere] follows Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia Warren (Kerry Washington), two mothers with polar opposite socioeconomic backgrounds whose lives become entwined in the supposedly picture-perfect town of Shaker Heights.”
6. Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
“Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, ‘Unapologetic’ challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist. This book provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development.”
7. When They See Us
Yet another gem by Ava DuVernay, When They See Us follows the now infamous 1990 case of the Central Park Jogger that led to the wrongful conviction of five Black teens. The Netflix limited series “is a dense, fast-moving series that examines not just the effects of systemic racism but the effects of all sorts of disenfranchisement (though you could argue they all have that same root cause) on people with the boys’ background” (The Guardian). Take your education and activism one step further and check out DuVernay’s recent initiative to combat systemic inequity and When They See Us learning companion.
8. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Currently available for free on Amazon, The Black Power Mixtape is an important history lesson on a movement that sparked important progress towards equality—and provides necessary knowledge on how we can progress today. “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the U.S. drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement, the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews” (Amazon).
9. Code Switch
NPR’s Code Switch podcast, hosted by journalists of color, discusses race and its role in all parts of our society—”from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between” (NPR). Available wherever you listen to your podcasts, you can queue up episodes that tackle anything from the Reverse Freedom Rides of 1962 (yes, that was a thing) to the recent examination of police brutality.
Take Action! Keep the movement going, check out these resources, and share them with friends and family! And join Black creators in the #BlackoutBestsellerlist movement by purchasing two books by Black writers through Saturday, June 20th.