Educating Ourselves On Racism, How We Can All Be Anti-Racist & The Black Lives Matter Movement

1 June 2020

The news of the murder of George Floyd in America in this week has shocked and angered not just myself  but also the rest of the world. On social media people are expressing their own anger all day, every day and rightly so. However whilst reading all these tweets and posts it got me thinking about things I am actively doing to stop this and the answer is not a lot. Two questions came to mind. How diverse am I being with the books I read or the films and TV shows I watch? Do I speak about it on my social media channels? There is one answer to these questions. A resounding NO. I've said I'm not racist but really is this good enough? Again, no. Saying those words simply isn't acceptable if I am not being actively anti racist. I know it isn't a lot but today I thought I'd write a blog post about the different sources we can use to educate ourselves on this topic. I believe that a stepping stone into actively being anti racist is by being more inclusive with the books we read and the films and TV shows we watch. I am not black but I am not white either. I am mixed and I accept that I am extremely privileged as I go about my every day life as opposed to other people of colour within our communities. Today I thought that I would combine a list of all the books, tv shows and films that I am using and have come across over the past few days that have and will continue to educate me on this important subject. 

Below are a list of 25 books I have come across that are not only from BAME authors but within their books highlight the very often inhumane treatment of black people and other communities amongst our society. If you are looking to educate yourself I would say this is a very good place to start as these voices need to be heard. 
  •  Queenie by Candice Carty Williams 
  •  Half A World Away by Michael Gayle 
  •  Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad. 
  •  Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid 
  •  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo 
  •  Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie 
  •  Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge 
  •  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur 
  •  To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  •  The Colour Purple by Alice Walker 
  •  My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 
  •  The Guilded Ones by Namina Forna 
  •  Think Like A White Man By Nels Abbey 
  •  I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite 
  •  Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodstone 
  •  Love In Colour by Bolu Babalola 
  •  Sun Is Sky by Jedah Mayberry 
  •  How To Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
  •  Hood Feminism - Notes From The Woman That White Feminists Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  •  The Treatment by Michael Nath 
  •  Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi 
  •  The Clapback - Your Guide To Calling Out Racist Stereotypes by Elijah Lawal 
  •  The Street By Ann Petry 
  •  The Go-Between by Osman Yousefzada 
  •  A Drop Of Midnight By Jason Diakite (translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles

As well as the above books I've also come across a website that has a lot more information on the 'Black Lives Matter' Movement with a lot of information about how it all started and what their goal and mission is. On the website it also has a lot of other resources that are linked along with different ways in which you can support them. If you are interested please click on THIS link.

Films/TV Shows 
Below are 25 films and TV shows that not only represent the BAME community but are also extremely educational. I have combined both film and TV programmes into this section because trying to find 25 for TV and 25 films separately proved to be quite difficult. These pieces of media are not necessarily made by someone in the BAME community but they do hold a theme of racism/race throughout the story and are just as educational and eye-opening. 
  •  12 Years A Slave 
  •  Anne With An E 
  •  The Green Mile 
  •  When They See Us
  •  13th 
  •  The Hate U Give 
  •  The Help 
  •  Malcolm X 
  •  Dear White People 
  •  A Day In Black and White 
  •  A Dry White Season 
  •  American History X 
  •  To Kill A Mockingbird 
  •  The Butler 
  •  Mississippi Burning 
  •  Race 
  •  The Great Debaters 
  •  Hoop Dreams 
  •  Selma 
  •  Pride 
  •  Eve's Bayou 
  •  Hidden Figures 
  •  And The Children Shall Lead 
  •  Mudbound 
  •  The Color Purple

The world right now is a horrendous place to live in, not just because of the virus, but because we are seeing videos of people abused, getting falsely accused and killed on the streets on near enough a daily basis because of the colour of their skin and it has got to stop. I don't have a huge following. In fact I barely have a following but what I do have is a platform and a voice that I will use at a time like this. I hope this post has made you realise that what's going on today is NOT okay. I've seen a lot of tweets asking people of colour to tell them more and I'm sorry but it is not their responsibility. It is yours. There's google and as you can see from this post plenty of books, films and TV shows to use. There is also instagram and other social media where you can find out more information for yourself. If you do message someone asking them for help please be respectful and mindful. 

Right now the majority of the country and in fact the world is in isolation/lockdown/quarantine. This time will not last forever and it is time we will probably never get back again during our lifetimes. There really is no better time than the present to use these resources and learn as much as we can to stop this awful battle going on around the world. All of us, me included, have so much work to do and I hope these sources help you understand a lot more. I know they will help me. 

Use your voice. Challenge your friends and family. Educate yourselves and use the information that you find to educate others. Online there are lots of petitions you can sign, as well as donations you can make. By using your own social media you can begin to raise awareness yourself by tweeting, retweeting and posting about things you find. If you have missed the link above for donations and petitions to sign I will link it again HERE. The main aim of all this is to remember that black lives matter. This is not ignorant towards other lives because of course all lives matter but this is about systemic racism and violence against black people that is becoming increasingly worse as time goes on and should have never ever have existed in the first place.

Fleur xo 
Both images used in this blog post were found on pinterest with no link to any other source.

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