The current wave of protests in America and the rest of the world are not fighting a problem that has just started. The problem – racism has existed for thousands of years, as has the fight against it. No matter how active you are in your fight against it, how vigilant you are about calling out racists around you, you must also introspect yourself. Even when you believe in equality, your identity can give you certain privileges, which can make you part of the problem. Thus, you must constantly keep your own racism in check, no matter how un-racist you think you are.
Here are 3 books to give you a better understanding of racism.
WHICH BOOKS SHOULD I READ TO KNOW MORE ABOUT RACISM?
Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between The World And Me is an extended letter that Coates wrote to his son. It explores the nuances of racism in America, and how it is central to what we know as the “American life.”
Know More – Feminist Documentaries To Watch
“I am writing you because this was the year you saw Eric Garner choked to death for selling cigarettes; because you know now that Renisha McBride was shot for seeking help, that John Crawford was shot down for browsing in a department store. And you have seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect. And you have seen men in the same uniforms pummel Marlene Pinnock, someone’s grandmother, on the side of the road. And you know now, if you did not before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body.”
Your Silence Will Not Protect You, Audre Lorde
Your Silence Will Not Protect You is a compilation of Lorde’s speeches and writings.
The title of the book is taken directly from the first essay in the book, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.”
“My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you”.
Audre declared herself to be “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” and she was all of these things and more.
Barracoon: The Story Of The Last Slave, Zora Neale Hurston
In Barracoon: The Story Of The Last Slave, Hurston interviews the last known survivor of the Middle Passage in 1927.
Hurston also details her schemes to get the survivor to speak to her, including gifting him baskets of Georgia peaches, or “box of Bee Brand insect powder” to get rid of mosquitoes, and many more.
“Of all the millions transported from Africa to the Americas, only one man is left. He is called Cudjo Lewis and is living at present at Plateau, Alabama, a suburb of Mobile. This is the story of this Cudjo.”