Race in Philly 101

Race in Philly 101: Books to Read, Experts to Follow and More Resources

Expanding your education on race is the key to fighting systemic racism in your everyday life. Here's some material to get you started.

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Our national reckoning on racial injustice in America has left many of us reflecting on our past inaction or indifference to systemic racism in our communities.

Now, you may be left wondering what can be done to make a change. And that answer is dependent on you making time to expand your education on race.

As Myisha T. Hill, the co-founder of Check Your Privilege, told me, "It's listening, learning, taking action." (She has a great 90 day plan to kickstart your education without feeling overwhelmed. See the video piece below.)

Fighting for racial equality requires that each of us support our Black, brown and indigenous communities. Simply saying Black Lives Matter or attending a march, while welcome, is just the starting point. To break down systemic racism, you’ll have to go beyond being an ally and work to be anti-racist. Myisha T. Hill, an author and coach who co-founded Check Your Privilege, has a roadmap for you to get started on this journey. NBC10’s Vince Lattanzio reports.

Doing the work and leaning into your discomfort is half the battle. The other half is finding the right voices to guide your journey.

Here's some resources to get you started:

Climate Change

Check these sources for more on the intersection of climate change and racial justice.

Climate Justice Alliance

The NAACP's environmental justice program

Princeton's work on racial disparities and climate change

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd

Books to Read

From workbooks to novels, there's plenty of recommended reading on race and fighting racial injustice. Check out these books to expand your learning and understand how your actions may be contributing to the problem. Consider buying print versions so you can share these with your family and friends when you're done reading them.

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Check Your Privilege: Live Into the Work" by Myisha T. Hill

"How to Be An Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi

"So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo

"Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison

"The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin

"White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo

"Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Experts and Advocates to Follow

Listening to voices that are focused on educating people about injustices against Black, brown and indigenous people and pushing forward ideas to dismantle systemic racism is key. There are plenty of individual scholars, advocates and organizations providing daily nuggets of information for you to chew on during your journey. Here are a few options.

Black Lives Matter shares information about the movement to stop racism against Black people.


Check Your Privilege is a growing community focused on educating people on how to become anti-racist – a role they describe as a co-conspirator.

Myisha T. Hill is an advocate, coach and author who founded Check Your Privilege and Brown Sisters Speak, an organization that provides mental health resources to Black, indigenous and people of color.

Read. Watch. Act. This website -- produced by Maxwell Boise, a Syracuse, University senior -- offers resources and ideas for being an ally.

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Whew… what a weekend. Thank you immensely and sincerely to everyone who’s shared www.maxwellboise.com on their story, set it as their link in bio, or sent it out to friends and family. More importantly I want to thank all of you who’ve taken advantage of these resources to begin the necessary process of critical introspection, meaningful communication, and intentional action. The support and appreciation you’ve all given me is truly staggering. I made the website on a whim, as an outlet for the acute frustration and anger I felt last week. I was tired of screaming into the void. I felt compelled to take some small individual step, to at least assuage my own exasperation. When I launched the page I imagined a few dozen of my classmates might find it useful, and that was enough. Since Saturday the audience and distribution of the page has grown far beyond my imagination, with individuals, publications, and social organizations amplifying this hastily compiled curation. I am both overjoyed and humbled that it has resonated with so many of you. In my opinion, the page, as it exists right now is cursory, with a somewhat narrow scope. I almost feel it is too introductory for the platform you have lent it. I will be working hard every day to enhance the breadth, depth, and detail of the content provided. This is just the beginning, and there is a lot more work to be done. I’d love to hear what else you guys want from this project, whether it’s a “LISTEN” page, opportunities to engage in dialogue, or the introduction of my own thoughts and writing. Thank you. AND DONT FORGET TO STAY ABREAST OF THE EVOLVING SITUATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY. SUPPORT THE PROTESTERS, SUSTAIN THIS MOMENTUM!

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The Conscious Kid focuses on providing parents with resources to educate their children on race and equality issues.

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Each year, there are more children's books published about animals than Black people. Black representation comprised just 3% of all children’s books published in 2014 and remained at that level or lower in the decades prior. Black people have historically been, and continue to be, underrepresented, misrepresented, or invisible in children’s literature. Anti-Black structural racism and socialization need to be countered with intentional action from birth. This includes surrounding children with positive narratives and images of Blackness. All kids should know Black history and Black contributions, but equally as important are stories of Black kids just being: experiencing joy, being loved, and existing in their full humanity. Children's books can be one starting point for doing this, and should be combined with ongoing education, strategies, and experiences supporting Blackness and Black people. It is important to center critical Black authors when telling stories of Blackness. “Critical" is defined as an understanding of how systems of equity/inequity intersect with ones experience. Critical Black authorship provides cultural intuition and experiential knowledge around Blackness that provides nuanced insight about how to positively support one's racial identity while buffering against institutional racism (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Yosso, 2005). Every one of the following 111 books center Black characters and are written by Black authors. This list is not just about Black people creating our own spaces of knowledge, it's about challenging contemporary objectives of white supremacy. These objectives, dating back to slavery, aim to not only exclude Black people from telling our own stories, but aim to commodify, white-wash, control, exotify, fetishize, and profit from Black racial experiences. Being intentional about centering and supporting empowering narratives of Black people helps to shape understandings and appreciation about Blackness for all children. The full 111-book reading list is posted to our Patreon page (linked in our profile): patreon.com/theconsciouskid #BlackLivesMatter #TeachersOfInstagram #BlackAuthors

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Shifting the Culture was formed by three women of color – Natalie Bui, Veline Mojarro, Kausar Mohammed – and focuses on racial and gender equity.

Ijeoma Oluo is the author of "So You Want to Talk About Race", a New York Times bestseller about reflecting on your racial bias and doing the work to become anti-racist.

Layla Saad is the author of "Me and White Supremacy", another New York Times bestselling workbook on race. She is also the host of the Good Ancestor podcast, a series focusing on what it means to be a good ancestor.

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#MeAndWhiteSupremacy is not just a book you Read, it’s a book you Do. It’s laid out across 28 days with journaling prompts at the end of each day to help people with white privilege explore and understand the ways they are complicit in white supremacy, so that they can work towards dismantling it within themselves first — and then within their communities. Once a week I share a reflective journaling prompt here for people with white privilege to dig into for themselves (comments stay off because your journaling is for you, not for us ;)). ••• In the last few days, we have seen 7,000 new people join this space. As people continue to settle in, I thought it would be a good idea to ask a question on tone policing - a topic that I cover on day 3 of my book. As a Black woman, I’ve heard many things about my “tone of voice” from people with white privilege. Depending on the depth of anti-racism work they’ve been doing and their willingness to examine their own anti-black biases, my tone as an educator in this work is either aggressive, angry, self-righteous, bullying and mean. OR it’s eloquent, compassionate, kind, generous, nice and palatable. To be very clear - I could care less how people with white privilege choose to define me and my tone. I define myself for myself, and not in ways that either attack or soothe whiteness. How I speak and teach is my voice, and my voice does not need or desire a sign-off from people with white privilege. However, many people with white privilege will make their willingness to engage in anti-racism work with a Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour (*especially* a Black person) dependent on whether or not they approve of their tone. This is white supremacy in the form of tone policing - according to white standards of acceptability, respectability, and credibility. And it is an insidious way to avoid doing the work of anti-racism. So today is your opportunity to look at that. ••• REFLECTIVE JOURNALING PROMPT OF THE WEEK: How often have you made your willingness to engage in anti-racism work conditional on people (especially Black people) using the “right” tone with you?

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Rachel Cargle is a public educator who among other ventures curates The Great Unlearn, an account that focuses on unlearning points of view that discount or overlook racial inequality.

Ibram X. Kendi is a scholar and anti-racist educator who wrote several bestselling works including "How to Be An Antiracist" and "Stamped From the Beginning". He is the founder and director of Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a leading civil rights organization that for more than 100 years has been fighting for equality for Black people in the United States.

Ava DuVernay is a writer and filmmaker whose works include "Selma", "When They See Us" and the documentary "13th". She created Array, a nonprofit amplifying persons of color and women in filmmaking.

The American Civil Liberties Union is the foremost nonpartisan civil rights organization in America.

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👆It doesn’t have to be this way.

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More Resources to Lean On

Why the Term “BIPOC” Is So Complicated, Explained by Linguists
Black. African American. Minority. Person of color. What should you use? Vox posed this question to linguists who say there's no one size fits all answer.

‘The Humanity of Blackness' Missing From History Classes: How to Transform Black History Education in Schools
Many Americans are not taught the full breadth of contributions by Black people to society and the economy. They are also not schooled on institutional racism. Educators are looking for an overhaul of the K-12 curriculum to fix this.

Breaking Point: Black Lives Taken That Pushed America to the Brink
This interactive timeline explores the Black lives that have been undervalued and lost to injustice in the United States over the past few decades.

An Age-By-Age Guide on How to Talk to Kids About Racism, Protests
Discussing racism, police brutality and protests with children may feel daunting to parents. Still, experts say it's important to educate your children about these issues. So here's a guide, by age group, to help craft your approach.

Take the Harvard Implicit Bias Test
Sometimes we make decisions based on biases we don't realize we have. Researchers at Harvard University are studying these implicit biases. They're offering a test for you to take.

8 Podcasts You Should Listen to About Race and Racial Injustice in the US
There are excellent podcasts to expand your education on race in America. The folks from TODAY put together a curated list of important listens rang. Some are series while others are episodes.

Justice in June
This guide to taking action in combating racism and supporting communities of color is broken down by the amount of time you can devote to your learning each day ranging from 10 minutes a day to 45 minutes a day.

How Do I Talk About Race at Work?
The folks at Technical.ly spoke to two diversity experts about how to make short-term and long-term changes to work culture. The piece is part of a series for the site's Racial Equity Month series. Additional pieces focus on actions white organization leaders should take now and how company leaders are talking to their employees about the civil unrest.

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