By Kassandra Sharma
We all witnessed the unfortunate murder of George Floyd by police and the spark it ignited with the Black Lives Mattermovement worldwide. It can be a little overwhelming to know where to start learning more about racism and how you can contribute or do your part to help the cause. But there is a wealth of resources available, produced and delivered in a variety of media as educational tools.
Books are, of course, always a good place to start. Here are some popular and lesser-known titles VIBE105 recommends.
1. How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
This book takes the approach to dissect racism from in our society to within ourselves. It discusses a variety of anti-racist concepts, how they affect us and our society, as well as how to break them down. It takes the reader on a journey of understanding all in all, on how we acknowledge different people based on skin colour, ethnicity, gender and much more.
2. Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada From Slavery to the Present by Robyn Maynard
Multicultural harmony is a large part of Canada’s identity yet instances of racism still occur. This book explores the history of anti-Black racism in Canada to how it is conceptualized today. From slave ships to the classroom and everywhere in between, including racial profiling, deportation, poverty and all ideas alike this book takes you on a deep dive to understand anti-Black racism in Canada.
3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
If fiction or contemporary is more your speed this book delivers the reality of racial profiling, a practice that is all too real, and its aftermath in an easy to swallow story. The book follows 16-year-old Starr as she navigates two different worlds, her poor neighbourhood and her prep school. After witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood friend at the hands of a police officer, Starr’s life is turned upside down. The book follows the events and shows how those actions echo through her life after from all fronts. The book has been adapted into film in 2018.
4. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Written in the format of two essays, this book gives us a look at life during the time of Black and white segregation in America. Exploring themes of injustice and racial stereotyping, the book chronicles Baldwin’s experiences growing up at the hands of these situations.
5. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
This is for the little one in your life. This is an ABC book that teaches the values and importance of justice, community, equality and activism. It’s a great way to start educating the future generations about important ideas like environmental issues, human rights and so on, to help them understand why activism is so important and what it’s is all about.
Want to learn even more? Here are Anti-Racist and Celebrating Black Voices reading lists from Chapters as well as an extensive list of resources by Canadian Women’s Foundation of Anti-Racist Resources.
Also, do not miss VIBE105’s vast array of anti-Black articles here.