As you all may know from my allyship resources series, I am trying to do a better job of sharing resources to help each of us on our own antiracist journeys! In addition, I also wanted to share a round up of allyship reads, my thoughts on them and how they helped me.
Check out my first three reads of the year below!
How to be an Antiracist
Author: Dr. Ibham X. Kendi Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: One World
This book is such essential reading. And not just a read-it-once-and-then-you’re-done kinda read. No, this is something to read, reflect, reference and reread for the rest of your life. Dr. Kendi interweaves personal narrative, exploration and his own journey and experience with racism with key concepts, terms, history and topics that is an essential foundation for any antiracist work or practice.
I took a ton of notes reading this, highlighting many key things that I either hadn’t realized before and had chosen to remain ignorant about, thanks to my own white fragility, guilt and exceptionalism that I hadn’t realized nor processed yet.
I am very grateful to the work Kendi did writing this work. I can completely understand why he is a leading scholar in the field of antiracist work. I certainly plan to read as many of his books as I possible can.
Me and White Supremacy
Author: Layla F. Saad Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Sourcebooks
Similar to Dr. Kendi’s work, I most definitely plan to continue to support and learn from Saad. This workbook, which was originally an Instagram monthly challenge, was turned into this book thanks to its popularity and I am SO thankful for this.
While How to Be an Antiracist helps you understand some of the foundational theories and concepts, Me and While Supremacy takes those theories and expands upon them by forcing you to confront your involvement in white supremacy. It took me almost two months to work through this because I wanted to take my time and truly unpack what Saad challenges you to think about and dig into.
This is a workbook you can return to and revisit and one I certainly plan to, not only to see how my own unconscious biases have become unlearned, but also to remind myself of areas I haven’t focused on and still need to improve.
We Do This ’til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice
Author: Mariame Kabe Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Haymarket Books
I discovered this book accidentally, but I’m very grateful that I did! My friend got me a surprise book box gift from my local bookstore and mentioned to them that I was wanting to grow my allyship nonfiction, and they included this book. Then, it ended up being the Anti-Racism Daily’s community book read for May, so it was meant to be!
This book is a collection of interviews, essays and works by abolitionist Mariame Kaba, a scholar and activist whom I’d been unfamiliar with previous to reading this work. I really appreciated reading her interviews and insights in abolitionism and transformative justice in terms of our criminal justice system. I won’t lie: I hadn’t focused a lot on the injustices of the prison system, but reading from Kaba’s work, experience and perspective was really enlightening and eye-opening!
By this point in the year, I had hoped to read six books to help develop a daily antiracist practice. While I’ve only read three, I’m very thankful for the books I did get to read. I’m thankful for the writers for the emotional labor they have done and shared with the world. I am thankful for the publishers for making this work accessible. Hopefully, you’re inspired to pick these up and work through them yourself!
Until the next roundup, please remember to stay informed, stay engaged and do the work.