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For your sweet dumb brain: Take action, take care
A robust roundup of anti-racism resources.
The internet is rich with anti-racism resources right now. There are lists of things to do, places to donate, businesses to support, books to read, accounts to follow, and so on.
I’m both greatly inspired and a bit overwhelmed by it all. I scroll through update after update, and then agonize over the ideal action to take. It is better to share this post or that one? What’s the best place to donate, when there are so many options? Hold on—should I post a black square to Instagram, or shouldn’t I? For an overthinker like me, it’s a lot to take in.
So, you might ask, why would I bother curating ~yet another~ roundup of resources?
It’s a fair question. Something that I regularly hear from My Sweet Dumb Brain readers is that this newsletter offers them an opportunity to slow down. It’s delivered to your inbox, which means you can read whenever you want, at whatever pace you want. You can always come back to an issue, and revisit it later.
If you, too, are feeling the effects of information overload, the below list of reader-submitted resources can be one place to start. Choose one of the items on the list, do your own research, and take action. Then pause, and choose another when the time feels right. There’s no need to shout from the rooftops about what you’re doing—though leading by example can be helpful. The important part is that you’re doing something, in a way that feels authentic to you.
Take a bit of action. Then take care of yourself. And repeat. Take action, take care.
Racial inequality unfortunately isn’t going away anytime soon; dismantling white supremacy will require constant work, and consistent self-care. Here are the ideas and resources that you shared.
PLACES TO DONATE
Remember to do your research before donating. The below organizations have been verified, but beware: scams still abound. Also consider setting up a recurring donation! Recurring gifts provide a more stable and predictable source of revenue for nonprofits.
Your local Black Lives Matter chapter
Your local bail fund
Black Visions Collective, a Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated to Black liberation
Campaign Zero, an organization working toward solutions to end police brutality
Reclaim the Block, a group that redistributes funds from the Minneapolis police department to the community
PLACES TO SHOP
Small businesses have already been devastated by COVID-19. If you have expendable income, it’s a good time to support Black-owned businesses.
Here are some Black museums to support
There’s an app to discover local Black businesses ...
... and one for Black-owned restaurants
Shopping online? Here’s a list of Black-owned Etsy shops
And for my fellow Tampa Bay residents: Green Book of Tampa Bay
BOOKS TO READ
Order books from your local, independent bookseller! If your local shop isn’t online, or you’re not sure who to support, start with one of these Black-owned bookstores.
Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts
They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
Pro-tip: Think about the kinds of hobbies you like and have fun finding new creators in those spaces! I love following home-design folks and interior designers, and diversified my feed with some great new follows lately, like @sgardnerstyle, @tanika_nyclifestyle, and @phreckles.
Reni Eddo-Lodge, award-winning journalist and author
Layla F. Saad, writer, speaker, and podcast host
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, academic, writer, and lecturer
LZ Granderson, Los Angeles Times columnist
Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times reporter and creator of the 1619 project
THINGS TO DO
Want to be a better ally? Here’s what some readers are doing:
“My company has sent lots of messages in recent days committing itself to improving diversity and supporting BIPOC employees. I followed up with leaders at my organization to ask how I can help, raised my own concerns about our diversity, and suggested additional anti-racist programming like virtual trainings or book clubs. I wanted to make sure that my BIPOC colleagues didn't feel like the burden was entirely on them to raise their hands for these initiatives. I'd encourage other white people who are lucky enough to still have jobs to consider doing the same.”
“I make monthly donations to RAINN and RAICES, and I'm going to add another for an organization that supports Black lives and justice. I'm not sure which one yet, but I'm going to figure that out this week.”
“I'm trying to learn more about ways I can continue to help bring about change in the future, building on the momentum I feel in this moment. One way I'm doing that: I'm listening to the Integrated Schools Podcast, which is a great resource for white parents (or even those of us who aren't parents) to learn how much power our choice of schools for our children can yield..”
“I'm trying to bring up these issues offline. If you're a white person who has posted on Instagram about your donation, have you also messaged your white family members? Your book club? I think nudges in these more direct ways can be very powerful.”
“I’m going to continue to question what I thought I knew about the world and realize my own ignorance on issues of race and equality. I'm committing to educate myself and my kids so that they too don't wait until their 30s to have an understanding of the history of racism in this country. On that note, I'd highly recommend Ava DuVernay's documentary, 13th, on Netflix. And I just started Nikole Hannah-Jones’ podcast, 1619, from The New York Times, which has been great so far.”
MORE ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES
Yes, there’s more. There are plenty of ways to get started!
Anti-racism resources for white people: A list that includes resources for parents of white children, articles to read, videos to watch, and more.
75 Things that White People Can Do for Racial Justice: A thorough and actionable place to start.
A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources, courtesy of Katie Couric.
Feeling radicalized? Here’s a helpful thread.
IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Thanks to a reader in France (!), we received an excellent list of anti-racism resources in French. We also rounded up similar resources in a couple of other languages.
Thank you to Taylor, Marissa, Hillary, Rebecca, Jordan, Jasmine, Lindsay, Linda, and the other readers who asked to remain anonymous. You all helped compile an impressive list!
Good job, brain
I'm re-reading: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I first read this book back in 2015, and it’s just as powerful again. It is heartbreaking, though, to be reminded how little has changed. It’s a quick and illuminating read that’s beautifully written. Highly recommended.
I’m inspired by: Everyone who’s taking action to combat racism. Thank you.
I’m grateful for: The conversations I’ve been having with friends and family. Some of them are tense, some of them are uplifting, some of them are challenging. They are all valuable.
I'm aiming to: Continue to listen and learn, and admit when I can do better. In Tuesday’s newsletter, we initially did not capitalize Black in reference to racial identity. Here’s why we changed that. (And this is a good reminder that reader feedback is always welcome!)
I’m including just two extra resources this week, since there are so many others above.
If you’re worried that posting about Black Lives Matter could be misconstrued as “signal virtuing,” the wonderful Ayana Lage has a brilliant video addressing that concern.
This video does a great job of explaining systemic racism.
For your sweet dumb brain
This week’s exercise is simple: Take action, take care.
Take a bit of action. Then take care of yourself. And repeat.
And if you want to send this list of resources to a friend, you can do that too.
This newsletter is written by Katie Hawkins-Gaar. It’s edited by Rebecca Coates, who recommends Showing Up for Racial Justice for info on local meet-ups, anti-racism literature, and calls to action on how you can make a difference in your community. Photo courtesy Julian Wan on Unsplash.