An Antiracist Resource List
Developed by Deitra Reiser of Transform For Equity, LLC
All antiracist resource lists should include a disclaimer that if we could read and inform our way out of internal and societal racism, resource lists would not exist. There are many resources that provide information and ideas to help each of us, especially White people, understand how racism impacts Black people and People of Color and steps that we can take to dismantle racism. However, reading is just one small step in the journey to being antiracist. In truth, deep internal work is necessary to change our racist—and even our “not racist”—thoughts and actions into antiracist thoughts and actions. Knowledge is a powerful and necessary tool but it’s not enough. Deep internal understanding and being in authentic relationships with other antiracists are necessary to create an equitable society.
Here are a handful of resources and guiding questions to help us along the way towards antiracist thought and action. As you are using the guide, you may choose to sit in quiet reflection or write in your journal to help process your thoughts and answers.
White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Race by Robin Diangelo
This book is an important beginning for White people who have not had or welcomed the opportunity to speak about race and racism. Robin Diangelo writes about the necessary tools needed to approach antiracist conversations and action.
If you identify as White, how has your experience of being Jewish shaped you as a result of being both Jewish and White? (pg. 13)
Recall an incident when you were keenly aware- either in the moment or in retrospect- of your race and privilege. What was it about this incident that put both your race and privilege in sharp focus? How old were you? What factors played a role in you recognizing that both race and privilege impacted the incident?
Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson writes that the United States is like a house that has been built on a caste system based on race. Now that each person who lives in the U.S. owns this house, we have all inherited the caste system and are responsible for working towards a solution.
How is Wilkerson’s analogy to taking possession of a house that requires structural repair similar to Rabbi Tarfon’s quote,” one is not required to finish the work but cannot desist from it.”
Wilkerson tells the story of the lone German who is not signaling the during a Nazi parade. In telling the story, she suggests that most people see themselves as the lone resistor even though few resist.
Reimagine an incident when you did not act as an antiracist, (perhaps as a result of upholding White solidarity), to being a moment when you did act as an antiracist. First reimagine (or amplify) your inner thoughts as antiracist, then imagine an antiracist action that you could have taken at that moment.
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
The term White Supremacy understandably causes consternation for many of us. Saad states “People often think that white supremacy is a term that is only used to describe far-right extremists and neo-Nazis. However, this idea that white supremacy only applies to the so-called “bad ones” is both incorrect and dangerous…. White supremacy is far from fringe. In white-centered societies and communities, it is the dominant paradigm that forms the foundation from which norms, rules, and laws are created.” (pg. 13)
This book offers actionized steps for practicing antiracism.
Recall a time that you were inadvertently or intentionally taught a racist myth or stereotype. How was that racist thought reinforced? Do you know if that racist thought ever caused harm to someone other than yourself? If so, what was the harm? When did you learn that your belief was racist? Was it harder for you to stop believing the racist thought than when you accepted the thought as true?
What else do you need to be antiracist? Do you require more knowledge about a specific topic for knowledge and understanding? Have you started to understand how racism lives within you? Do you have a community that you can go to for support in being antiracist?
For deep background knowledge:
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to Present by David Treuer
El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive Book of Racist Ideas in American by Ibram X. Kendi
Visual and Audio:
I Am Not Your Negro (Netflix)
Seeing White Scene on Radio Podcast