Many people want to educate themselves more about issues relating to racial discrimination and become better allies. Here are 10 useful resources that can help you on your journey:
What to read:
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Eddo-Lodge has become influential by writing about the difficulties she has faced when discussing issues around race and discrimination with those from non-marginalised groups. The idea of the book was based on a blog post (titled the same) written in 2014 and widely shared across social media. In the book she lays out what we can learn from history and how race and class are interconnected. Eddo-Lodge is the first ever Black-British author to be Number One in the UK’s official book charts and is a Sunday Times Bestseller.
Biased: The Science of Race and Inequality by Dr Jennifer Eberhardt
In this book, Dr Eberhardt takes more of a psychological approach and sets out how, as individuals, we have unconscious bias towards others without knowing it. This can stem from our memories, behaviour and belief in societal stereotypes. She uses examples from her scientific studies and explains how our brains are much more active when we look at another individual from our own racial groups which is why we aren’t as good at recognising those from marginalised groups, causing implicit biases – like assuming someone is a criminal.
Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’ by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené
This book is targeted to a younger audience, but can be a good read to educate yourself more. Adegoke and Uviebinené met at university and decided to write this book based on their own personal experiences of British life. They set out the mechanics of how one can be successful, even if you’re not white, as research shows that those from the black community face tougher challenges to gain opportunities. It has been endorsed by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) who stated that this book is a gift for anyone who wants to understand the barriers black women come across and what resources they can use to get to the top. It’s a book to help you help others!
The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla
The Good Immigrant is an excellent read to learn about the real lived experiences of a person of colour in Britain. We view some immigrants as ‘good’ but only if they are doing the extraordinary, such as winning Olympic medals or a baking show. We deem some as ‘bad’ if they need to claim benefits for a little while. The book is a collection of 21 essays by BAME writers and one is Riz Ahmed, who has drawn on parallels between how he has been interrogated at airports and typecast in auditions.
The Clapback: Your Guide to Calling out Racist Stereotypes by Elijah Lawal
Lawal who has made a very successful career in public relations (now at Google) wrote this book to look at the stereotypes aimed at the black community, where they come from, why they exist and if they can go away. He examines how true they are and what damage they can do to individuals. Stereotypes greatly impact the lives of many people from marginalised groups, such as those from the Asian minority. That’s why it’s an important book to read to be a better ally, so you can discourage others from using these stereotypes.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists Forgot by Mikki Kendall
In Hood Feminism, Kendall who has written for the likes of The Guardian and The Washington Post discusses in her book how feminism throughout the years disregards women of colour. Even though great work has been done to support women – like the right to vote and increasing the number of women who sit on boards of directors – it has left out women from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who are held back because of the colour of their skin. It is a worthy read if you want to grasp how intersectionality plays a part in feminism and self-reflect on what we can do.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
DiAngelo coined the term ‘white fragility’ in 2011. It is when those from the white community become defensive and argumentative towards people who face racial discrimination. An example of this is when a woman of colour believes she is being discriminated against when a white woman is talking over her, but the white woman argues that she isn’t doing anything wrong because she does this to everyone. It’s a good read if you want to understand how to support people when they say they are being targeted instead of just doing the bare minimum.
What to watch
13th on Netflix
A documentary that you can stream on Netflix is 13th which is about how the economy and prison system have discriminated against Black people in America. It considers the historical context of the 13th Amendment, which got rid of slavery but left a loophole.
This loophole includes a clause which allows involuntary servitude as a way to punish people for crimes. It’s a gripping documentary and worth a watch to learn about the history behind the prison system.
Want to learn more about how you can use Allyship as a tool to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace? Get your copy of the Women in Travel CIC Allyship Toolkit.