As we’re in the first week and at the height of a revolution to secure basic rights for our black brothers and sisters, it felt in bad taste for me to be posting about the problems this white, straight, cis woman faces while being single. That is why I have taken this week as a break so people can use this time to instead read up as to why and what we are fighting for. I will be back next week, and if you really do miss my writings, you’re more than welcome to go back and read them. Even if it’s just some light relief from all the new information you have been absorbing.
As a historian, I have been studying African and Caribbean history for the last 5 years when I had the unbelievable privilege to study it during my access course. Therefore, I feel it would be disservice on my part by telling to read and learn without giving you any resources that have helped me.
Obviously there have been a lot of reading lists going about social media about what books to read about American history and others about race relations, which you should definitely have a look at. But here are some history books, lectures, and fiction books that I would like to share.
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Natives by Akala (and while you’re at it, just put his name into youtube and you will get hours of amazing content by him. From his lectures, to his own book lists)
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. De Bois
Black People in the British Empire by Peter Fryer
Policing the Crisis by Stuart Hall
They Came Before Columbus by Ivan Van Sertima
The Black Tudors by Miranda Kuaffman
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
And finally, have a look at The Black Panther Party. They were not just fighting against racism and police brutality, they were also fighting against Capitalism as they believed that you could not have equality and peace while we still lived under a Capitalist society.
Obviously the list could go on and on about what you can read, but I feel these are a good starting point for you to overstand the situation and get you on your way to becoming more holistic in your knowledge.
A final word for allies new and old. You don’t just arrive and become an ally, it is a long journey of learning new knowledge and and unlearning the Eurocentric knowledge that has been thrust upon us our whole life. Realise the fact, that along this journey you will make mistakes, and that is OK. But remember not to get defensive about these mistakes. Listen to your friends of colour when they call you out, apologise and learn from your mistakes so you can do better next time. And remember to share the information you have picked up with other allies to relieve the pressure from your friends of the Black Community as it is not their job to teach us. But if people from the Black Community share information, just sit and listen and don’t put in your two cents if you don’t know. And this learning won’t finish for a while because, as allies we need to learn about the struggles of the minorities on the oppressed. We can not reach equality until the oppressors stop oppressing.
Take Care and Stay Safe
Aunty Raff xx