This weeks reading has obviously been heavy influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement. I have found that one of the first things a white person can do is read, listen and understand in order to support the Black Lives Matter movement. As a white women I have gained from the institutionalised racism in the UK. That is a fact. It is uncomfortable to unpick layers of privilege that us white people have obtained, but you have to start somewhere.
This article published in Vogue by Yomi Adegoke I found particularly profound. She explained the overwhelming experience it is to be black person with a platform in a time like this, how you are expected to publicly grieve and how quietly contributing to the conversation is more than enough. The NYT published this interesting discussion on police reform and what needs to happen in order to create change. And finally Maya Richard-Craven published this piece on Elle on how to be a better ally.
This week I also couldn’t help but notice how ‘white’ my bookshelf is. The publishing world is predominately white (Pandora Sykes tweeted that of the 160,000 books published in 2016, 100 were written by people of colour) and this trickles down to our bookshelves. Yes, I own books written by black authors; Malorie Blackman, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Candice Carty-Williams…but that is not good enough. It is easy to gravitate toward white authors because there are an abundance of them. We don’t have to look very hard.
If you want to make your bookshelves more diverse, The High Low Show (a news and pop culture podcast) has an extensive list of resources. Take a look and listen to their podcast on Anti-Racism Resources here, it also includes an interview with author Candice Brathwaite on making motherhood diverse.
I have made a promise to myself to make sure I invest time and money into literature written by black authors. This is a time to listen, learn and take action; and picking up a book is a perfect place to start.