It took me all week to wrap my head around writing something here, and that in and of itself felt selfish and not enough. Because truthfully, everything right now feels a bit selfish and not enough. I am and have always been wrapped in privilege. I acknowledge this and feel this deeply. And yet, I cannot let it inhibit me from using my voice, especially at this moment in history.
I went back and forth over details as seemingly minute as what to title this blog post. Well, that might seem minute to some. But to me, as a reader and a writer, I have always been in awe of the power of language, the power of words both written and spoken. Words have always been my starting point for understanding, for examining, for going inwards, and for extending outwards. Whether I’m trying to process my own feelings or the feelings of others, and so often these things are happening simultaneously, reading and writing is what helps me to do so, and has been fundamental to my life for as long as I can remember.
So while I may not feel ready right now to fully flush out my own emotional state publicly, I can share words that have helped me along the way, in educating myself, and making sense of the world around me, and of how we got here. Words that have made me more empathetic, made me question more deeply, made me ask more of myself and those around me.
There are many book recommendations circulating right now (and rightfully so), and this is by no means a conclusive list. But it does cover some books that I’ve found to be incredibly profound and educational, books that are on my list to read next, and what I’m reading and listening to right now, in case anyone wants to follow along and discuss. There is a wide range here. Some of these books, such as Charged, which is about America’s mass incarceration system, and Food Fix, which addresses the massive issues with our current food system and how racism is baked in, are more niche. Some of these books, such as The Color of Water and Call Me By My Name, tell of individual experiences. Some, the ones that I have not yet read, I culled from a poll I did on Instagram where I reached out to get the recommendations of others to better educate myself on racism and being an antiracist, specifically. If there are glaring omissions here, or others you would recommend, please reach out. I will continue adding to and iterating on this list, as we all work to become more informed, become better citizens, and better stewards of each other as humans.
Thanks for reading this, for your openness, and let’s get to work. x
Books I’ve Read and Will Reread:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
What I’m Reading and Listening to This Week:
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Brene Brown with Ibram X. Kendi on “Unlocking Us” podcast
Dr. Mark Hyman on racism via our toxic food system in “The Doctor’s Pharmacy” podcast
On My Reading List, Beyond White Fragility:
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
Check Your Privilege: Live Into the Work
So You Want to Talk About Race
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness
Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From the Inside Out
Why I’m Not Longer Talking to White People About Race
… and more to come.