Be the Change: Race and Social Justice

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin

Recently on a streaming service, I watched a documentary on White Privilege.  At the beginning of the documentary, which was hosted by a white women, there was a room full of people of color and she asked what can we do to help?  The response was don’t put the work on us to teach you how to change.  This is something I have struggled with on my journey to become more educated on Race and Social Justice.  I have wanted to learn and change but didn’t know how to do it without learning from people of color.

I have always read books involving social injustice and if you are looking for a great book list a place to start is here.  Ultimately though three things have really brought me to where I am today which is my never ending journey.  They are a documentary on white privilege by Tim Wise, a library program that is available by podcast, and the most recent book I read by Crystal M Fleming.

Before “white privilege” become part of our vernacular, Tim Wise was teaching about it.  He would do the college lecture circuit. You can watch Tim Wise: On White Privilege.  Mr. Wise does a great job of breaking down what white privilege is and how it negatively affects society at large.

Two years ago the library did an event called PechaKucha Seattle: Interrupting Whiteness  PechaKucha is a Japanese term which means chit-chat.  The chit-chat was not just talking about white privilege but talking about what as white people we are actually doing to overcome our privilege.  You can listen to it via this 2 part podcast or read the transcription.  Part 1 and Part 2

Finally, I just finished a book called How to Be Less Stupid about Race: On Racism, White Supremecy and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming.  I really enjoyed this book on so many ways.  One Ms. Fleming really breaks down and easily defines words and phrases to basic terms.  She doesn’t hold back on using straight talk about what is going on in present day society from politics, media and sexism.  Finally she breaks it down, in ten points, on what can be done on a personal level to improve race relations in our lives and society.

If you are on the same journey as I am and want to make life better for all I hope these resources I provided will help you move farther along on your path.  Is there anything that has helped you on your journey?

     – Pam H.

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