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Be a part of the solution

Resources for understanding race relations in the United States

Huey P Newton
Photo credit: Artist: Panhandle Slim
THE SPIRIT NEVER DIES: Huey P. Newton, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party (1966-1982), creating a ten-point program which laid out guidelines for how the African American community could achieve liberation. In the 1960s, under Newton's leadership, the Black Panther Party founded over 60 community support programs, including food banks, medical clinics, HIV support groups, sickle cell anemia tests, prison busing for families of inmates, legal advice seminars, clothing banks, housing cooperatives and their own ambulance service. In 1989, Newton was killed by Tyrone Robinson, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.

!!Where do I turn?

Information gathered herein is compiled from various sources as a primer for those looking to further advance their understanding of race relations in the United States. It is offered here as a starting point for those interested in a truly United States.*

“The revolution will not be televised,” Gil Scott-Heron sang on his 1970 album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. Fifty years later his declaration still holds true. What you’re viewing on the nightly news is not the revolution to which he referred finally being borne in the streets of America. It is not the much-needed change in the systemic racism that has plagued the United States for 400 years. The images being broadcast into your homes and on your mobile devices are sanitized reports from reporters embedded with the police, the state troopers, and the National Guard, those departments representing the local municipalities, states, and government that have forced their knee on Black people’s neck for far too long.

The revolution comes from within, educating yourself, taking to the voting booth to make your voice heard. Go out in the streets; rage, grieve, protest, demand action. all you want. The images are being relayed into homes during the nightly news, but not your message. What is being televised is confusion, uncertainty, and a misunderstanding of what is happening right before the reporters’ very eyes. It’s tabloid sensationalism, focusing on the actions of the few, ignoring the message of the millions across the world. Police cars in flames, looting, rocks and bottles being thrown at law enforcement officers — the embodiment of anger and frustration by people wh have had enough — that is what is being televised. The revolution is not being televised.

If you’re interested in learning more on the Black experience in these Ununited States, you may find the beginnings of what you’re looking for here.

Organizations

Atlanta Solidarity Fund
Bail Project
Black Lives Matter
[https://twitter.com/Blklivesmatter?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|@blklivesmatter]
Black Visions Collective
Campaign Zero
[https://twitter.com/civilrightsorg?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|@civilrightsorg]
[https://twitter.com/ColorOfChange?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|@colorofchange]
Common Good
[https://twitter.com/ethelsclub?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|@ethelsclub]
George Floyd Memorial Fund
The Innocence Project
Justice For Breonna
Lorde's Werq
Minnesota Freedom Fund
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Bail Fund Network
National Bail Out
No White Saviours
@reclaimtheblock
Run With Maud
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Southern Fried Queer Pride
Solutions Not Punishment Coalition
Southerners on New Ground
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now
[https://twitter.com/UNITEDWEDREAM?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|@unitedwedream]

 

Film

"3-1/2 Minutes. Ten Bullets" A dissection of the shooting death of 17 year-old Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, Florida on Black Friday, 2012.
"13th" - Explores the history of the U.S. penal system and racial inequality.
"Do Not Resist" — A look at the current state of policing in America with a glimpse into the future.
"The House I Live In" — America’s ‘war on drugs’ is actually not about drugs at all.
"I Am Not Your Negro" — A timely civil rights documentary inspired by James Baldwin’s notes and letters of the mid-1970s.
"Quest" — An intimate chronicle of an American family in Philadelphia that spans eight years.
"We Are The Giant" — Six extraordinary individuals who grapple with the dilemma at the heart of struggles for justice and freedom.

Books

"A Testament of Hope - The Essential Writings and Speeches" — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Americanah" — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
"The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley" — Alex Haley, Malcolm X, and Attallah Shabazz
"Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art"— Phoebe Hoban
"For Now" — Rachel Cargle
“Freedom is a Constant Struggle” — Angela Y. Davis
"How to be an Anti—Racist" — Ibram X. Kendi
"Invisible Man" — Ralph Ellison
The King Years Trilogy: "Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954 — 63" - Taylor Branch
The King Years Trilogy: "Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963 — 65" - Taylor Branch
The King Years Trilogy: "At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965 — 1968" - Taylor Branch
"Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor" — Layla F. Saad
"The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues" — Imamu Amiri Baraka
"Notes of a Native Son" — James Baldwin
“Race Man: Selected Works, 1960- 2015” — Julian Bond
“Strength To Love” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Up from Nigger" — Dick Gregory
"We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy" — Ta-Nehisi Coates
“Where Do We Go From Here” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" — Robin DiAngelo
"Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race" — Reni Eddo-Lodge
“Why We Can’t Wait” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Zami A New Spelling of My Name" — Audre Lorde
Links are to purchase the titles. Check your local libraries for availability also.

City Lights suggested reading list.

Online

Check Your Privilege — Myisha T
The Criterion Channel - Highlighting films that focus on Black lives
The Great Unlearn — Rachel E. Cargle
Online courses — Rachel Ricketts

Ask yourself

  • What can you do to support POC in your community?
  • What are the policies of your local elected officials on ending police brutality?
  • What were you taught about race and culture?
  • How do you plan on helping the fight to end racial discrimination and systematic oppression?
  • How can you use anti—racist knowledge to change and progress conversations, with friends, family, colleagues, and peers?
  • How can you be actively anti—racist instead of simply not racist?

 
Sources: Creative Loafing staff, DocPlay, Ben Clay, June 3, 2020, and losangelesbucketlist.

 



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