Written by Piraveena Surendran, a Media Production student and Digital Media Guru.
Resources to help you become an anti-racist ally to Black people
Atrocities committed against Black people have caught huge global attention in recent weeks and months, forcing people to question their perceptions of racism and discrimination in society. Many of us have come to realise that the history we are taught has failed to oppose systemic and everyday racism. To combat this, we must take it upon ourselves to become educated on the realities that Black people face.
We need to speak up and become better allies. As an undergraduate student, I’ve learnt that in order to become anti-racist allies we must challenge ourselves, our behaviours and the behaviours of those we see around us. We need to educate ourselves – on our own privilege, and on issues we may not even know others are facing.
Driving, walking down the street, getting the train or the bus, smoking, shopping, riding a bike, wearing a hoodie in the cold, holding a phone, playing with a water pistol, lying on the ground, starting a new job or even going to a club. These are all actions that any person might take. Yet through centuries of racial slurs, patronising looks, implicit biases, colourism, open discrimination, microaggressions and overall systemic racism, Black people have become subject to barbaric and criminalised stereotypes, forcing them to think twice about their actions in their daily lives.
We must work together to break down these views and focus on bringing about equality and justice. Many minority groups are still sadly mistreated. However, now is a time where we should focus on collectively dismantling the centuries of institutionalised oppression against Black people. All injustices do not have the same weighting, and generalising the struggles of each race is ineffective. Being an Asian student, I may never truly understand the realities of racism that Black students face because the stereotypes and prejudices that we each individually face are different. Although, like many other students, I am willing to educate myself and stay informed as much as I can on this issue so that we can ensure the Black community are not forgotten and feel supported.
It’s okay to be nervous about not feeling educated enough or being part of conversations that are new to you. But educating ourselves and having uncomfortable conversations can help to challenge racism that has been built into society over generations. If, like me, you want to become a better ally but just don’t know where to start, I’ve put together some resources that I hope you find useful. If there is anything you find that could be of use to others, please share your recommendations by tagging or messaging @SussexUni on social media.
There are steps we can all take. Sign online petitions against this global injustice. Donate to causes if you can. Educate yourself and those around you about the realities that Black people experience. My round-up covers only a handful of resources, so do look beyond it and continue your education. Doing all of this can help us as a society to acknowledge mistakes, begin to change for the better and ultimately learn that we should always be unapologetically anti-racist.
Films and series (UK Netflix)
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story
- When They See Us
- All Day and a Night
- Who killed Malcolm X?
- Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
- Dear White People
- The whole Black Lives Matter Collection is also now available
Other series and videos
- I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime)
- The Hate U Give (Amazon Prime)
- What happens when I try to talk race with white people – featuring author Renni Eddo-Lodge (YouTube)
- White people, enough: A look at power and control – Jaelyn Coates (TEDxCSU)
- Let’s get to the root of racial injustice – Megan Ming Francis (TEDxRainier)
- Why You Need to Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” – Rachel Cargle
- 10 Habits of Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Anti-Black– Cicely Blain
Books – all available through the University of Sussex Library
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century – Grace Lee Boggs
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
- There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation – Paul Gilroy
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colour-blindness – Michelle Alexander
- Institutional Racism in Higher Education – edited by Ian Law, Deborah Phillips and Laura Turney
Other books – links to ebooks where available
- Biased – Jennifer Eberhardt
- Brit(ish): on Race, Identity and Belonging – Afua Hirsch
- How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
- The Color of Law – Richard Rothstein
- So, You Want to Talk About Race? – Ijeoma Oluo
- When They Call You a Terrorist – Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Momentum: A Race Forward – features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice
- Intersectionality Matters! – hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory
- About Race – hosted by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Nova Reid and Vicki & Selina from loveprojectlove – a powerful conversation about race, racism and white privilege
- The WoCness Podcast – podcast created by Sussex students, where six young women of colour give their take on various issues
Educational Instagram accounts
- @galdemzine – all women and non-binary people of colour
- @bamesussex – Sussex BAME society
- @blklivesmatter – Black Lives Matter
- @ukblackpride – UK Black Pride
- @juveeproductions – IGTV video about systemic racism by the LA-based production company
Mental health resources for black people
- Black Minds Matter UK
- The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)
- Therapy for Black Girls (USA-based)
- Ethel’s Club (USA-based)
Sussex students looking for advice and support can contact the Student Life Centre, which is currently offering a remote service.
Some organisations and charities working to combat racism
- Black Lives Matter UK
- Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)
- Show Racism the Red Card
- Stand Up to Racism
- Stephen Lawrence Charity Trust
- Southall Black Sisters
If you can’t afford to donate to charity, there are other ways you can help. You could visit streams with Black-created art and music on Instagram and YouTube, where the video revenue will be donated to organisations working to help fight racial injustice.
Thank you for reading.
Piraveena Surendran is a Media Production student at Sussex and a Digital Media Guru.