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A Compilation of Anti-Racism Resources For White & Non Black Musicians

Featuring podcasts, books, and action items collected from organizations, and individuals that we trust throughout social media and the internet.


May 28, 2020
Written by
She Shreds Staff

Table of Contents

One of the first signifiers of white privilege is forgetting, putting off, or choosing not to do anti-racist work. It could be because you feel like you don’t have the time, energy, or power to make a change, and that, in and of itself, is white supremacy. 

Black people do not have the option to forget.

As musicians, we carry a certain responsibility to distribute that awareness. The very foundations of America are rooted in racism and the destruction of black bodies, and we cannot ignore it or brush it off as something that doesn’t affect us, or claim that politics aren’t a part of music—because it does, and it is.

Kind of like writing a thought down so that it’s not forgotten, we need to ask ourselves to establish what our next step looks like within anti-racism—and we should be asking ourselves this every day. To help do this, we included a few tips on how to begin this process, as well as some resources to start with. Leave a comment on this post to let us know what resources have been helpful in your anti-racist work.

How to Begin

  1. Create a bookmark tab on your browser titled, “Anti-Racist Resources,” and commit to reading at least one link all the way through during the week. Adjust accordingly, depending on your availability and energy, so that you make sure to be present with the work in front of you.
  2. If you have the means to do so, donate a minimum of $5 to an organization that understands and is facilitating the work. 
  3. Find a friend, partner, or family member to share this process with and hold each other accountable. Establish a routine to go through the literature, take the actions, and discuss/share together. 
  4. Share and discuss as much as possible, but be mindful of what and with who you are sharing. Black people do not need to see video footage of the harm being done to their community, and they certainly do not need to be involved with your process.

(Left image) This whole post by Rachel Cargle is important. Here you can find a link to her patreon to support her work as an activist, and it includes a free downloadable racial justice package. If folks can and would like to venmo her for her work, the details to do so are in the Patreon description.

(Right image) Here is a social media based resource by South Asians 4 Black Lives. It includes Netflix movies to watch, books to read, articles to read and share, podcasts. 

Direct Action

Resources and Organizations 

  • What is Decolonization and how do I play a part in it?
    – Ted Talk with Megan Ming Francis
    – Ted Talk with Samantha Moyo
    – Ted Talk with Nikki Sanchez
    – Ted Talk with Lydiah Wangechi
  • Black Lives Matter Card “When You’re Done: Educate Yourself. This Doesn’t Go Away Once The Topic Isn’t, “Trending.”
  • Anti-Racism Resources was created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein for “white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media.”
  • Download Rachel Cargle’s Anti-Racism resource here: Racial Justice Research Doc EDITED. Download Rachel Cargle’s Template for employer accountability.
  • MPD150 “works towards a police free Minneapolis. MPD150 is a participatory, horizontally-organized effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists. It is not the project of any organization. We stand on the shoulders of the work that many organizations have been doing for years and welcome the support of everyone who agrees with our approach. We hope that the process we are developing will help organizers in other cities to establish practical abolitionist strategies.”

  • Resources for Accountability and Action for Black Lives via Atlanta Resistance Revival Chorus Organizing, protesting, and seeking justice looks different in the age of a worldwide pandemic. Virtual organizing matters. Here are a few ways that you can make a difference and seek justice for Black lives lost. Remember, the only way to seek justice is to follow these cases through and through. Please feel free to share the document.”
  • Intentionalist: “Making it easy to find and support small businesses in your community and get to know the diverse people behind them!”
  • Black History Month Library was created by Charles Preston and is a Google Drive organized into folders of black writers and activists with lots of free resources to read and watch. 
  • Black Agenda Report is a “news, commentary and analysis from the black left.” 
  • Resource list by Women Sound Off “We’ve put together 35+ resources and links to help aid the fight against police brutality and systemic racism. Donate, share and tag a friend.”
  • The African American Literature Bookclub has created a search database to find black-owned and focused bookstores to support in the US. 
  • Support Black (Trans)women & LGBT+ People  Google Doc
  • #8toAbolitionTo build an abolitionist world that prioritizes the lives of Black people, we have drawn upon decades of abolitionists’ work to compile this list of demands targeted toward city and municipal powers. Honoring the long history of abolitionist struggle, we join in their efforts to divest from the prison industrial complex, invest in our communities, and create the conditions for our ultimate vision: a world without police, where no one is held in a cage, and all people thrive and be well.”
  • Unicorn Riot – is a “decentralized, educational 501(c)(3) non-profit media organization of artists and journalists. Our work is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues through amplifying stories and exploring sustainable alternatives in today’s globalized world.” 
  • Critical Resistance“Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.”
  • Care Over Cops – is a living document created by Ethel’s Club featuring resources and action steps to take as alternatives to calling the police.
  • Creative Ecosystems and Funds Supporting Black Folks compiled by Annika Hansteen-Izora (IG: @annika.izora, Twitter: @annikaizora)
  • Color of Change – “Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities. We challenge injustice, hold corporate and political leaders accountable, commission game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advance solutions for racial justice that can transform our world.”
  • My Block, My Hood, My City provides underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. We take students on explorations focused on STEM, Arts and Culture, Citizenry and Volunteerism, Health, Community Development, Culinary Arts, and Entrepreneurism.
  • TransformHarm.org was created by Mariame Kaba and is a resource hub for ending violence, and an introduction to transformative justice. It includes selected articles, audio-visual resources, curricula, and more pertaining to four focus areas: transformative justice, community accountability, restorative justice, abolition, healing justice, and carceral feminism.
  • Project NIA (“nia” meaning “with purpose” in Swahili) is a grassroots organization that works to end the arrest, detention, and incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices. Check out their Tools for Action and/or donate here.
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement – “The Combahee River Collective statement was created and written by Afrocentric black feminists who parted ways from the NBFO (National Black Feminist Organization) in order to create, define, and clarify their own politics. These women are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression. It is their particular task to further the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. To this specific group of women, the NBFO is a coalition they believe in, but it did not recognize or address black lesbian feminist politics and systems of oppression within their group.”
  • Black Youth Project 100 – “BYP100 is National, member-based organization of Black 18-35 year old activists and organizers, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and political education using a Black queer feminist lens.” Charlene A. Carruthers is the founding national director of BYP100. They are the author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements
  • The Sentencing Project
    “The Sentencing Project is a national organization working for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration. The Sentencing Project was founded in 1986 to provide defense lawyers with sentencing advocacy training and to reduce the reliance on incarceration. Since that time, The Sentencing Project has become a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system with a successful formula that includes the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform. The Sentencing Project is dedicated to changing the way Americans think about crime and punishment.”
  • Juneteenth.com  New Orleans based activist Cliff Robinson founded Juneteenth.com in 1997 and has established itself as the world’s largest database of Juneteenth celebrations nationally and internationally.  The website’s resources aim to teach the history of Juneteenth, and promote organizations, businesses, governments, and communities to adopt the celebration as a national holiday and day of remembrance.  
    In Robinson’s words, “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.”
  • National Urban League
    “Established in 1910, The Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. Today, the National Urban League, headquartered in New York City, spearheads the non-partisan efforts of its local affiliates. There are over 100 local affiliates of the National Urban League located in 35 states and the District of Columbia providing direct services to more than two million people nationwide through programs, advocacy and research. The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.”

Donate

  • Bail Funds/Legal Support by City is a resource list of nationwide bail funds and legal support by state 
  • Minnesota Freedom Fund
    *NOTE: MFF is currently experiencing an overflow of donations and asking to redirect funds to other organizations.
  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • Black Visions Collective is fighting for Black and collective liberation. They believe in a Minnesota and a country in which ALL Black lives not only matter but thrive.
  • Reclaim the Block is organizing in Minneapolis to move money from the police department into community health and safety.
  • Black Mama’s Bail Out works towards getting Black mothers and caretakers out of prison and providing support
  • Beyond The Bars  is a 501(c)3 student driven music and career skills program that is dedicated to interrupting the cycles of violence and incarceration while helping our students recognize their immense potential and bright futures.
  • Assata’s Daughters “organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services”
  • Chicago Community Bond Fund
  • The Okra Project The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.”
  • The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness COVID-19 Women’s Relief Fund “Our mission at The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness is to empower a generation of Well Black Women. We do this through year-round education programming, advocacy, and powerful partnerships.” 
  • Loveland Therapy Fund for Black Women & Girls “With the barriers affecting access to treatment by members of diverse ethnic and racial groups. Loveland Therapy Fund provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy.”
  • Black Earth Farm Foods “Grassroots Black and Indigenous Agroecological Farming Collective”
  • Pimento Relief Fund Association for Black Economic Power is partnering with Pimento to provide black business without insurance relief after white supremacists set them on fire during the protests in Minnesota.
  • Black Owned Farms to support in the U.S.“A list of black-owned farms, distributors, and related organizations compiled thanks to the research of Shoppe Black, Travelnoire.com, and BlackBusiness.com.  Support a local black-owned farm or organization by purchasing a CSA, becoming a donating member, or even volunteering farm labor.
  • NAACP Legal Defense FundThe NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments. LDF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 
  • Vera Institute of Justice – The Vera Institute of Justice is a POC lead 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a long history of research based advocacy nationally on issues effecting communities of color.  Their work brings data and analysis to the tables of decision makers at city, state, and federal levels to enact systemic change.  Among their priorities are ending mass incarceration, police violence, racial bias in prosecution, and the targeting of immigrant communities.
  • The Innocence ProjectAfter Breonna Taylor’s apartment in Louisville was raided by armed cops in plain clothes, Breonna’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired at what he could only assume were armed intruders in self defense. If it weren’t for the national spotlight on Breonna’s case, the ridiculous charges of first-degree assault and attempted murder may have never been dropped against Walker, and his life could be wasted in prison. For those who did not benefit from national attention on their case, The Innocence Project seeks to shine a light on victims of wrongful convictions that have been incarcerated. Their mission statement is to “…Free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.” You can donate and learn more about their work at The Innocence Project, and can also learn about some of their successful legal battles by watching the Netflix series The Innocence Files.
  • Marsha P. Johnson Institute – “The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people. We do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.”
  • The Community Action Justice Fund has a list of organizations to support who are on the frontline of “gun violence prevention and intervention efforts happening in communities across the country.”
  • Black Sex Workers Relief Fund organized by Gizelle Marie. Excerpt from the GoFundMe page: “As of June 2nd I am now an owner of several properties that are $1 Million dollars each (buildings with several unit apartments) that will be put back into my community to create housing and future resources for all. Funds will be used to fix these properties and future endeavors while in the mist to help anyone in need of transportation temporary shelter or food during the pandemic nation wide while the properties are being renovated. All this to protect the lives of my community.”
  • Critical Resistance“Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.”
  • Black AIDS Institute “Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is the only premier uniquely and unapologetically Black think and do tank in America powered by two decades of work to end the Black HIV epidemic and led by people who represent the issues we serve. BAI sources our capacity building, mobilization, policy, and advocacy efforts from Black leaders and communities across the country and provide high quality direct HIV services and linkage to care to Black people.”
  • Morris Home, located in Philadelphia, PA, is the only residential recovery program in the country to offer comprehensive services specifically for the transgender community. They provide a safe, recovery-oriented environment in which people are treated with respect and dignity, especially the Black trans community and including the late Dominique “Rem’mie” FellsDonate here.
  • Brave Space – “Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.” 
  • FOR THE GWORLS raises funds to assist with Black trans folks’ rent and affirmative surgery.
  • Black Trans Femmes in the Arts connects the community of black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts. 
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative is “The first nonprofit organization created by Black women to help protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women and girls.”  Founded by Byllye Y. Avery in 1983, the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) operates out of Washington D.C. and has been consistently advocating for Black women’s physical and mental health through advocacy, research, and public education for over 35 years.  By getting involved with BWHI, you can help them reach their goal of, “..Helping to increase the number of healthy black women in the U.S. from 9.5 million to 12.5 million.” 
  • National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, also known as Ujima, works to end domestic, sexual, and community violence in the Black community and serves as a resource to survivors of violence, advocates, service providers, and the community at-large.  By donating or getting involved, you can help support survivors of violence in the Black community by funding Ujima’s team of case workers, community educators, and researchers.
  • SisterSong, formally named the Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, states is mission statement as, “To strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.”  By donating or getting involved with SisterSong, you can add to their momentum in training the next generation of activists for intersectional reproductive justice and human rights.

Books

1 books

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is written as a letter to the author’s son about being a Black man in America.

2 books

Women, Race, & Class by Angela Davis is a powerful read of the women’s liberation movement in the US that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

3 books

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde is a collection of essays and speeches that discuss sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class.

5 books

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad originally started as an Instagram challenge, and was officially published as a book this year. Me and White Supremacyleads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.”

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A copy of Ella Baker: A Leader Behind the Scenes by Shyrlee Dallard was posted on the Instagram feed of Lexx Valdez and seems like an essential read. The whole post is great and she added this Anti Racism Resource list in her bio.

Citizen

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine is a collection of prose poetry that “recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media.”

Heavy

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon is a powerful and vulnerable memoir that tells the story of Laymon’s youth in Jackson, Mississippi, and his journey as a black man as a writer and college professor facing a “complex relationship with his family, weight, sex, gambling, and writing.”

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The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The New Jim Crow is the landmark bestselling book by civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar Michelle Alexander. Since its release in 2010 it has become a seminal reference book detailing play by play the legal precedents and practices that have transformed America’s Jim Crow policies into America’s current state of mass incarceration. Alexander’s thorough examination of our legal system reveals a labyrinth of obstacles preventing racial justice in the United States, thus creating a roadmap for the necessary work ahead of us in creating justice.

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Octavia’s Brood edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and Walidah Imarisha. Science Fiction from Social Movements: An anthology of visionary science fiction and speculative fiction written by organizers and activists. 

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The End of Policing by Alex Vitale – “Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.”

harriet

A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet E. Washington. Science journalist Harriet E. Washington follows her award winning book Medical Apartheid with this comprehensive examination of socio-economic conditions as pre-determinants of physical health and cognitive development in communities of color.  From the drinking water in Flint Michigan, lead poisoning in Baltimore, and environmental destruction in Puerto Rico, Washington reveals how environmental racism impacts the mental health and development of communities of color.  

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The Fire Next Time (1963) by James Baldwin is regarded as one of the most important books of the Civil Right Era, and is a great introduction to Baldwin’s incredible body of work which also includes Giovanni’s Room, If Beale Street Could Talk, Go Tell It On The Mountain, and much more. As a black and openly gay author in the 60s, Baldwin risked his life to bring his truth to light, and his discussion of race, religion, and sexuality remains as moving and relevant today as ever. 

Unapologetic copy

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene A. Carruthers draws “on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, Unapologetic challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist.”

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So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo breaks down how to have constructive and useful conversations about race in America, including how to confront friends and family members while providing a comprehensive education on the US’s racist heritage.

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How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi weaves a combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of antiracism.

Podcasts

Code Switch explores how race impacts every part of society.

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Still Processing a New York Times culture podcast.

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Racist Sandwich focuses on race, gender and class within the food industry.

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Ear Hustle shares the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration.

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1619 is a New York Times audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.

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The Opt-In invites its audience to an intimate conversation between best friends Aurora, a Black and Latina woman, and Kelly, a white woman. Together they explore their backgrounds, their collective conditioning, their ongoing re-education, their traumas and blind spots, and more through uncomfortable (and also loving, honest) conversations with each other and their guests. 

The Optin

Movies and TV

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Let the Fire Burn is a documentary featuring archival news footage and interviews from the 1985 MOVE bombing, when police dropped military-grade explosives onto the black liberation group’s Philadelphia row home and resulted in the tragic deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes.

13th

13th is a Netflix documentary that features scholars, activists, and politicians analyzing the criminalization of Black people and the US prison boom. 

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I Am Not Your Negro is the 2016 critically acclaimed documentary by Haitian documentarian Raoul Peck featuring readings from author James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript for Remember This House. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, it recounts Baldwin’s memories of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and Medgar Evers. With its masterful film adaptation of Baldwin’s unreleased writings, I Am Not Your Negro provides fresh material for already avid readers of his works, and for white and non-POC viewers, a powerful indictment of racism in America.

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Whose Streets is the 2017 documentary by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis covering the 2014 killing of Michael Brown by police, and the ensuing uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. Whose Streets hands the mic to activists who were on the grounds during the protests, whose organizing and work have paved the way for much of the anti-racist demonstrations occurring across the United States today.

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