Black Lives Matter: If You Don’t Get It, Fucking Read And Educate Yourself!

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The Black Lives Matter protests, in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other innocent black people, look set to change the world for the better.

As a white person, I can never understand what the BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) community is going through, but I’m trying my best to be a supportive ally.

One thing I, as a white person, have noticed is that other white people keep asking members of the BAME community to explain what’s going on to them.

That is fucking stupid.

It’s not the BAME community’s job to educate you. You’ve got the whole internet at your fingertips, not to mention books, documentaries, blogs, podcasts and more, all explaining the history of racism and white supremacy.

I see it myself all the time; white guys I went to university with demanding explanations for stuff that they could learn about for themselves like sexism and why I hate the President of the USA.

Recently, a guy I went to school with commented on a Facebook post asking me to prove that Donald Trump’s photo op at that church, where he cleared a congregation to take a picture waving a bible, was real. Like he couldn’t read the news for himself.

And that’s just me dealing with douche bags I went to school with; if I’m irritated, it must only be 10 million times worse for the BAME community.

Don’t get me wrong; if the BAME people you know want to talk to you about the protests or their experiences, then listen, support them and ask questions if you need to. Be a good friend and ally.

Just don’t expect them to educate you and prove to you that racism exists.

If you don’t know or understand what’s going on right now, or why these protests matter so much, then read about it- don’t put the burden on your friends.

There are loads of free resources, blogs and websites online that will help you to understand the importance of this movement, including:

You could also read books like:

  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Strength to Love

  • Literally anything by Maya Angelou

  • Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father

  • Michelle Obama’s Becoming

  • Zadie Smith’s On Beauty

  • Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider 

  • Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things

  • Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

  • Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave

  • Wesley Lowery’s They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice Movement

  • Anchee Min’s The Last Empress

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

  • Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (the title is apt given the topic of this blog post)

  • Toni Morrison’s Beloved

These aren’t exhaustive lists; go out there and read as widely as possible. The world is evolving and you’re living through history- put some fucking effort in and learn about what’s going on!

Try to read books written by as many BAME authors as possible, so you can find out about different perspectives without being an annoying dick to the people you know.

So, in all, be a supportive friend and learn for your fucking self. I’m not asking you to do much, just read and learn without having to make your friends, who are already in turmoil and living in a bloody strange world, educate you like you’re a small child. Read and learn like the responsible adult you’re pretending to be.

8 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter: If You Don’t Get It, Fucking Read And Educate Yourself!

  1. An excellent list! There are also some very fine crime writers of color too. Walter Mosley leaps to mind, but so does Jon Vercher, whose “Three Fifths” is out in the UK (if not now, then soon). S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is due out soon; Attica Locke (Bluebird, Bluebird; Pleasantville, and more).

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  2. Cherry

    As the previous commentator, I came for book recommendations and found this post. Thanks for this list. Can I add two more that have helped me understand better in the past?
    Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain.by Peter Fryer and
    Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The emotional power of the latter has stayed with me since I read it in the 80s.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Five Awesome Crime Fiction Novels By Black Writers – The Dorset Book Detective

  4. Pingback: Why Boosting Diversity In School Reading Lists Is Essential – The Dorset Book Detective

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