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SOCIAL JUSTICE & BLACK LIVES MATTER
Resource Information & How to Help

Here are some links to learning more about the issues of social justice, police violence, racism in our communities, answers to uncomfortable questions, and how to support the Black Lives Movement. (Please email us at Editor@Easttowndems.org with any additional suggestions). 

  • From Donating to Volunteering: Here’s How to Support Black Lives Matters, Protesters and Equality Initiatives Time Magazine
  • Joe Biden Editorial: We must urgently root out systemic racism, from policing to housing to opportunity: “Federal dollars should not go to departments that violate people’s rights or turn to violence as a first resort, but I don’t support defunding police...” USA TODAY, June 10, 2020
  • Resources & Ways to Support Black Lives Matter Creative Capital
  • Petitions to Sign  Black Lives Matter
  • A criminal justice expert’s guide to donating effectively right now. Vox
  • Note to self: White people taking part in #BlackLivesMatter protests American Friends Service Committee
  • A black man was afraid to walk in his gentrified community. So 75 neighbors walked with him. The Washington Post
  • 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice Equality Includes You
  • The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic
  • When Feminism is White Supremacy in Heels by Rachel Cargle
  • Microaggressions in Everyday Life by Dr. Derald Wing Sue and Dr. David Rivera, Psychology Today
  • Don’t Talk About Implicit Bias Without Talking About Structural Racism by Kathleen Osta & Hugh Vasquez, The National Equity Project
  • Colorlines – a daily news site published by Race Forward, an organization working to advance racial justice
  • PhillyProtest.com – With a tagline that advertises it as the place to “find other people taking action for important stuff in the Philly area,” the site displays a chronological list of rallies, marches, walks, vigils and gatherings. Click through and you’ll find more details about each one, including a link to organizers’ own event pages.
  • Black Lives Matter – Leading organization founded in 2013 for racial and social justice. Here are ways to connect or follow  the Philadelphia Chapter of Black Lives Matter:
  • INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
  • YOUTUBE VIDEOS (Free)
    • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – Hosted by former NFL-er Emmanuel Acho who directly answers questions from white people. If you are white, you should definitely watch these! Episode One is Emmanuel answering some uncomfortable questions that white people often ask and Episode Two is a stimulating discussion with actor Matthew McConaughey. Each episode is about 10 minutes. Additional episodes are added weekly.
    • Comments by Trevor NoahPowerful reflections and observations by Trevor Noah.Think about that unease that you felt watching that Target being looted,” Noah says. “Try to imagine how it must feel for black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day. Because that’s fundamentally what’s happening in America: Police in America are looting black bodies.” 18 minutes. Nearly 9 million views.
  • FILM & TELEVISION 
    • Just Mercy – “It tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction.” Film 2019, book written 2014 by Bryan Stevenson.  Available on Youtube, Google Play, Amazon Prime or Vudu.
    • When They See Us – “It is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City. Available on Netflix.
    • Dear White People – “An American comedy-drama television series on Netflix that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations.” Available on Netflix.
    • 13th – “Scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.” Netflix documentary.
    • America to Me – “Documentary series that examines the racial, economic and class inequities that persist in our educational system.” Available on Starz. 
    • Race: The Power of an Illusion – A three part documentary series by California Newsreel challenging us to examine our fundamental concepts of race. A great starting place especially with different generations to engage with each other) Fee based.
  • RECOMMENDED BOOK READING (Many of these books should be available at Easttown Library. If you plan on purchasing books, support a local, independent bookseller such as MainPoint Books which is in Wayne.)
    • STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds. National Book Award winner. Extremely readable and educational. A book to help better understand why we are where are and hope for the future. 
    • How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kenzi. From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a refreshing approach that will radically reorient America on the urgent issues of race, justice, and equality.
    • This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell. Twenty lessons on how to How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work.
    • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
    • We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, USA Today. Time. Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Essence, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Week, Kirkus Reviews.  A collection of essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates originally from The Atlantic magazine between 2008 and 2016 over the course of the Obama administration
    • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad. NY Times bestseller. A helpful handbook to work with other friends or family. Takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
    • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The book discusses race-related issues specific to African-American males and mass incarceration in the United States, but as well as among other minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.
  • MEMOIRS BY BLACK AUTHORS
    • Heavy by Kiese Laymon. Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly. “Kiese Laymon powerfully explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.”
    • Good Talk by Mira Jacobs. “Touching, often humorous, and utterly unique graphic memoir takes readers on her journey as a first-generation American. At an increasingly fraught time for immigrants and their families, Good Talk delves into the difficult conversations about race, sex, love, and family that seem to be unavoidable these days.”
    • How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones. One of the best books of the year (2019) as selected by The Washington Post; The NY Times; NPR; Time; The New Yorker; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper’s Bazaar; Elle; Kirkus Reviews. “A haunting coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears.” 
    • Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith. “An account of how, politically and culturally, the existing script for black manhood has been rewritten for the millennial generation. Young men of this age have watched as Barack Obama was elected president but have also witnessed the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and so many other young black men killed by police or vigilante violence.” 
    • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. “In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.”
    • More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth. Winner of the 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Now optioned for development as a TV Series by Paramount Television Studios. “An essential read for women in the workplace today” says Refinery29. “Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.”
    • Born a Crime, Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. NY Times bestseller and named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, NPR, and Booklist. The book details Trevor Noah growing up in his native South Africa during the apartheid era. As the mixed-race son of a white father and a black mother, Noah himself was classified as a “colored” in accordance to the apartheid system of racial classification.
    • The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil. NY Times bestseller. “Wamariya, a human rights advocate, and Weil, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, tell the powerful story of Wamariya’s experience fleeing Rwanda after the genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group began in 1994…This book is not a conventional story about war and its aftermath; it’s a powerful coming-of-age story in which a girl explores her identity in the wake of a brutal war that destroyed her family and home. Wamariya is an exceptional narrator and her story is unforgettable.” 
  • FICTION BY BLACK AUTHORS (fiction provides a richness of experiences and additional points of views)
    • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Winner of 2020 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and name one of the best books of the decade by Time. “Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.”
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Joint Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019. “Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood. Follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British.”
    • Real Life by Brandon Taylor. Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, and more. “A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.”
    • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. NY Times bestseller. Great reviews by NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Time, The New Yorker and others. “A page turner and big-hearted story about race and privilege…In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.”
    • The Hate U Give and On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for young adult hardcover books within the first week of its release in 2017. “The book’s plot follows a teenage girl, Starr Carter, and how her life is impacted by the death of her friend, Khalil, an unarmed black teen shot by a white police officer. The Hate U Give deals with the effect of police brutality on the communities of those around the victim.” On the Come Up was released in February 2019. “Thomas wrote the book so she could discuss the costs tolled on minorities and women when they do speak-up.[13] The book tells the story of a teen rapper who becomes a viral sensation and the way that this distorts and changes who she is. It takes place in the same fictional universe as The Hate U Give.”
    • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Chosen for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 in February 2018. Won the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. “The novel focuses on the marriage of a middle-class African-American couple, Roy and Celestial, who live in Atlanta and whose lives are torn apart when Roy is wrongfully convicted of a rape he did not commit.”
    • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Winner of National Book Award for Fiction in 2018. Time Magazine Best Novel of the YEar and NY Times Top Ten of 2017. Finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Kirkus Prize, and National Book Critics Circle Award. “An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds.”
    • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. NY Times Bestseller. One of Oprah Magazine’s Best Books of 2019. “This poignant tale of choices and their aftermath, history and legacy, will resonate with mothers and daughters…An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other.” 
    • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. One of NPR’s best books of 2019. One of Time’s Best Books of the Year.. “Meet Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman who works for a London newspaper, is struggling to fit in, is dealing with a breakup, and is making all kinds of questionable decisions. In other words, she’s highly relatable in 2019. Brilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking…disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place…” 
    • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. NY Times and Amazon bestseller. “A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.”
    • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Time, Oprah.com, Harper’s Bazaar, San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Esquire, Elle, Paste, Entertainment Weekly, the Skimm, PopSugar, Minneapolis Star Tribune, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, Financial Times. “A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.”
    • Loving Day by Mat Johnson. Named one of the best books of 2016: NY Times, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Men’s Journal, The Miami Herald, The Denver Post, Slate, The Kansas City Star, San Antonio Express-News. “Warren Duffy has returned to America for all the worst reasons: His marriage to a beautiful Welsh woman has come apart; his comics shop in Cardiff has failed; and his Irish American father has died, bequeathing to Warren his last possession, a roofless, half-renovated mansion in the heart of black Philadelphia…A frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story about blacks and whites, fathers and daughters, the living and the dead, Loving Day celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love.”
    • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A best selling novel and one of the best books of the year by NY Times, NPR, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday and Goodreads. One of Time’s 10 Best Fiction Books of the 2010s “The story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.” 
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