17 Books, Podcasts, and Documentaries to Expand Your Anti-Racist Education
To make the world a better place, we have to understand the social issues that exist. But to do that, we have to learn about experiences, perspectives, and intersections that are different from our own. It can be emotionally and physically draining for marginalized people to deal with the burden of living through oppression, and then delivering their life experience as education for everyone else to learn from. There needs to be less reliance on people who experience oppression — that are known to us personally or who we follow on social media — for emotional support, labour, or education. Instead, find resources that oppressed people are publicly putting out there, and learn from those.
As everyone learns in different ways, and some people may experience accessibility barriers to certain methods of learning, the list of resources below is diversified into Books, Podcasts, and Documentaries, that each voice the stories and experiences of Black people.
REMEMBER, it’s easy to feel enlightened to white supremacy, racism and other forms of oppression, from learning and listening to marginalized voices. However, it takes further action to be an ally. We have to act to be against marginalization. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Read these 8 ways to be an ally for people of colour.
Books by Black authors about racism, oppression, white supremacy and experiencing the world as a black person.
- Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis — Essays, interviews, and speeches, by world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis, that illuminate the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history, and around the world.
- How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide by Crystal Marie Fleming — Anessential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics.
- Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown — Essays that draw on the black, queer feminism experience and explore the politics of healing and happiness.
- The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole — Month-by-month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality, follows anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, and unpacks the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo — Guiding readers through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” to provide honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
Podcasts that are hosted by Black creators
- About Race — From Reni Eddo-Lodge, this podcast digs deeper into conversations about race, featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism.
- Good Ancestor — Conversations with change-makers and culture-shapers, covering an array of topics from fast fashion to healing to motherhood.
- No White Saviors — Deep dives into important topics, with guests sharing their own unique perspectives from the African continent & all over the world.
- The Nod — A gleeful exploration of all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.
Documentaries that identify racism and systemic oppression or amplify the stories of black people.
- 13th — Insight to how the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” relates to mass criminalization of people of colour, in particular black men.
- Dark Girls — An emotional and heartfelt documentary examining why skin-colour bias persists among people of African descent, and how it affects the lives of women on the receiving end.
- Flint’s Deadly Water — An investigation into how a public health disaster, that’s become known for the lead poisoning of thousands of children, also spawned one of the largest outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in U.S. history.
- Generation Revolution — Through the powerful stories of London’s new generation of black and brown activists, this documentary explores the successes and unexpected challenges these inspiring young people face.
- Injustice Anywhere — Filmmaker Aziza Binti documents an understanding that racism is indeed everyone’s issue.
- Resist — This docu-series explores grassroots efforts and gives a first-hand look behind the scenes of powerful activism in action, that challenges the status quo.
- Stay Woke: Black Lives Matter — Film-maker Laurens Grant chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first-person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists, and celebrities.
- Urban Roots — The story of the spontaneous emergence of urban farming in the city of Detroit, a once-industrial powerhouse whose community suffered due to the collapse of manufacturing.