I am a white Mama and I am motivated. I know you, like me, want to dive into conversations about race and racism with our kids. We know systemic racism needs to be exposed and ended. We want to be models of allyship. Inspired by the protests in all fifty states, we know deeply that now is the time to bring change to our own homes, with our own children, so that it can continue radiate out into the world.
We also know the number of recommendations can feel daunting. The world is infused with intense emotion, most notably fear, and there are so many voices and opinions. It's easy to feel immobilized and hesitant, unsure where to start and who to listen to.
We at Sparkle want to create a jumping-off-place, for ourselves and for you, so that we all take action instead of hesitating in confusion and anxiety. We scanned the wealth of articles and posts on the internet, and picked those that we thought would be a solid starting point, particularly for families who have not yet engaged in anti-racism conversations at home. All articles are by people of color, as it's essential that we listen deeply and follow their lead.
Where to start?
Here are FIVE STEPS FOR THIS WEEK:
- Expand your own awareness with social media. Follow organizations dedicated to social justice and education around race and racism. (Suggestions below.)
- Read expert recommendations about talking to kids about race and racism, and then jump in. (Websites below.)
- Bring diverse voices and experiences into your own home. Read a book a week by a non-white author, or watch a film that was created by or features the experiences of people of color. (List below.)
- Donate. (Organizations below.)
- Take action in your own community. (Link below.)
If I could add a sixth item, I would say: commit to the long-term. This is a long game, the beginning of many, many conversations and continuous growth. And we must both do the work now and going forward.
See all of our recommendations below.
I hope this inspires you to new conversations with your own families. I can say as a Mama, knowing George Floyd called for his in his last moments, I've never been more motivated. And I want to do this well. I know you do too. But don't let figuring out how to do it "right" get in the way of doing it at all.
Please let us know how the conversations are going in your household. We would love to hear.
1. To expand your own awareness, follow one or more of these organizations on social media:
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Families Belong Together: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
2. Read at least one link below about talking to your kids about race and racism. Here are three to choose from:
short: Talking to Kids About Race (National Geographic)
medium: 100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Justice (Raising Race Conscious Children)
long: Talking About Race (National Museum of African-American History & Culture)
3. Pick a list, then pick one book a week off this list to read with your family:
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners
- 31 Children's Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism and Resistance
- Latinx Books
- Black Women Makers: Books for Littles
Or watch a movie!
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
- Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
- Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
- King In The Wilderness — HBO
- See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Prefer a podcast?
- The Bail Project
- Black Visions Collective
- We Love Lake Street
- Support Austin Black-Owned Businesses
The last two are specific to relief and support of locally owned businesses — the relief fund is in Minneapolis and the Austin business are local to us. We strongly urge you to find relief funds and businesses to support that are local to you!
5. Take Action in Your Community.
Do something off this list: 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice
Would you like more ideas?
See this document: Anti-Racism Resources for White People Many of the suggesions above came from this list.
Not yet a subscriber? Try a free trial HERE.
About the Author
Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.