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Reading list: reflections on race

Reading list: Reflections on the fight for racial justice

We have paused our usual publishing schedule this week to give ourselves and our audience some time to process what’s been happening in the wider world, particularly on the streets of the US.

We’re very conscious that we have a lot of work to do around diversity and inclusion at Intercom, and we have not always been where we want to be in that regard.

We all have work to do individually too, and many of us are starting to educate ourselves on how to be allies for racial justice, learning how we can take part to make a difference and stand for change. These are some of the resources that have been shared internally at Intercom this week.

Current reflections

Historical context

  • I’ve been to the mountaintop: The final speech by Martin Luther King, delivered to a huge crowd of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee in April 1968, conveys the scale of the African American struggle for equal rights. King was assassinated the next day.
  • My dungeon shook – letter to my nephew: James Baldwin’s 1962 essay, which became half of his classic book The Fire Next Time, remains one of the most powerful personal reflections on the history of race relations in the US.
  • The case for reparations: Ta-Nehisi Coates changed the national conversation with this compelling argument for a belated reckoning on the long history of racial injustice.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou’s first memoir, describing her youth in Arkansas, paints a harrowing picture of the vicious racism and violence she had to endure.
  • Eyes on the Prize: This 14-part PBS documentary series tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the perspective of those who launched the movement.
  • The 13th: Ava DuVernay’s documentary about how the Thirteenth Amendment led to mass incarceration in the United States. Available for most regions on Netflix. You can read more about the film here.

Allyship

Podcasts

  • The Stoop: Leila Day and Hana Baba’s long-running podcast which features stories from across the Black diaspora.
  • You Had Me at Black: A podcast and live event group whose self-professed aim is to “highlight parts of the black experience that aren’t typically shown in the media- the innocent, carefree, heartbreaking, painful, victorious moments that make up our lives.”
  • Code SwitchA team of NPR journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, and how they play out in our lives and communities.
  • 1619: The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. This podcast forms part of the wider project.
  • Have You Heard George’s Podcast: An experimental podcast mix of poetry, fiction, news, history and music that shines a light on the BAME experience in modern Britain. Hosted by George the Poet, a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage.

Educating the next generation

Kid-friendly resources about antiracism, diversity and inclusion.

Where to take action

Should you wish, or have financial capacity, here are some funds which would benefit from your support.

Donate to The Bail Project, which provides funds to pay bail for those who have been arrested during the protests.

Donate to The Movement For Black Lives, a global initiative which aims to support Black organizations to conduct conversations about current political conditions.

Donate to Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.

The NAACP has numerous ways you can get involved. Donate, support policy demands or sign a petition at their website.