Since demonstrations against anti-Black racism and police brutality began in late May, Pocket has recommended dozens of articles, essays, and interviews on the fight for racial justice and Black lives — from the history of anti-Black racism in America to reflections on Black resilience and remembrances of those lost. Below is a small sampling of these recommended reads.
- The Protests
- In Memoriam
- Essays and Reflections
- Black Resilience, Art, and Joy
- Dear White People
- What’s Next?
“What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.”
Why does it remain so difficult for outrage over the killing of Black women to be the tipping point for national protests challenging state violence?
Without the proper context, it is impossible to understand the mushroom cloud of uprisings that are exploding across the country in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others.
In 1921, Tulsa was home to one of the most prosperous African American communities in the country. But in a span of just more than 12 hours, the thriving community known as Black Wall Street was wiped out by white mobs.
The sparks of global rebellion we are seeing today are rooted in the Haitian Revolution, the first successful Black-led uprising for racial equality and independence in the modern world.
Perhaps more than ever, we need to better educate ourselves on the history of slavery, and consider the ways in which it informs how we have arrived at the present.
Our founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written. For generations, black Americans have fought to make them true.
George Floyd had big plans for life nearly 30 years ago. His death in police custody is powering a movement against police brutality and racial injustice.
These are their stories.
Essays and Reflections
“I just witnessed the lynching of a black man, but don’t worry Ted, I’ll have those deliverables to you end of day.”
“The problem is the way policing was built,” historian Khalil Muhammad says.
The controversial version of the U.S. flag has been hailed as a sign of police solidarity and criticized as a symbol of white supremacy.
The Police Have Been Spying on Black Reporters and Activists for Years. I Know Because I’m One of Them.
Wendi C. Thomas is a black journalist who has covered police in Memphis. One officer admitted to spying on her. She’s on a long list of prominent black journalists and activists who have been subjected to police surveillance over decades.
Black Resilience, Art, and Joy
Awash in the ghastly video mosaic shot by black people’s cameraphones, I found myself doubled over the kitchen sink. Then a lyric gave me strength.
For 500 years, Black communities in America have sustained and supported protest through food.
Nic Stone, author of the best-selling young adult novel Dear Martin, explains why your anti-racist reading lists aren’t enough.
“Parable of the Sower” isn’t just a prescient dystopia—it’s a monument to the wisdom of Black women and girls.
“Black readers need to see themselves in narratives outside of racism, slavery, Jim Crow, police brutality. As do non-Black readers. In order to create a safe world for Black people, books that don’t focus on “issues” need to be given just as much space.”
What happens when an African American woman decides to solo-hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine during a summer of bitter political upheaval? Everything you can imagine, from scary moments of racism to new friendships to soaring epiphanies about the timeless value of America’s most storied trekking route.
“I don’t know exactly when I decided to stop writing about whiteness and focus purely on blackness. What I do know is that for the past few years I specifically made a decision to write about the celebration of blackness and black culture and whatever comes with it.”
Dear White People
If you’re a “well-meaning” white person feeling lost in your own self-actualization process, here are five basic ideas you must grasp.
If you’re not black and you have black friends whom you are only reaching out to now, be thoughtful about how you do it.
Mostly, my non-Black friends are doing all of the right things this week, both online and off. But that doesn’t stop me from being mad.
Too often whites at discussions on race decide for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are.
The veteran civil rights campaigner on growing up in segregated America, the opportunity of the Black Lives Matter movement and what inspires her to keep fighting.
“Changing the way we police, prosecute, judge, and punish is the essence of criminal-justice reform,” the famed civil-rights lawyer and founder founder of the Equal Justice Initiative says.
In a rare interview, the activist opens up about the George Floyd protests, police brutality, and the conditions in the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center after a staffer came down with coronavirus.
An interview with adrienne maree brown on why changing the world doesn’t have to be just another form of work.
Activist and academic Rachel Cargle takes us into the weeds of America’s systems of oppression with womanist scholar EbonyJanice Moore.
This country prizes Black children’s precocity — insists on it, even, much of the time.
With a new daughter entering a world defined by protests and a pandemic, a middle-aged father feels his faith in America—or, more accurately, “Great-Again America”—slipping away.
When the Movement for Black Lives began, I did not have children. Now the fight means more to me—coupled with fears that are even deeper.
Even for a psychologist who studies how kids understand racism and violence, talking to her own children about it is difficult.
A Charlottesville-based activist, organizer, and social impact strategist — offers insight into how people can take anti-racist action.
An expert breaks down what anti-racism actually is, and how we can truly embrace it.
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