Allyship begins with understanding, and understanding starts with education.
The global protests and Black Lives Matter movement that followed the murder of George Floyd – and countless other Black Americans at the hands of police – have been nothing short of groundbreaking. They have shifted not only they way we view the world, but how we conduct ourselves. How we see others. How we treat others. How we can help others.
While it’s only the very tip of the iceberg, the best way to get informed about racism and white supremacy is by opening your mind to film, TV and literature. There are so many critical books to read, so many films to watch.
Watching and listening and reading Black voices isn’t allyship or antiracism, but it’s a step in the right direction. Let the poems of Audre Leon move you. The films of Spike Lee shock you. The essays of James Baldwin haunt you. These are the voices we should be listening to right now. These are the voices that will educate you – us – on the black experience in America – and the world – in a way so profound, so powerful, they will leave an indelible mark forever and hopefully, spark change.
While by no means a definitive list, this edit of books by Nicole Richie is a pretty good place to start. Richie recently shared some of her favourite BIPOC books on Instagram with this poignant note:
“Here are some of my books I want to share with you. Fill your house, your mind & your heart with Black stories. Black lives matter. Black stories matter.”