After George Floyd was murdered by police while the world viewed the horrifying 8:46 minutes on live TV, I said to myself 'enough is enough.' I needed to find a way help however I could so that this never happens again. My first inclination was to get out and protest and march on the streets of Tacoma or Seattle. But my concerns about the coronavirus kept me indoors. Instead I opted to create a list of books I can recommend on the topic of black lives matter, or books I thought would at least advance the discussion. (See that list here.)
In addition, I started reading furiously to educate myself.Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. (I hyperlinked the title. Please visit my review of that book by clicking it.) The book was an eye-opening experience for me. It was written by Saad as an Instagram 28-day challenge and then consolidated into a book with each chapter being one day of the challenge. I had to read it faster than was recommended because I didn't have enough time to digest it slowly before the next club meet. But the book certainly started me on my goal of educating myself to become a better anti-racist. I recommend you read this book, but give yourself longer than a month to read it and find a support group to discuss it as you move through the material.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine moving. This is what I said in my review of this astonishing volume---"Of all the books I've read so far, Citizen has brought me the furthest at the fastest pace. By page two I was seething, and cringing, and crying, and praying 'God help us find another way.'" I highly recommend it, even if you aren't a big poetry reader. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith contains some very volatile poems where blacks speak from the grave about the issues that killed them. I had a harder time understanding this poems, though I certainly felt the anger and frustration that the poet was expressing.
I haven't read the book White Fragility by DiAngelo, but I have become familiar with the term and what it means. Since we live in a largely segregated society, whites are often insulated from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first
application of stress. Like the teacher in the book getting angry with the kid for calling him the wrong name. "Mostly unconsciously white
people feel that they are entitled to peace and deference, so they lack the 'racial stamina' to engage in difficult conversations. This leads them
to respond to 'racial triggers'.” I resolve to be more conscious of myself and my feelings around racial topics and to stop myself when I start to feel fragile. One (all?) of the above books spoke about the determination for folks to become a better ancestor. I like that. I am not perfect but I am determined to do better and be better every day toward my goal of becoming anti-racist.