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14 Resources to Help You Become a Better Anti-Racist

14 Resources to Help You Become a Better Anti-Racist

Earlier this month, Rassmussen Reports found that only 15% of Americans believe race relations are improving. And only 26% of American Adults believe race relations in the nation today are “good or excellent.”

Those are pretty staggering statistics to read just four years after a “summer of racial reckoning” in America. After the nationwide protests slowed down, and leaders stopped giving impassioned speeches, and life carried on, it seems that not much has changed. But that doesn’t mena it has to stay that way.

Racism isn’t solved with one season of protests. It’s through learning and unlearning and relearning. It’s making the decision to move from simply being non-racist to being an anti-racist. But where can you start? Here’s a few ideas:

To Read

Michelle Alexander’s seminal The New Jim Crow is a profoundly sobering look at the ways the criminal justice system has been rigged against black people, upholding “the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States.” Alexander is a professor at Union Theological Seminary.

James H. Cones’ The Cross and the Lynching Tree is a vital look on not just racism in the U.S., but how directly America’s history of racism is intertwined with Christian theology stretching all the way back to the time of Jesus.

Toni Morrison’s works are excellent for the more fiction-oriented reader, with books like Beloved and The Bluest Eye providing a gorgeous, tragic, unique insight into the black experience in America.

Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist is a great guide on how to move beyond milquetoast calls for unity to more meaningful action aimed at reorienting the system.

Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy is a vital look at the death penalty, the myriad ways it disproportionately affects black people in America and one man’s attempt to abolish it.

Dr. Christena Cleveland’s Disunity in Christ explores the social factors that have split the Church, leading to Sunday morning famously being “the most segregated hour in America.”

Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise charts the history of America through the eyes of its black citizens, the ways the Church has participated in their subjugation and provides meaningful ways to move forward to a more equitable future.

To Watch

Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary The 13th is indispensable for anyone who wants to better understand racism in the American prison system, and even better is her When They See Us, which tells the harrowing story of the Central Park Five.


Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary about the life of poet, author and activist James Baldwin.


A Time for Burning is a fascinating little time capsule, a 1967 documentary about one white pastor’s attempt to racially integrate his Omaha, Nebraska church and the incredible obstacles he faced along the way. The movie is free on YouTube and features the famous scene in which future longtime Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers delivers this painful message to Pastor William Youngdahl.

Spike Lee’s entire filmography belongs on this list but Do the Right Thing remains one of his most vital works: a 1989 acerbic comedy that has only grown more poignant with age.

Just Mercy, the film adaptation of Bryan Stevenson’s book referenced above, stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson and is available on Peacock and Max.

To Listen

The Truth’s Table podcast features three black women — Michelle Higgins, Ekemini Uwan and Dr. Christina Edmonson — talking about theology, culture, race and justice. Listen to it here.

NPR’s Code Switch has become an important hub of conversations around race and culture in the U.S., starring a group of journalists “fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.” Listen here.

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