Dismantling Anti-Black Racism
We share the profound concerns and frustrations that have arisen in response to the continued violence targeting Black people in our communities. We iterate in the strongest terms possible our condemnation of anti-Black racism and discrimination, and our solidarity with Black, Indigenous and racialized peoples.
We gather in this virtual space from all over the world. We come from diverse backgrounds and have different life journeys. We are brought together by our shared experience of being student parents and advocates for equity and inclusion in post-secondary institutions.
Together, let us actively engage in creating a better world for our children, for our neighbours’ children, and for the generations yet to come. It is not enough to simply acknowledge that racism exists; we must actively work to be anti-racist and dismantle the systems that historically and continually oppress and perpetuate harm.
When we see acts of violence committed against another human being because of the colour of their skin, we feel outrage. We stand for Black lives, Black love, Black joy and liberation. We stand for long-overdue reparations, justice, peace and for Black healing.
Examine yourself. Examine your privilege and the power that comes with it. Be mindful of how your positionality shapes your biases and unbiases. Are you using your power to the best of your ability to dismantle anti-Black oppression? Examine your family. Are you educating your children on race? It is important to engage in these reflexive activities, but also recognize that they are only so valuable as they motivate non-performative, supportive actions.
To dismantle the systems that have historically disadvantaged and continue to disadvantage Black folx, we need to show up for the Black community and do the work. Here, we share an ongoing list of resources for how we can show up.
. . . with your Voice (Speak Up)
Social media has become the vehicle of the Black Lives Matter movement. All of us who have a social networking account have tremendous power to use our voice for good. Silence is complicity, so say something, be an active ally, and hold others accountable. Have difficult conversations in your family, where we often create and condone spaces for racist talk. Call out racism in your workplace and in society.
Social Media Participation in an Activist Movement for Racial Equality
This free article describes the influence of social media in raising awareness and support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. The way that media is used is related to levels of police brutality in an area and predicts participation in protests.
. . . with your Brain (Educate Yourself and your Children)
Read the work of Black scholars who deconstruct issues of systemic racism, the justice system, policing, and prison abolition.
E-books on Business and Race
The BRIDGE librarians at UTSC have put together educational resources on the intersection between business disciplines and race. Topics include Black women in management, how to create equal opportunity, race and the technological era, and numerous titles about cultural safety in a Canadian context.
JSTOR’s Syllabus on Institutionalized Racism
JSTOR has compiled a list of articles on institutionalized racism, written by a BIPOC and White authors. Topics include the history of police violence in parts of the US, how protesters embody their cause, African American studies, racial and economic disparity, viral Black death, and much more.
U of T Libraries’ Anti-Black Racism Reading List
Librarians at U of T have compiled a list of recommended literature on anti-Black racism. Topics include racism and violence in Canada, Black resistance, health equity, and education. Most books are available across the University of Toronto Library system and at the Toronto Public Library, and some are completely online.
Children’s Books on Race from OISE Library
It’s never too early to start talking to kids about race. OISE Library has compiled a list of children’s books on anti-Black racism in both Canada and the US.
10 Poems by Black Authors Contextualized
This article from Interesting Literature describes the personal and historical context of some of the most important poems by Black authors. Links to the poems are also included.
Poetry by Black Authors
The Poetry Foundation’s list of poems by Black authors.
Racist Children’s Songs
Are your children listening to songs you may not have known were racist? This article breaks down why some of the nursery rhymes we grew up singing have dark meanings and are problematic.
Your Kids Aren’t too Young to Talk About Race (Resource Roundup)
A list of resources for talking to children about race.
The Innovation Hub’s Resources on Anti-Black Racism
A list of resources on literature, movies, and podcasts to educate yourself on systemic anti-Black racism.
A Comprehensive Guide to Allyship
A comprehensive guide to what it means to be an ally, do’s and don’ts in supporting the Black community, and tons of other resources.
- Some articles mentioned in this guide:
“In Defense of Looting” by Vicky Osterweil
“There’s No Such Thing as a Pretty Protest” by Tirhakah Love
“White Witness and the Contemporary Lynching” by Zoé Samudzi
“Black is Crime: Notes on Blaqillegalism” by Dubian Ade
The New Normal
In a special two-part episode of her podcast, The New Normal, Professor Maydianne Andrade, Vice-Dean of Faculty Affairs and Equity at the University of Toronto Scarborough, explores the intergenerational impact and trauma of anti-Black racism and violence through academic and personal experiences.
This short (20-minute) podcast from the New York Times focuses on race relations and racial disparity in a North American context. Recent episodes of interest include “The Systems That Protect the Police” and “The Latest From Minneapolis.”
In August 1619, the first ship carrying African slaves arrived in the English colony of Virgina. This audio series from the New York Times, hosted by Black author Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the historical shadow of that fateful moment. Titles include “The Fight for a True Democracy,” “The Economy that Slavery Built,” and “The Land of our Fathers.”
Think Canada is better than the US when it comes to race? Think again. The Globe and Mail’s Colour Code talks about race in Canada. Topics include biracialism, how race influences real estate, the Cajun connection, and how to have conversations about race in our families.
Hosted by journalists of color, Code Switch tackles race head-on through unfiltered dialogue about how it permeates society. It explores the influence of race on politics, pop culture, history, sports and much more. This podcast makes everyone part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story.
In this podcast about the pleasures and pathologies of life in America, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, two Black, queer writers from New York, talk about social issues in America. Notable episodes that talk about Black issues include “Kaepernick,” “Our Journey to the ‘Blacksonian’,” and “Wake.”
In this one-hour weekly podcast, by Black scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw (who coined the term intersectionality) talks about what this means in practice and how to fight for justice for Black women.
Witness Black History
This podcast from BBC features interviews with people who were present at important moments during Black and civil rights history.
Slay in Your Lane
This podcast from Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené looks at the news and pop culture from a Black British woman’s perspective.
Anti-Racist Movies and TV Shows on Netflix
A list of movies and TV shows on Netflix that deal with issues of anti-Black racism. Titles include 13th, When They See Us, Who Killed Malcom X, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, Dear White People, and Mudbound.
20 Movies and TV Shows About Racism in America
A list of old and new movies and TV shows about Racism in America, as well as descriptions about the topics they cover.
The Skin We’re In Documentary
Urgent, controversial, and undeniably honest, The Skin We’re In is a wake-up call to complacent Canadians. Racism is here. It is everywhere. It is us and we are it. Following celebrated journalist Desmond Cole as he researches his hotly anticipated book, this documentary from acclaimed director Charles Officer pulls back the curtain on racism in Canada.
. . . with your Money (Support Financially)
There is power in money. Donate to organizations that work to combat racial injustice. Understand that individual consumers and brands have the power to reduce economic disparity in America and effect long-term change. Here are some of the ways you can use your money to combat racism.
Donate to Organizations Combatting Racism
A list of organizations in Ontario and the rest of Canada doing work to dismantle racism from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).
Donate to the Black Lives Matter Global Network
Fund the Black Lives Matter movement that actively works to fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end White supremacy.
Shop Black Lives Matter Products
Promote the #BlackLivesMatter campaign by lending your financial support to Black Lives Matter.
Support Black Businesses (List of Businesses to Support)
Whether you are shopping for books, beauty products, therapy, fashion items, or some other product or service, support Black businesses wherever possible.
Donate to Causes Supporting Reparations for Black People
Donate to efforts supporting reparations for Black people via Institute of the Black World 21st Century.
. . . with your Body (Take Action)
Send a message to your local politician to support H.R. 40, a bill that would set up a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its impact and make recommendations for reparations to Congress.
Support Calls to Defund the Police
There is considerable evidence that policing harms rather than protects the lives of BIPOC. We need to defund the police, and redirect funds towards building safer communities. Here are specific steps that people from Toronto can take to garner support from their politicians. Look for ways to do the same in your own community!
Sign petitions to get justice for Black folx who have lost their life to racist policing, and protesters.
Legal Clinics, Advocacy Organizations and Pro Bono Services
Black Lives Matter Toronto’s list of legal resources made for and by Black people in Ontario.
Other ways to help
An unofficial list of other ways to support Black Lives Matter.
Continue the Fight
We cannot only speak out about these issues when Black Lives Matter is a hot topic. It’s not about clearing our names on social media or saying something then dusting our hands and being done with it. Integrate anti-Racist action in all of your work. Call out racism in higher education, both in spaces and fields where these conversations typically occur, and in the spaces where they do not. Educate your students and employees and create spaces for reflection and resource sharing. Dismantling oppressive systems is a labour that must be undertaken by everyone, not just BIPOC, and we must be steadfast in our plight.