I spent three months reading anti-racism books, and here’s what I discovered.
At the start of 2021, I started to seriously engage with anti-racism literature. Driven by the events of 2020 — particularly the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in cities around the world, in reaction to the unabated killings of Black men and women in America, I was desperate to understand the genesis of racial injustice — having not been taught this at school, by a predominately White educational system. More importantly, I was eager to learn the means and tools through which White supremacist structures had oppressed the Black population in the past, and why these unjust systems continue to endure.
So, I embarked on a three-month reading spree — not enough in the grand scheme of things, considering how long slavery existed — of anti-racism literature. I was interested in anything I could get my hands on that remotely touched on the topic of race and Black oppression.
Since then, I have read a significant amount on racism and anti-Blackness. While I haven’t read as broadly as many experts in the field of racial justice — realistically speaking, how can you know enough, when slavery is an extensive history, that spanned across the better part of 400 years. I do know enough to say that we have been relentlessly oppressed and subjugated through and by every means possible.
Black history is one of pain, suffering, and hardship. A lot has been sacrificed to get us to where we are today. And a lot more needs to be done to ensure that we pick up the reigns of those who came before us, and shine the torch so that history does not continue repeating itself.
Having said that, I will say that reading predominantly anti-racism literature eventually took its toll on me — mentally, and otherwise. It caused a river of emotions to erupt within me, that threatened to burst its banks. My emotions ranged anywhere from sad, upset, and unhappy to angry, bitter, spiteful, and unaccommodating of White people — the descriptors were endless.
While these emotions are deeply constructive in the sense that they elicit a feeling of righteous indignation over continued racial injustices, prompting individual and community-based…