Resources: Anti-Racism Tools for White Folks

A Few Videos…

5 Tips for Being an Ally (Short, great video!)

6 Rules for Allies – Dr. Jones (Thoughtful, insightful video!)

White Like Me– Educational Video from anti-racism author Tim Wise

General Articles

Where White People Should Start – FANTASTIC article that gives a great critique of common white responses to racism, and helpful, insightful suggestions white folks can do to start dismantling racism. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Dear White America…“If you are not listening, not exposing yourself to unfamiliar perspectives, not watching videos, not engaging in conversation, then you are perpetuating white privilege and white supremacy. It is exactly your ability to not hear, to ignore the situation, that is a mark of your privilege….This is what you might come to realize, if you spent your days in my skin.…”whitepeoplelegacy

Hey, White People! If You Really Want to Help End Racism, You Need to Invest in Other White People – “…We must recognize that when we choose to ignore racism or write off well meaning (if ignorant) White people, it’s not the same act of self preservation that people of Color choose; to walk away as White folks is an act of privilege….”

On Being: To be White and Reckon with the Death of Michael Brown:   “I believe we, white Americans, are still — 150 years after slavery ended — dabbling in racial courage, specializing in amnesia, flummoxed by the acts of our ancestors and our responsibility for the past, and continuously struggling to wrap our minds around the structural racism that is our present.”

Grieving the White Void – In depth, thoughtful read on the consequences of toxic whiteness: “What is the absence of humanity inside of me created by Whiteness? And what would it mean to fully grieve that absence?”

White Guilt and White Fragility

The Painful and Liberating Practice of Facing My Own Racism

From White Guilt to White Responsibility – What it means as a white person to hold the invisible knapsack of privilege.

Moving Beyond White Guilt – “When a person of color says “That’s racist,” it’s time to take a deep breath, close my mouth and listen, because school is in session


Dear Fellow White People: An Appeal for Sustained Discomfort “The reality, however, is that while some of us seek change that takes place at a rate we can tolerate, many have been forced to come to… live in this nation under conditions that have been intolerable from the start. Intolerable is the status quo for many in this nation…”

11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism – Some really specific ways that white fragility works, including the unspoken rules of white engagement. waking-up-white.-3

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism -A thorough, engaging article on the barriers white folks have to discussing racism

4 Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the White Tears – “It’s important to remember that your feelings are valid, and that being anti-racist is always going to be hard work. Showing up as effective allies means recognizing your own limitations and emotions…”

Nuances of Allyship

Holy Shit, Being an Ally Isn’t About Me! –  Great first person reflection from a white woman.

How White Americans Lose When They Don’t Stand Up for Racial Justice (and 4 Ways They Can Counter Racism Instead)

4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege “The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.”   ..and a response to this article here:

4 Ways To Really Push Back Against Your Privilege “The problem with seeing your own privilege as a guilty stash of opportunities that just need to turned down is that a whole lot of well-meaning, academically-educated, left leaning folk can do exactly that and the only tangible effect will be that they feel less guilty. The systems that bring about structural inequalities will still be in place….”

10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism – FANTASTIC article. “Like many 40-something White liberals, I too assume I’m relatively open-minded and conscious of my white privilege. “I’m not a racist,” I say to myself, when images of police brutality flash on the screen. “I’m not like those white people.” Or am I?”


Grieving the White Void – in depth, thoughtful read on the consequences of whiteness:“What is the absence of humanity inside of me created by Whiteness? And what would it mean to fully grieve that absence?”

Why White Liberals Need To Stop Policing #BlackLivesMatter – On respectability politics, disruption, and strategy

The Unchecked Racism Of The Left And The Platinum Rule – “Do unto others as they’d have done unto them…”

Why I am Skeptical of White Liberals in the Black Lives Matter Movement – “As long as we think we are “being good people” whose primary goal in racial movements is to “help others”, we are buying into the mistaken belief that how we live life is better than how other people live life. We are buying into the mistaken belief that white cultural values are better than other cultural values. And, on that front, we are wrong. We haven’t just failed to care for the earth, we have failed to care for ourselves.”

Detour-Spotting for White Anti-Racists – An examination of attitudes and behaviors that detour us from our anti-racist journey of re-education.


Taking Anti-Racist Action

Nice White Ladies a space to ask newbie white questions, work out white guilt, and learn how to put our “Nice Lady” impulses to work so that we are supporting the larger movement, rather than getting in the way.

Note to self: White people taking part in #BlackLivesMatter protests – Great article!  “I came up with some guidelines for myself while participating in public demonstrations against racism and police violence.”

26 Ways To Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets – “There are and always have been people who cannot attend protests but who contribute to ending police and state violence against black people. This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation.”

People of Color Can’t Cure Your Racism, But Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Instead complicity

What We Need from White Allies in the Fight for Justice – “We can’t discredit the allies who risked their lives to bring issues of injustice to the table. But these real allies listen, stay informed, and allow space for those who are actually being silenced, subjugated, and disenfranchised…”

11 Things White People Can Do to Be Real Anti-Racist Allies – A sort of open letter to white allies who want to do the hard work of truly working to fight racism.

What You Can Do Right Now About Police Brutality -“…Actions speak louder than words. Instead of telling your black friends that you hope things will get better, show them how you are working to make things better. “

12 Things White People Can Do Now: “This list is a good place to start your fight to dismantle racial inequity and shine a light on the oppressive structures that lead to yet another extrajudicial killing of a black person.”

On White People, Solidarity and (Not) Marching for Mike Brown: “Solidarity is not meant to be comfortable. It is not shining light on yourself as ally at the expense of the oppressed…It is understanding that…at the end of the day, when you get tired of marching and chanting, you can put your hands down and feel confident that the police won’t see you as a threat. Some of us simply don’t have that luxury.”

Other Resources

Extensive Racism Reading List – from the St. Louis YWCA

towards the other americaTowards the Other America – “an important primer for new and seasoned white anti-racist organizers and activists in the era of #BlackLivesMatter….” – Alicia Garza, Co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter organizing network,



WUWcoverFINAL-200x300Waking Up White –  Derby’s personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues. Great, accessible read.



witnessing whitenessWitnessing Whiteness – book-group materials are available on their website. Highly recommended for ongoing discussion on race!



white folksFor White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education – “If you’re looking for the revolutionary meaning, and imaginative transformation, of teaching for the real America, you’re holding it in your hands! Christopher Emdin is Jonathan Kozol with swag!” —Michael Eric Dyson

“Your privilege is not a reason for guilt, it is a part of your power, to be used in support of those things you say you believe. Because to absorb without use is the gravest error of privilege…How much of your lives are you willing to spend merely protecting your privileged status? Is that more than you are prepared to spend putting your dreams and beliefs for a better world into action?” – Audre Lorde

sarah hermes