June 16, 2020

7 videos that help explain racism and how to be anti-racist

If books aren't in your budget or attention span, watch one or all of these videos about anti-racism and what you can do to be an ally.

A good way to start learning is by listening to the voices of those who are fighting for racial justice. Photo by James Eades/Unsplash

If you want to understand racism in 2020, educating yourself on the history of white supremacy and a system that values certain lives over others is a good place to start. For that, there are several excellent anti-racist reading lists, which seem to be popping up everywhere right now. We’ve even made an activist reading list of our own. But the intensity of life amid a global pandemic can make sitting down to read a bit stressful.

Still, it’s important to educate yourself, so we’ve curated an anti-racist watch list—a series of videos and lectures that offer insights into the current moment and can help complement an anti-racism education. This list is not exhaustive—we encourage you to do your own research and learn more.

“How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time,” from TED 

Writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston uses his wit and grammar skills to break down the many news stories of white people who call the police on Black people. Thurston shows that by rewriting these news headlines, you can reframe the narrative.

“How to talk to kids about race,” from The Atlantic 

This video is from 2018, but the lessons are still applicable for all parents and guardians today. Author Jemar Tisby explains practical ways to talk to children about race and issues, using books, movies, and landmarks as an entry point.

“Just belonging: Finding the courage to interrupt bias,” from Ted X Talks

Kori Carew, an inclusion strategist, speaker, and writer, encourages people to listen to their colleagues and embrace vulnerability during difficult conversations. Carew asks allies to find their courage and speak up during everyday moments of racial tension, citing key examples from her own life.

“Debunking the most common myths white people tell about race,” from NBC News

Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, reveals the many common excuses her fellow white people offer up during discussions of race. DiAngelo deconstructs these cliches, addresses why they’re wrong, and offers a new framework for how to have these discussions.

“The dangers of white washing black history,” from Ted X Talks

David Ikard is a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. By debunking the popular myths around Rosa Parks, and explaining what actually happened, he demonstrates the importance of learning the truth of the civil rights movement.

“Screaming in the silence: How to be an ally, not a savior,” from Ted X Talks 

Teacher and activist Graciela Mohamedi highlights the importance of centering voices of color during protests and activist events. Mohamedi encourages her audience to get comfortable with silence as a strategy.

“So you want to talk about race,” from Talks at Google 

Ijeoma Oluo reads from her book So You Want to Talk About Race that’s currently on many reading lists, as well as the New York Times bestseller list. Oluo shares her own difficulties discussing race, but emphasizes the importance of having those difficult conversations, as she believes having those difficult conversations are the only way forward.

Caitlin Fairchild

Caitlin Fairchild is the Deputy Editor of The Renewal Project.
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