This post was originally published on December 4, 2014. It is updated frequently.
Last week I posted a tweet:
“I greatly dislike the notion that #Ferguson has resurfaced the convo on race in this country. No, you’re just starting to listen.”
And I meant every single character.
I’ve been grappling with my place in the hot-button conversations on race that are surrounding the non-indictments in the Mike Brown and Eric Garner cases, Ferguson and St. Louis (my hometown), Tamir Rice, educational inequalities from elementary school to higher education; my list continues to grow. As a writer, a poet, an activist, a believer in justice, love and peace, I’ve found myself at a roadblock, suffocating from the minute-by-minute news tidbits being released, the OP-Eds, the conspiracies, the negligence in evidence and blatant disrespect and disregard for humanity. For a few days, I shut it off, and I considered where my voice will fit in this conversation. I still haven’t figured that much out yet, but I know that I truly believe in meaningful and transformational actions and words. And I continue to challenge both myself and those voicing their opinions, to search and say those things that are not being said: Those things that make us uncomfortable, that make us shift in our seats; those things that make us clap and cry; those things that make us angry, provoked; those things that help us to consider our place in this, find our voice, and help us to be heard. The list I’ve created below encapsulates all of these things, if not more. I’ve gathered films, articles, videos, poems, books and more, each of which I have read and seen over the past year. Some are pre-Ferguson, pre-Mike Brown, pre-Eric Garner, pre-Tamir Rice, and so forth and so on. Each item on this list, however, involves race in all of its ugliness, realities and construction. I can’t promise these things will provide you with a solution to the problem or even a notion of how we’ve gotten here, but I hope that it offers a fragment of hope, peace, inspiration, empowerment, and an inkling of motivation for you to remain in the good fight toward true justice and true peace and stop believing in the fantasy of racial progress that we’ve been pressured into believing.
Continue to breathe.
Continue to hold your hands and heads high.
Continue to live.
1. The Black Power Mixtape – Film
2. When Whites Just Don’t Get It – Article
3. Night Catches Us – Film
4. The Case for Black with a Capital B – Article
5. The African Americans – Film
6. The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson – Article
7. In Ferguson, Black Town, White Power – Article
8. The Price of Black Ambition – Article
10. Belle – Film
12. The Kitchen House – Book
14. The Case for Reparations – Article
15. I, Too, Sing America – Poem
19. The Spectacle of the Other– Book
20. Question Bridge – Website
22. The Danger of the Single Story by Chimimanda Adiche – Video
23. AmeriCAN – Short Film
24. Between the World and Me – Book
25. Selma – Film
26. Fresh Dressed – Documentary
27. Black Feminist Thought – Book
28. Black Looks – Book
29. Ebony Magazine August Issue “Why America Loves Black People/Culture – Magazine
31. The Average Black Girl – Poem
32. To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar – Album
33. Black Messiah, D’Angelo – Album
34. 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J Cole – Album