Since the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement that followed, two things have become abundantly clear; ignorance is no longer an excuse when it comes to racism, and white people must do better. The global protests sparked vital conversations and signalled the start of essential educational journeys for many.
With The Leopard, we know that we have an opportunity to educate not just ourselves, but our (predominantly white) audience about what it means to be anti-racist and to be an ally. This education is on-going because overcoming the systemic racism ingrained in society is a lifelong task, but we wanted to provide our readers with a place to start.
Firstly, we have learned that there is a big difference between being not-racist and being anti-racist. Speaking to the BBC, John Amaechi, best-selling author, psychologist and former NBA basketball player explains this perfectly: “I know that both of these things seem equally good, but they’re not. Think of an interaction. I’m afraid you’ve probably had one right? With somebody, maybe even somebody you respect, maybe even someone you love, who says something that’s racist, does something that’s racist, behaves in a way that’s racist. Someone who’s not-racist: they won’t say or do anything in that moment. They want to not rock the boat. They don’t want to be upstanding. Instead, not-racists: they tend to be bystanders. But afterwards, after the event, they’ll find other people who are also not-racist and they’ll talk to each other about, well, that was terrible, that thing that happened the other day. I would never say anything like that. Anti-racists are different and they come in all shapes and sizes. They come in all ages. Anti-racists are constantly looking around to say, what tools do I have available to make it clear that this is not acceptable? And this, this is what anti-racists do. It’s not that they stand up at the dinner table when their uncle’s a little bit racist and kick the turkey off. That’s not it. But what they do is they say, I’m sorry uncle John. That’s not acceptable. That’s racist. Quietly and respectfully. What they do is they make sure that they never miss an opportunity to let the world know where they stand, even if they can’t change everything.”
Amaechi’s advice is to use the tools at our disposal. To learn, to read and to make everybody clear where we stand. We know that when it comes to standing against racism, actions speak louder than words and, while our journey is still in its infancy, we want to assure you that we are very much taking action. The following list of anti-racism resources is by no means an exhaustive one, but we hope it provides a starting point or helps to further your education.
British Chinese Londoner Natalie Cheung explores her heritage and shines a light on the East and South East Asian diaspora experience. From LGBTQ+ issues to mental health and Asian beauty, Natalie explores a plethora of topics in an informative and accessible way.
Open, unedited discussions hosted by the inspiring activist, TED speaker and writer. Episodes cover race, identity and issues including everything from PCOS to adoption.
Reni Eddo-Lodge continues the conversation from her best-selling book, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, tackling themes of politics, feminism and intersectionality, with guests including Riz Ahmed and Labour MP Diane Abbott.
From the duo behind the eponymous book, this podcast covers topical news and pop culture from a Black British perspective, covering everything from work and finance to health and relationships
Discussing everything from what it’s like to be a Black lesbian mum to the shocking statistic that Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth, Dope Black Mums is a podcast on a mission to include Black women in the mainstream motherhood narrative.
Former call centre colleagues and comedians Sadia Azmat and Monty Onanuga discuss “life, love and work in a white man’s world”. Guests range from Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams to Ainsley Harriott, with conversations tackling light-hearted topics as well as race, religion and sex.
For most Asian woman, speaking openly about your sex life is a big no-no. Rubina Pabani, Poppy Jay and Roya Eslami are changing that with Brown Girls Do It Too, a no holds barred sex podcast covering everything from dirty talk to porn addiction. Despite facing huge backlash from their community and families, the trio carry on because, as Rubina says, ‘“an orgasm is a human right” and so is their right to talk about it.’
In 1992, the death of controversial transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson was ruled as suicide but many believe she was actually murdered. This 2017 documentary re-examines the case. Netflix.
Ava DuVernay’s 2016 documentary explores racial inequality in the United States, looking at racial history, mass incarceration and the criminal justice system. Netflix.
This behind-the-scenes documentary follows former First Lady Michelle Obama after the publication of her best-selling memoir of the same name. Netflix.
The gut-wrenching true story of The Central Park Five, a group of innocent boys who were arrested, interrogated and coerced into confessing to a vicious attack on a woman in New York’s Central Park in 1989. An attack they did not commit but all were sent to prison for. Netflix.
Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People is a comedy-drama focused on American race relations, following a group of Black students navigating life at a fictional Ivy League university. Netflix.
An inspiring series about the titular Madam C.J. Walker, an African American washerwoman who invented a line of pioneering hair care products and went on to build a beauty empire, becoming the first female self-made millionaire in America according to the Guinness Book of Records. Netflix.
A 2011 documentary by D. Channsin Berry and and Bill Duke, Dark Girls features raw interviews with Black women in America, focusing on ‘colourism’ and the prejudices and cultural bias that women with darker skin face both in America and across the world. Amazon Prime Video.
Another masterpiece by Ava DuVernay, Selma is a chronicle of Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Amazon Prime Video.
Exploring the UK’s Black history and institutional racism as well as whitewashed feminism and the link between class and race, Eddo-Lodge’s book is widely – and rightly – regarded as the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.
‘White Fragility’ is a term coined by DiAngelo to describe how white people become angry, defensive, upset or hostile when confronted with the idea that they are complicit in systemic racism. It will challenge you to confront your views and make you feel uncomfortable and that is the point. As DiAngelo told the Guardian “I want to build the stamina to handle the discomfort so we don’t retreat in the face of it, because retreating holds the status quo in place and the status quo is the reproduction of racism.”
Both The New York Times and The Guardian listed Minor Feelings as one of their top books of 2020, and for good reason. Cathy Park Hong grew up in America as the daughter of Korean immigrants, and this non-fiction book explores her relationship with the lies sold to her about her own racial identity.
Author Layla F Saad’s novel began with an Instagram challenge, #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, encouraging people to own up to racist behaviours. Thousands participated, and the resulting book gives readers the tools to look within, check privilege, challenge biases and take ownership of our behaviour.
Exploring everything from white privilege to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, Oluo’s book offers an accessible, actionable take on the racial landscape in America today, asking the questions we are too scared to and providing readers with the tools to broach uncomfortable conversations.
American author and historian Kendi believes you are either racist or anti-racist – there is no in between. In his book, he defines what it means to be anti-racist and suggests models for anti-racist actions and systemic changes
N.B. Where possible, we have sourced the above books from Black-owned bookstores – as useful as Amazon can be, these shops deserve your money so much more.
In your own circles. We’ve all got a dad/uncle/granny/friend who, as Amaechi said, does/says/behaves in a racist way. While previously we may have squirmed uneasily, now we are making a point to call them out – politely – regardless of how uncomfortable it makes that family dinner. We understand that saying nothing it, even if we know it’s wrong and would never say or do it ourselves, perpetuates the problem and makes us part of it.
@novareidofficial Nova Reid is a TED speaker, writer and diversity and anti-racism campaigner. We love her for her straight-to-the-point approach to educational posts and slides which speak to white people about how to be better allies.
@sholamos1 Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu is a lawyer, political & women’s rights activist. Her book This Is Why I Resist will be released in early 2021.
@jameelajamilofficial Most of you will likely be no strangers to Brit actress Jameela’s Insta account, where she discusses everything from racism and LGBTQIA+ issues to feminism and mental health.
@rachel.cargle Rachel is a Black activist and speaker who focuses on anti-racism. She says of herself: “I want to inspire people with my hard and meaningful work but I also want to inspire people with my ease, joy and possibility.”
@mireillecharper Mireille is an editor at Square Peg Books and writer of Timelines From Black History. Her feed features Black book recommendations as well as her infamous ’10 Steps To Non-Optical Allyship’ post which makes for essential reading.
@munroebergdorf Munroe Bergdorf hails from Essex, and is a transgender model and activist. Her book Transitional is out later this year.
@britishasianstory Tracy-Yunting Truong is a Western born East Asian living in Japan. She shares her experiences of living ‘in-between’ cultures through incredibly insightful graphics and beautiful hand-sketched imagery.
@candicebrathwaite Mum-of-two Candice’s debut book I Am Not Your Baby Mother instantly became one of 2020’s hottest reads (so good, in fact, that she’s already signed on for a second book). Follow her for a hit of fashion, family life and insight into Black motherhood.
@the_female_lead The Female Lead is one of our faves for all things feminism and the account we wish we’d had as teenagers. It will educate you and make you feel like you can take over the world all at the same time.
@besea.n Launched earlier this summer, besea.n is a ‘grassroots movement championing ESEA voices’ – an excellent place to learn more about East and South East Asian representation as well as to find new ESEA accounts to follow.
@_theotherbox The Other Box is an ‘Award-winning diversity and inclusion company educating people on bias’. They share weekly job vacancy round-ups and post using their #DiversityDictionary tag to help inform and educate.
@privtoprog From Privilege to Progress is a great account for bringing racism-related news and tweets to your attention and helping you to unpick your white privilege day-by-day.
@blackmindsmatter.uk Black Minds Matter focuses on mental health for Black people and offers free resources and therapy for Black trauma.
@asiansinbritain Created to ’empower Asians’ and ‘inspire others’, Asians in Britain tells the eye-opening stories and experiences – as the name suggests – of Asians living in Britain. It is also home to the High Expectasians podcast.
Our generation may not have had race taught to us, but we can ensure our kids do through the books we read, the shows we watch, the toys we play with and the language we use. If you’re worried about doing it wrong, here are some helpful starting points and resources. Our kids are baby/toddler age so book/TV suggestions are mostly suited to younger children.
Introducing little ones to inspiring people in politics, history, music, arts, design, science and sports, the Little People, Big Dreams series celebrates the heroes and heroines of history. Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali and Josephine Baker are just some of the Black icons in the extensive collection.
How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi uses cool illustrations and thoughtful words to deliver nine essential tips for introducing the little people in your life to the concept of anti-racism.
Faizah thinks her older sister Asiya looks like a princess in her blue hijab, but not everyone at school is so kind. Inspired by the experiences of Olympic medallist and activist Ibtihaj Muhammad, The Proudest Blue is about finding the strength to be proud of yourself and your beliefs.
A celebration of diversity and inclusivity, this bestselling picture book is a message to children that no matter where they come from or what they wear, they have a place, they are welcome.
The ultimate starting point for raising a progressive child, this alphabetised guide to being an activist is accompanied by striking, colourful illustrations.
Described as a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere, Hair Love is an empowering tale about little girl Zuri learning to love her natural hair.
Alongside a diverse cast of presenters, CBeebies is home to JoJo & Gran Gran, Our Family and My World Kitchen. Black British Gran Gran, who hails from Saint Lucia, teaches her four-year-old granddaughter JoJo about their Caribbean heritage while Our Family takes you inside the lives of diverse families across Britain. Hosted by Ainsley Harriott, My World Kitchen sees children make dishes from their ancestral homeland. Essentially, it’s delicious food and a geography lesson rolled into one.
Monique Melton– The anti-racism educator, author and speaker offers various courses exploring anti-racism including the Shine Talk for Kids, a six-week programme about how to talk to children clearly and consistently about race.
The Conscious Kid Has become our go-to for tons of resources and reading lists about raising anti-racist kids – some free, some well worth paying for.
Embrace Race – A vast resource site packed with articles, guides and webinars with the aim of meeting four important goals: nurture resilience in children of colour, nurture inclusive, empathetic children of all stripes, raise kids who think critically about racial inequity and support a movement of kid and adult racial justice advocates for all children.
Raising Race Conscious Children – Hosts helpful interactive workshops and webinars for parents trying to teach their children about race.
Colour Me Crayons – With 12 shades of skin colours, these crayons are designed to celebrate the diversity of our world.
eeBoo I Never Forget a Face – A memory game that encourages children to match a diverse range of faces. We love that it’s made from 90% recycled cardboard too.
Miniland Dolls– through creating a range of diverse dolls, Miniland hope to contribute to a world that is more open, inclusive and tolerant towards diversity. Our boys love them.
Removing the stigma around mental health in the Black community, Black Minds Matter connects Black individuals and families with free mental health services.
The UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity, Show Racism the Red Card was set up after former Newcastle United goal keeper Shaka Hislop experienced a racist confrontation at a Newcastle petrol station in 1990. Shaka used his standing as a professional football player to educate young people about racism and today the charity continues to utilise the high-profile status of football and football players (and other sports) to tackle racism in society. The campaign delivers educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums alongside producing educational films and workshops.
The UK’s leading independent race equality think tank, Runnymede challenges race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate, and policy engagement to build a Britain in which all citizens and communities feel valued, enjoy equal opportunities, lead fulfilling lives, and share a common sense of belonging. We currently donate 10% of our affiliate profits to Runnymede, a figure which will be reviewed as the business grows.
We hope you have found our list of resources helpful and if you have any additional suggestions, please drop up an email firstname.lastname@example.org