Keep The Fire Burning: An Antiracist Call To Action
A crowdsourced resource of things you can read & watch, actions you can take, organizations you can donate to, and people you can follow to join the fight against racism in America
Images by Sarah Craig
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” -Angela Y. Davis
We need to make a profound change in the value that this country places on black life. We need to make fundamental changes in the ways that police forces operate in this country, prioritizing the protection of white property over the lives of black people. We need to stop the over-policing of communities of color. We need to reduce the funding of police forces that has allowed them to operate as paramilitary units terrorizing black citizenry and redistribute those funds to programs and services that can help find solutions to the problems of affordable housing, public education, health, food security, and many other issues that have been plaguing our country for generations.
Policing in this country has gotten out of control and it is literally killing us. This particularly affects Black Americans, who are two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by the police than Whites. We need to make a lot of changes. Those changes start with you. There are direct actions that we can take to make the system more fair and hold police accountable. Get out into the streets and protest. Voice your opinions online. Educate yourself. Talk to people, even those who may disagree with you. Get involved in local politics. Find out who your city council member, mayor, state representative and state senator are and demand that they support these issues if they want your vote.
Make sure you are registered to vote! It’s easy and quick to register (or check your registration status) at vote.org. Even if there isn’t a politician you support 100%, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to fit voting into your schedule, get registered so that when the time comes, you are ready. If you are legally able to vote it is extra important that you do, because an estimated 1 in 13 Black Americans cannot vote due to felony disenfranchisement, largely due to petty drug-related felonies that result from the over-policing of Black communities.
This is a rare moment where the world seems ready for transformative change. The consciousness of the world has been ignited and we have already seen profound changes across the country that would have seemed impossible just weeks ago— Police departments have been defunded and disbanded, new laws protecting citizens from their tyrannical actions have been passed, and Confederate (and other) symbols of oppression have been banned or toppled. Don’t just watch, get involved. Keep the fire burning. We are fundamentally a platform for emerging art, music, and culture, but are now connecting with some great organizations, activists and resources that are available online. Here are some links to some direct ways to take action and/or educate yourself. This will be a living document, updated over time as new things are written, new actions are needed, or as election dates change. This is a crowd sourced document and you can help improve it by sending suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much gratitude to Ashley Loren’s Anti-Racism #BLM Resource Document, Mil Mundos’ Black Lives Matter Reading List, and countless friends and allies who have shared online resources and tools for education and inspiration in compiling the resources below. Please feel free to copy and share as you see fit.
“Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses...'' -Audre Lorde
Latest Update 8/26/20, new additions are highlighted
This is an incredibly important election year, and the most effective way we can make the changes we want to see in the world is by electing people who will be responsive to our demands.
Voter registration deadlines vary widely state by state, some states requiring you to register as many as 30 days ahead of time, some states allowing you to register the same day at the polling station. You can find out information about your state's rules for registration here.
- NEW Every Last Vote: A tool that will help you register to vote by mail according to the rules of your state.
- Vote.org: A website with tools to check your registration status, register to vote, apply for absentee ballots, and other information and tools.
- 2020 Census: Filling out your census questionnaire is one of the most important things you can do. It affects the distribution of seats in the House of Representatives (more people counted in an area means more representation), and ensures that schools, hospitals and other social services in your community are properly funded.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE/RESOURCES FOR ACTIVISM
- NEW Email for BLM: A website that automatically generates emails to elected officials advocating for justice on behalf of various victims of police violence, including Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and David McAtee among others.
- NEW Charge The Cops Who Shot Jacob Blake Petition: Jacob Blake, an innocent man who was intervening in a domestic dispute in Kenosha, WI was shot in the back at point blank range by the police. Demand that the cops that shot him are arrested and charged.
- NEW Make September 15th Eric Garner Day Petition: A petition to support Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner) in her campaign to get September 15th recognized as Eric Garner day in Staten Island.
- NEW Reclaim Our Homes: Rent/Mortgage Suspension Now! Petition: A petition to New York State representatives demanding a suspension of rent and mortgage payments in New York State.
- NEW Free Tianna Arata Petition: Tianna Arata is a young BLM activist from San Luis Obispo who was wrongfully arrested following a protest in July. Read more about it here.
- NEW Pass Breonna's Law Statewide Petition: A petition to ban no-knock warrants (the type of warrant that was used by the police who raided Breonna Taylor's home) in Kentucky.
- Justice For Elijah McClain Linktree: A link to various actions you can take to demand justice for the murder of Elijah McClain at the hands of Aurora, CO police (such as emailing Aurora government officials, or donating to Elijah's mother's GoFundMe).
- Vote Yes On George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2020 Email: A link that will automatically populate an email to all 53 Republican Senators asking them to support this police reform bill, which has already passed the House. You can read more about the bill here, among other things it limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution.
- Defund The NYPD: Find out your NYC Council member's position on defunding the NYPD just by entering your address, and access resources for education on defunding police.
- DEFUND PD (Google Doc): A comprehensive list of phone numbers, emails and scripts to call elected officials about defunding the police, with information for cities and states across America.
- Defund 12: A site with links to various cities that will create an email for you automatically addressed to the appropriate elected officials in your city, encouraging them to vote to defund police departments in upcoming annual budgets. It is crowd sourced, so if one doesn’t already exist for your city you can research and help create one.
- Justice For Breonna Taylor Petition: A petition to Kentucky governor Andy Beshear to bring charges against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor.
- Justice For Elijah McClain Petition: A petition to open a deeper investigation into the death of Elijah McClain, who died in police custody after being detained while walking home from a convenience store, was restricted by officers using a carotid hold and sedated (while already unconscious) with ketamine by the EMTs who arrived on the scene.
- Designate KKK A Terrorist Organization Petition: A petition to the Bureau of Counterterrorism asking for the KKK to be designated a terrorist organization.
- Printable Zines and Posters from MPD150: a collection of zines, flyers and signs to print and hand out at protests or public events on the subject of defunding the police.
- Tips For Creating White Caucuses: A guide to help White people create groups to “do their own work” and create groups to critically engage with whiteness and white privilege, and to hold each other accountable for change.
- How To Be An Ally If You Are A Person With A Privilege: A document which provides guidance for how people with any sort of privilege (White privilege, religious privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, socio-economic privilege, etc) can be effective allies in movements for justice and equality.
ORGANIZATIONS TO CONNECT WITH AND DONATE TO
- NEW Metropolitan Council on Housing: A tenants’ rights membership organization made up of New York City tenants who believe in “housing for people, not profit.” Fighting for a city where everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing. Donate Here
- Black Lives Matter: Founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation Inc. is “a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” Website has links to many resources for activism and information on campaigns for racial justice happening across the world. Donate Here
- Color Of Change: The nation’s largest online racial justice organization, with over 1.7 million members, helping focus and drive online campaigns for justice and to improve the lives of Black people in America. Donate Here
- The Movement For Black Lives: "A space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy." Donate Here
- Critical Resistance: An organization seeking to build "an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe." Articles and links to resources for education on issues such as prison and police abolition and restorative justice. Donate Here
- Antiracist Research & Policy Center: Founded by Ibram X. Kendi (author of How To Be An Antiracist), this group believes that the root of racism is found in racist policies and ideas, not the ignorance of certain racial groups. Their mission is “to convene and team up varied specialists to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice.” Through this work the group strives to build an antiracist society of racial equity and justice. Donate Here
- MPD150: An organization working toward a police-free Minneapolis, with tons of resources to help understand what it means to defund/abolish the police, including a handy zine which is available as either a FAQ, an Instagram post, or a printable zine. Donate Here
- Black Visions Collective: “a Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence…through building strategic campaigns, investing in Black leadership, and engaging in cultural and narrative organizing.” Donate Here
- The Loveland Foundation: A fund created by public academic, writer, and lecturer Rachel Cargle focused on bringing “opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls.” One aspect of it is the Therapy Fund, which provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy. Donate Here
- Reclaim the Block: “organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.” Lots of resources for online activism, petitions, and information on events the group is organizing. Donate Here (alternate link for those outside the US)
- 8 Can’t Wait: A campaign organized by Campaign Zero that highlights eight relatively easy to enact policies regarding reduction of police use of force that would reduce police violence by up to 72% if enacted (based on originally sourced statistical analysis). Donate Here
- 8 To Abolition: A campaign created in response to Campaign Zero's '8 Can't Wait' campaign, advocating for police abolition over reform. #8toabolition is based on the idea that the '8 Can't Wait' offers "a slate of reforms that have already been tried and failed, that mislead a public newly invigorated to the possibilities of police and prison abolition, and that do not reflect the needs of criminalized communities."
- The Innocence Project: Founded in 1992, the Innocence project works to “exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” Website provides information on specific cases and ways to advocate for them as well as ways to get involved with broader issues. Donate Here
- Zinn Education Project: A project that gives lessons and teaching materials to schools to teach history from a people’s perspective, based on the lens of history used in Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History Of The United States, highlighting the lives and experiences of women, BIPOC and the working class. Donate Here:**
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." -Martin Luther King Jr.
NEW SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES
- NEW Chez Nous Guide: A guide with links to BIPOC, Women, and LGBTQIA+ owned-and-operated businesses from around the globe, as well as podcasts, interviews with entrepreneurs, and resources for business owners.
- NEW Black Owned Bookstores In The United States: A list from the African-American Literature Book Club of Black-owned bookstores across the USA.
- NEW The Black Pages: A guide to Black-owned businesses, broken down by category of business.
- NEW @amandakorina's Guide To Black-Owned Businesses: An Instagram post which tags Black-owned businesses and Black business influencers from across America.
ARTICLES & ESSAYS
- NEW David A. Graham | The Shooting Of Jacob Blake Is A Wakeup Call
- NEW Mychal Denzel Smith | Incremental Change Is A Moral Failure
- Nikole Hannah-Jones | What Is Owed
- Kali Holloway | This Isn’t A Few Bad Apples. The Police Are Rotten To The Core.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Case For Reparations
- James Baldwin | On Being White And Other Lies
- DeRay Mckesson | On The Path Toward Police Abolition
- Lori Lakin Hutcherson | My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest
- Alex S. Vitale | The answer to police violence is not 'reform'. It's defunding. Here's why
- Leah Donnella | How Much Do We Need The Police?
- Jane Coaston | The intersectionality wars
- Ijeoma Oluo | Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed
- Peggy McIntosh | White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack
- Ibram X. Kendi | Who Gets To Be Afraid In America?
- Karina Schroeder | How Systemic Racism Keeps Millions Of Black People From Voting
- Margaret Biser | I used to lead tours on a plantation. You wouldn’t believe the questions I got about slavery.
- Ernest Owens | 10 Messages of Wisdom We Need to Give Black Youth Right Now
- Michel Martin | Fear of the Black Man, How Racial Bias Impacts Crime/Labor
- Rachel Kushner | Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind
- Mariame Kaba | Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police
- Amanda Arnold | What Exactly Does It Mean To Defund The Police
- Officer A. Cab | Confessions Of A Former Bastard Cop
- John Kelly, Mark Nichols, USA Today | We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records.
- NEW Khalil Gibran Muhammad | The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
- Ibram X. Kendi | How To Be An Anti-Racist
- Alex S. Vitale | The End Of Policing
- Robin DiAngelo | White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- Carol Anderson | White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
- Ibram X. Kendi | Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
- Douglas Blackmon | Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
- Ijeoma Oluo | So You Want To Talk About Race
- Michelle Alexander | The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor | From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation
- James Baldwin | The Fire Next Time
- Ta-Nehisi Coates | Between The World And Me
- Angela Y. Davis | Women, Race, & Class
- Layla F. Saad | Me and White Supremacy Workbook
- Grace Lee Boggs | The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
- Audre Lorde | The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House
- Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele | When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
- Richard Rothstein | The Color Of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
- Hanif Abdurraqib | They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
- Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price | Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?
- Beverly Daniel Tatum | "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?": A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity
- Claudia Rankine | Citizen: An American Lyric
- Jesmyn Ward | Men We Reaped
- Saeed Jones | How We Fight For Our Lives
- Reni Eddo Lodge | Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race
- bell hooks | Salvation: Black People And Love
- Austin Channing Brown | I'm Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness
- Black History Month Library | A link to a Google Drive folder with free scans of classic texts and speeches from and about James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, and many more
“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don't have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it's the only way forward” -Ijeoma Oluo
MOVIES & DOCUMENTARIES
- Ava DuVernay | 13th
- Ava DuVernay | When They See Us
- Ava Duvernay | Selma
- Göran Olsson | Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
- Spike Lee | Do The Right Thing
- Spike Lee | Malcolm X
- Spike Lee | When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
- Raoul Peck | I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin documentary)
- Catherine Wiggington Greene | I’m Not Racist Am I?
- George Tillman Jr. | The Hate U Give
- Justin Simien | Dear White People
- Sam Pollard | Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans From the Civil War to World War II
- Ryan Coogler | Fruitvale Station
- Barry Jenkins | If Beale Street Could Talk
- Mel Stuart | Wattstax
- Jane Gillooly, Aparna Agrawal, Khary Saeed Jones | Where the Pavement Ends
- Paul Tickell, David Olusoga, Tim Robinson | Racism: A History (BBC Documentary)
- Julian Marshall | WE ARE GEORGE FLOYD
- Destin Daniel Cretton | Just Mercy
TALKS, SPEECHES & INTERVIEWS ON YOUTUBE
- Emmanuel Acho | Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | The danger of a single story
- Robin DiAngelo | Deconstructing White Privilege
- Ibram X. Kendi | How To Build An Antiracist World
- Emo Nite LA | Racism In The Punk/Alternative Scene
- Trevor Noah/The Daily Social Distancing Show | George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper
- Megan Ming Francis | Let's get to the root of racial injustice
- James A. White Sr. | 50 years of racism -- why silence isn’t the answer
- Jane Elliot | The Event: How Racist Are You?
- Jane Elliot | Take a Walk in My Shoes
- Angela Davis | 'This moment holds possibilities for change we have never before experienced'
- Angela Davis & Jane Elliot | A Conversation on Race and Privilege
- James Baldwin and Dick Gregory | Baldwin's Nigger
- James Baldwin Debates William F. Buckley
- Toni Morrison | What Racism Is
- Cornel West on CNN Anderson Cooper 360° - America Is A Failed Social Experiment
- Cornel West | The Future Of America Depends On How We Respond
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." -James Baldwin
- NEW The Dig | Read This, Not White Fragility (Jacobin Radio)
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Still Processing (New York Times)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Larry Wilmore: Black On The Air
- Come Through with Rebecca Carroll
- The Takeaway | Is Camden, New Jersey the Prototype for National Police Reform?
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
@blklivesmatter @aclu_nationwide @antiracismctr @mpd_150 @reclaimtheblock @splcenter @mnfreedomfund @ibramxk @changethenypd @campaignzero @ourrevolution @blackvisionscollective @rallyandrise @rachel.cargle @makeitrightproject @unicorn.riot @marhsallproj @innocenceproject @mvmnt4blklives @theandrehenry @laylafsaad @ckyourprivilege @zinneducationctr @showingupforracialjustice @austinchanning @tahenisipcoates @maketheroadny @democracynow @candicefortin @hilovenewyork @criticalresistance @justiceforelijahmcclain @janayathefuture
TWITTER ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW
@kevin_powell @jduffyrice @theappeal @zakcheneyrice @ClintSmithIII @MsPackyetti @MicahHerskind @BenjaminPDixon @LeslieMac @samswey @LakinHutcherson @Jamiles @Mvmnt4BlkLives @MarshallProj @CandiceFortin @austinchanning @colorofchange @ShowUp4RJ @ZinnEdProject @RachelCargle @kalihollowayftw @nvlevy @UR_Ninja @BlackVisionsMN @changethenypd @DrIbram @MPD_150 @deray