Racial Equality Reading List June 12, 2020 – Posted in: News

The history of oppression is overwhelming across the globe and the progress within the United States has been embarrassingly slow, if not stagnant. The most recent tragedies caught on camera are putting police brutality rightly in the hot seat and also giving society a hard look at the daily fear and disadvantages that are put on the shoulders of our neighbors, siblings, significant others, peers, colleagues – our LOVED ones.

Not speaking up and facing our own privilege is an act of violence against them. The bravery they embody as they face daily tasks on top of the challenges of a pandemic is humbling. We have looked at our own brand voice and felt that even if our platform isn’t the same size as others in the industry, we will be using it for empowering the black beauty communities and elevating their voices. We outlined some of our actions in another post and would still love feedback and inspiration on how we can be the right allies in this revolution. We will still focus our efforts on our Sustain Beauty Co pillars, and pursue the protection of the planet, but we feel that it is perfectly intwined with equity.

Along with this new depth to the SBCo mission, we are also looking at ourselves as individuals and pursuing our own personal development. We now have a shared book club and social media following that we share amongst our team as an internal growth program. We are looking for some more recommendations, so please add ideas in the comments so we can keep this growing.

SBCo Book Club

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Austin Channing Brown
Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.
 

 

 

 


White Fragility

Robin Diangelo
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
 

 

 

 
Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice
Kerry Connelly
In Good White Racist?, Kerry Connelly exposes the ways white people participate in, benefit from, and unknowingly perpetuate racism–despite their best “good person” intentions. Good White Racist? unpacks the systems that maintain the status quo, keep white people comfortable and complicit, and perpetuate racism in the United States and elsewhere. Combining scholarly research with her trademark New Jersey snark, Connelly shows us that even though it may not be our fault or choice to participate in a racist system, we all do, and it’s our responsibility to do something about it.
 

 

 

 
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Richard Rothstein
In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation–that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation–the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments–that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.
 

 

 

 
The Anti-racist Kid: Parents Guide on Teaching Children Respect for Color and Race
Matilda Casey Wells
“Children as young as three years old are aware of race and skin color, and they aren’t afraid to ask questions,” says Caryn Park, a professor at Antioch University in Seattle, whose research focuses on children’s understanding of race and ethnicity. “Their identities really matter to them, and racial identity is a significant part of their total identity. They also understand the power in talking about race and racism, and that when they bring those things up, they can get the attention of grown-ups and other children.”Race is relatively simple to address when a young child notices skin color for the first time. Racism is understandably harder to talk about. Few parents would consider themselves or their children racist, with its connotations of intentional, angry, or mean behavior against different groups of people.

 

 
Please tell us if you have more recommendations. We are going to keep this book club going and growing along with our understanding of our role in the pursuit of racial justice.