An Ally’s Anti-Racist Reading List
Learn about the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum, you’re probably asking a lot of new questions. Many allies are wondering where they should donate and how to start learning about racial in/justice. A lot of us are unable to be on the front lines of the protests, and we’re looking for other ways to support systemic change.
I’m using this platform to lift up the voices of some powerful anti-racist thinkers and organizers. This will be a living document: if you’d like me to add a link to another organization, article, or reading list, please comment or write to me.
The descriptions of each link are not written by me; they are quoted directly from the sites themselves.
- Black Lives Matter was 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. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
- The National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression was founded in 1973 in Chicago, Illinois to mount organized action against unjust treatment of individuals because of race or political beliefs.
- Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us.
- To My People, an article by Black Panther Assata Shakur, written while in prison.
- Speech by Angela Davis, delivered at the Embassy Auditorium, June 1972. Transcript and recorded excerpt published by American RadioWorks.
New Allies: Start Here!
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, an article by Peggy McIntosh.
- Imagining Public Safety, a series of images by Alexis Chaney.
- Building a Police-Free Future, a zine published by MPD150: A People’s Project Evaluating Policing.
- Transformative Justice, Explained, an article by Kim Tran, August 2018. Published in Teen Vogue.
- For Our White Friends Desiring To Be Allies, an article by Courtney Ariel, August 2017. Published in Sojourners.
- How You Can Help (MPLS, June 2020), an article via MPD150: A People’s Project Evaluating Policing.
- How Much Do We Need The Police?, an article by Leah Donnella, via NPR.
- 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets, via Issuu, recommended by CLAW (Chicago League of Abolitionist Whites).
Alternatives to Policing
- Creative Interventions is based upon liberation — the positive, life-affirming, transformative potential within communities. This website features useful tools, links and other information to help anyone and everyone create collective responses to interpersonal violence.
- Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and 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.
- INCITE! is a network of radical feminists of color organizing to end state violence and violence in our homes and communities.
- Assata’s Daughters organizes young Black people in Chicago by providing them with political education, leadership development, mentorship, and revolutionary services.
- Rooted in the long legacy of liberatory education, Chicago Freedom School provides training and education for young people and adult allies to create a just world.
- We Charge Genocide is a grassroots, inter-generational effort to center the voices and experiences of the young people most targeted by police violence in Chicago.
Prisons, Incarceration, & Transformative Justice
- Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe.
- Project NIA works to end the incarceration of children and young adults by promoting restorative and transformative justice practices.
- The Chicago Community Bond Fund pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County, Illinois. Through a revolving fund, CCBF supports individuals whose communities cannot afford to pay the bonds themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence.
- Black and Pink was founded in 2005 on the principles of abolition to dismantle the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people/people living with HIV/AIDS who are affected by that system, through advocacy, support, and organizing
Queering the Struggle
- The Body Is Not An Apology is an international movement committed to cultivating global Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment.
- Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ individuals on the South and West sides of the city.
- Fierce builds the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color in New York City.
- Transformative Justice Law Project is a group of radical activists, social workers, and organizers who provide support, advocacy, and free, holistic advocacy and criminal legal services to poor and street-based transgender people in Illinois.
Articles & Reading Lists
- Intersectionality 101: A Reading List, via Black Feminisms.
- An Essential Reading Guide For Fighting Racism, by Arianna Rebolini, May 2020. Published by BuzzFeed News.
- Recommended Reading List for Black Revolutionaries, via Black Panther Assata Shakur’s official website.
- sick woman theory, an article by Johanna Hedva, 2015. Published by Mask Magazine.
- Prison Industrial Complex and Prison Abolition, Restorative Justice, Community Accountability, Transformative Justice, a reading list by Transform Chicago: A Restorative and Transformative Justice Hub.
- Published Works by Mariame Kaba, a reading list via Mariame Kaba’s official website. She is an organizer, educator, and curator. Her work focuses on ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, transformative justice and supporting youth leadership development.