Educational Resources for Beginning to Understand More of America’s History to Stand Up Against Racism

By Julia Jonson

For racial healing to begin, understanding has to happen first. As yoga teachers, our job is to have compassion and teach awareness, which fosters empathy. Protests in favor of racial equality erupted after on-duty police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on camera kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. Chauvin is in prison for the killing that lasted close to 9 minutes after Floyd called out for his mother and whispered that he couldn’t breathe.  Protests for racial equality are happening against the backdrop of a global pandemic that has disproportionately hurt people of color in the United States. The Covid crisis has helped call attention to the persistent resource gaps in Black communities. Our country has a very long way to go for racial equality to happen. We hope that, in some way, our small business can help foster the notion that we are all connected. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  (It is important to note that Dr. King Jr. drew heavily on the Gandhian principle of nonviolence. The Bhagavad Gita, one of the foremost works on yoga helped to fuel Gandhi’s mission for racial equality.) We hope that these resources are a starting point. 

Books:

  1. The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson 
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
  3. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi
  4. How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
  5. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin (All books by James Baldwin! There are many)
  6. So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Olou
  7. White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
  8. Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World, (Author Michelle C. Johnson is a yoga teacher. Her book is heavily influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, the ancient yogic text mentioned above that calls us to live into our dharma and duty even when many distractions entice us to move off our path)

Articles:

  1. “How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving”  from Harper’s Bazaar by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a25221603/thanksgiving-dinner-conversation-how-to-talk-to-family-about-politics/

Movies and TV Shows:

  • Just Mercy (2019) 
  • The Hate You Give (2018) 
  • Selma (2014)
  •  When They See Us (2019)
  •  The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
  • All American (2018)

Videos & Podcasts:

  1. Experts on Expert with Dax Shepard – Interview with Isabel Wilkerson https://experts-on-expert-with-dax-shepard.simplecast.com/episodes/isabel-wilkerson
  2. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man with Emmanuel Acho https://uncomfortableconvos.com/watch
  3. Neil Degrasse Tyson on being Black, and Women in Science   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ihNLEDiuM
  4. VeggieTales Creator on Race in America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGUwcs9qJXY#action=share  & Race in America – Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-yun74BJEc
  5. Unlocking Us, Brene Brown with Emmanuel Acho on Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emmanuel-acho-on-uncomfortable-conversations-with-a-black-man/

Documentaries: 

  1. 13th on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741
  2. The Uncomfortable Truth: https://www.amazon.com/Uncomfortable-Truth-Loki-Mulholland/dp/B074ZR2YSC
  3. Knock Down the House https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGZc8ZjFY4

Web Resources:

  1. Black Lives Matter website: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
  2. NAACP https://naacp.org/
  3. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): https://www.aclu.org/
  4. Color of Change website: https://colorofchange.org/
  5. Antiracism Daily https://www.antiracismdaily.com/

Social Media:

  1. The Jon S. Randall Peace Page on Facebook 
  2.  Off the Mat, Into the World on Instagram
  3. From Privilege to Progress (Privtoprog) on Instagram