Tools For Acknowledging & Understanding Privilege & Racism

What’s the best way to support the Black Lives Matter movement? Be an ally. What’s the best way to be an ally? Stay educated and aware.

While the world protests and stands in solidarity in the aftermath of black lives like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many more being taken by police violence, it’s vital to stay educated and aware. The racism, political injustices, and police brutality that millions have been protesting against for the past week must become widely understood, now more than ever. For those who are not of color, being cognizant of the privilege your skin grants you can allow you to become a better ally when fighting these injustices alongside the Black Lives Matter movement.

Between an immense list of literature, television shows, podcasts, and films, here’s only a few ways to learn about systemic racism and how your privilege can be recognized and used towards alliance. The full lists through which the titles below came from can be reached here and here.


The 1619 Project

From the New York Times Magazine is a series of articles and podcasts as “an ongoing initiative that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

“The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nihisi Coates

“Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole,” Coates writes in this powerful piece.

“A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising” by Michael Harriot

In this article published by The Root, Harriot elaborates on the racial injustices in America past and present: “Without the proper context, it is impossible to understand the mushroom cloud of uprisings that are exploding across the country in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others.”

“Where do I donate? Why is the uprising violent? Should I go protest?” by Courtney Martin

“We decided to create a collective Q&A that could be shared widely” reads Martin’s article. “These are not the answers, but they are some answers. One mistake white people make is trying to show up only when they think they can do it perfectly.”

Film & Television

  • 13th and When They See Us (both from Ava DuVernay), available on Netflix
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien), available on Netflix
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins), available on Hulu
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.), available on Hulu
  • I Am Not Your Negro (a documentary on James Baldwin) — Available to rent or on Kanopy


Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander


“How White Privilege Works” by The Root


“How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” by Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools

5 Tips For Being An Ally by Chescaleigh

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah- Reparations & White Privilege



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